News & Analysis as of

Lawsuits Question Procedure and Substance of H-1B Lottery

Late this spring, two lawsuits were filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about and challenging the administration of the H-1B visa...more

2016 Business Immigration Updates – Getting Through the Long Days of Summer

August ushers in a host of immigration-related news and updates, ranging from fine increases to wait times for visa appointments. Stay up-to-date with some quick notes on these issues. DOJ Fines Increase as of August 1,...more

August 8 Deadline for 7-Month, STEM OPT Extension

Due to recent changes in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, F-1 students currently participating in the STEM OPT extension are eligible to apply for an additional 7-months of work authorization. The deadline to...more

STEM OPT 7-Month Extension Application Deadline Coming Up on Monday, August 8

On March 11, 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule pertaining to optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics...more

Reminder: Deadline for Extending 17-month STEM OPT is August 8, 2016

F-1 students who are currently working pursuant to a 17-month STEM OPT extension may apply to add seven months to their STEM OPT period provided they file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization on or before...more

Deadline to Apply to Add Seven Months to 17-Month STEM OPT Extension is August 8, 2016

The new 24-month STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program took effect on May 10, 2016. The substantially revised STEM OPT program expands total OPT time to 36 months for F-1...more

New Requirements for Employers of STEM OPT Students — Seven Extra Months for Seven Extra Requirements

The new STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulation extends the practical training for F-1 students with qualifying degrees from 17 months to 24 months. It also introduces an employer requirement to complete a training...more

When Rolling the Dice Didn’t Lead to Success: Visa Options After the H-1B Cap Lottery

Employers seek predictability when hiring employees. You don’t need to be a mathematician (although that might help qualify you as an outstanding researcher) to know that the odds of being selected in U.S. Citizenship and...more

I-9 Compliance Wisdom from Meeting Between AILA, USCIS and ICE

On May 3, 2016, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Verification and Document Liaison Committee met with USCIS’ Verification Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security...more

Immigration Update: Rule Changes for International Student Workers

Many of our clients employ international students in a status known as "F-1/OPT," which is "Optional Practical Training," a program similar to an internship that allows international students to get practical work experience...more

New 24-Month F-1 STEM OPT Extension Rule Now Effective; Employers Required to Implement Training Plan for Eligible F-1 STEM OPT...

The long-awaited final rule on the F-1 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension, authorizing a new 24-month STEM extension for qualified foreign students, took...more

Ready or not, the new STEM OPT rule is in play!

As higher education institutions with international students should already be aware, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently published a new regulation that provides eligible F-1 graduates from STEM programs in...more

Immigration Laws Stifle US Business

US immigration laws have not been created with the growing global economy’s need for foreign talent in mind, and should be reformed to promote hiring the best minds for the US economy. With globalization of the modern...more

Major Modifications to Immigration Programs May Cause Major Headaches

Today, I’m delighted to bring you what I hope will be the first of several updates for employers from the immigration law perspective. One of my newest colleagues, Ashley Mendoza, along with my law partner Brenda Eckert,...more

Approaching the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s New STEM OPT Extension Regulations with Caution

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will implement major modifications to Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) extensions for students on F-1 visas enrolled in science, technology,...more

U.S. Government Expands Job Opportunities for Foreign STEM Students

As HR Legalist has reported, the H-1B Cap has been met for FY2017. USCIS received over 236,000 petitions. From among this number were selected the congressionally mandated limit of 65,000 regular cap H-1B petitions, and an...more

H-1B Cap FY2017 and Aftermath

The USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during this year’s FY2017 filing period for the annual supply of 85,000 new H-1B visas (65,000 for regular cap plus an additional 20,000 for workers with a U.S. Master’s degree)....more

DHS Increases Period of STEM Optional Practical Training to 24 months: Imposes Additional Requirements on Employers and F-1...

The U.S. government never gives without getting something in return, and the same is true with the new STEM 24-month, Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program. On March 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules: Critical Takeaways, Part 2

In this short series on the new STEM OPT rules, Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Section will examine the top takeaways for students and their employers. The second post will focus on the expansion of the...more

New STEM OPT Extension Rules: Critical Takeaways, Part 1

In this short series on the new STEM OPT rules, Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Immigration Section will examine the top takeaways for students and their employers. The first post will focus on the timing rules related to...more

New STEM OPT Rule Goes Into Effect May 10: Good news and challenges

Both F-1 students and employers have been following the litigation over the F-1 OPT (optional practical training) program. The government was sued by tech workers in Washington, D.C. regarding a part of this program, the...more

DHS Releases Published F-1 Visa STEM OPT Regulation

On March 11, 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final regulation for F-1 nonimmigrant students on optional practical training (OPT) with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

Converting 17-Month STEM OPT to 24-Month STEM OPT Under New Regulations Commencing May 10, 2016

Starting May 10, 2016, a new regulation published last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes effect which increases the work authorization extension period from 17 to 24 months for F-1 students holding...more

Information about H-1B Filings FY2017

The H-1B “cap” petition filing deadline is quickly approaching. As a reminder, this is the national deadline for submitted petitions to sponsor workers in “specialty occupations” for those positions that are subject to the...more

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