United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS... more +
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. The USCIS performs a broad variety of administrative functions, including processing visa and naturalization petitions, as well as applications for asylum and refugee status.  less -
News & Analysis as of

An Ounce of Prevention: Employing Foreign National Physicians in Physician Shortage Areas

Sponsoring a waiver for a J-1 “exchange visitor” can be a good way for healthcare employers to attract talented physicians to vacancies in underserved areas. Here is an example of how the J-1 process works and can help...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a policy memorandum in the decision of Matter of Z-A, Inc.

On April 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a policy memorandum designating the decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of Z-A-, Inc. as an adopted decision...more

USCIS published notice of proposed rulemaking in Federal Register inviting public comment

On May 4, 2016, USCIS published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (81 F.R. 26903) inviting public comment, for 60 days, on the proposed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee Schedule. ...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishes extension of Temporary Protected Status for eligible nationals of...

On May 16, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and those without nationality who last habitually resided in...more

Department of Homeland Security Now Accepting Comments on Its Proposed Filing Fee Increase

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued notice of a proposed rule that would update the application fee schedule for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), noting an overall...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publishes an extension of Temporary Protected Status

On May 16, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua and those without nationality who last habitually resided in...more

To E-Verify or Not to E-Verify: That Will No Longer Be a Question for Some Tennessee Employers

Beginning in 2017, Tennessee will require employers with 50 or more employees to enroll in the E-Verify system for the purpose of verifying the citizenship or work authorization status of their workers. E-verify is an...more

Department of Homeland Security Proposes USCIS Fee Increases

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed increasing the fees that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges for certain immigration and naturalization filings. The proposal...more

Final Policy Memorandum Provides Needed Predictability and Guidance on Job Portability Determinations

On March 18, 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a final policy memorandum that offers guidance on determining whether a new job is in “the same or similar occupational classification”...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

Department of State Releases June 2016 Visa Bulletin

The bulletin shows significant retrogression in EB-2 for China and India and EB-3 China. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its June 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date...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

USCIS Proposes Hike in Filing Fees

On May 4, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register for comment in connection with a proposed increase in fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefits. ...more

Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program

During World War II there were thousands of Filipinos who bravely enlisted to fight for our United States. More than seventy years after service to our country, there are still an estimated 2,000 to 6,000 Filipino-American...more

Reports of Scam Letters Being Sent to L-1A Executives

Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have reported that suspicious letters are being sent to L-1A executives. The scam letters claim to be from USCIS and signed by Lori Scialabba, Deputy Director of...more

50-State Survey of State Immigration Laws Affecting Employers

This survey is an update on this rapidly evolving area of the law in all 50 states and focuses on laws and bills that could potentially impact employers and their worker eligibility obligations beyond existing federal...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

DHS Proposes To Raise Filing Fees By 21%

In a proposed rule published in the May 4 Federal Register, DHS is proposing to raise its fees by an average of 21% to recover the full cost of USCIS operations. DHS is also proposing to establish a three-level fee for...more

Government Filing Fee Changes May Be Coming Soon

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to increase filing and processing fees for certain applications. The proposed rule will be open to comment from the public until...more

USCIS Has Completed Data Entry of FY 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

On May 2, 2016, USCIS announced that it has completed data entry for all FY 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in this year’s lottery. H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the lottery are being returned....more

USCIS Announces FY 2017 H-1B Visa Cap Lottery Complete

On May 2, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed the data entry of all FY 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions for both the “advanced degree” exemption petitions as well as the...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

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