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

USCIS Releases Much-Anticipated L-1B Specialized Knowledge Proposed Guidance Memorandum

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a much-anticipated proposed policy memorandum on adjudication of the L-1B “specialized knowledge” nonimmigrant visa category. USCIS Director León Rodríguez said...more

L-1B Policy Development: USCIS Issues L-1B Adjudications Memo for Comment

Today, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum that provides guidance to field adjudicators on things to consider while adjudicating an L-1B petition. Specifically, the new L-1B...more

Work Authorization Extended to Certain H-4 Visa Holders

Late last year, I wrote on the controversial executive actions on immigration that President Obama announced in November. As I noted then, those executive actions include several initiatives that will make it easier for...more

USCIS Resumes H-2B Adjudications But Premium Processing Remains Suspended

As previously reported, on March 5, 2015 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended processing of H-2B petitions for non-immigrant workers, due to the federal district court decision in Perez v. Perez, No....more

OPT Program Under Attack

While a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action has garnered headlines recently, another lawsuit that could negatively impact the labor supply and increase the cost of doing business for employers has largely...more

Premium Processing Delayed for FY16 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2015, for start dates of October 1, 2015 or later. ...more

Immigration Update: USCIS accepting FY2016 H-1Bs as of April 1, 2015

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) will accept cap-subject H-1B Petitions on April 1st, 2015 for start dates of October 1st, 2015 or later. ...more

USCIS Resumes Processing of H-2B Petitions

As reported on March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) suffered a setback as result of a ruling by a federal district court in the Northern District of Florida on March 4, 2015. Essentially, in Perez v. Perez, No....more

H-1Bs, H-4s and H-2Bs – Oh, My! Big developments in the H Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications, and Expanded DACA and DAPA are...

Effective May 26, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting work authorization for H-4 spouses of two groups of H-1B nonimmigrant workers: those who have an approved I-140 petition...more

The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration Are Further Delayed

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an emergency motion with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen last month in lawsuit filed by...more

What H-4 Visa Holders Need to Know about Employment Authorization

Under new rules announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the end of February, beginning May 26, 2015, H-4 visa holders who are the dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders will be eligible for employment...more

Employment Authorization Document for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that effective May 26, 2015 it will be extending eligibility for U.S. employment authorization to certain H-4 spouses of foreign nationals in H-1B status pursuing...more

Coming to America (for Business) - Using the L1 Visa as an Alternative to EB 5

Overview - As a long term veteran of the financial services industry, I have learned that in many cases, people do not “buy” a product or service but instead are “sold”” the product or service that the advisor is...more

States Start Mandating Use of E-Verify

The use of E-Verify – a computer system provided to employers by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees – has exploded...more

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions Following Court Order

As of March 5, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers the appropriate response to...more

USCIS Predicts Random Lottery for H-1B Cap and Announces Premium Processing to Start on May 11

April 1, 2015, is the first day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B cap-subject petitions for next year's allotment of visas for foreign national professionals in specialty occupations. ...more

What Employment Visas Are Available for Foreign Worker?

Employers are, with increasing frequency, looking overseas to fill their employment needs. Not only can hiring foreign nationals help a company fill a specific position, but hiring highly-skilled foreign nationals –...more

Overcoming H-1B Challenges – Qualifying Through Work Experience and the Three-for-One Rule

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” In simple terms, “specialty occupation” means an occupation which requires at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a professional field. ...more

Adjudication of H-2B Petitions Temporarily Suspended

On March 4, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) suffered a major blow as result of a ruling by a federal district court in the Northern District of Florida. Specifically, in Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Fla. Mar. 4,...more

Spouses of H-1B Workers Can Now Seek Employment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that, beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 visa holders will be eligible for employment authorization. Currently, H-4 visa holders – dependent spouses and children...more

New Immigration Regulations Authorize Employment for Certain H-4 Spouses

Starting May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will be permitted to apply for work authorization in the United States. Those permitted to work include individuals in H-4 status whose H-1B spouses...more

Avoiding an Immigration Nightmare: The Importance of Knowing When a Work Visa is Necessary

On January 30, 2015, Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joel Peralta faced what many business immigration practitioners would refer to as an avoidable immigration nightmare....more

House Relents on DHS Funding Debate; Leaves Executive Action on Immigration to Be Fought in the Courts

Legislative Update: On March 3, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to strip language that would have rolled back President Obama’s executive action on immigration out of a hotly contested Department of Homeland...more

Congress Finally Funds DHS & USCIS

Congress finally passed a funding bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security (including USCIS) open. It will now be sent to President Obama’s desk for his signature (he is expected to sign the bill). The bill will fund...more

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