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

Immigration Alert: September 2014

Sixth Circuit Expands the Liability of Health Care Employers for Sponsorship Costs - On August 20, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in Kutty v. U.S. Department of Labor, No....more

India EB-2 Expected to Retrogress

The second preference employment based category for immigrant petitions for Indian nationals is expected to retrogress as early as November. ...more

EB-5 Visas and China “Retrogression” – What’s it all about?

In the past, when China exceeded its 7% allocation of US Immigrant Investor Visas (EB-5 visas), Chinese applicants were permitted to take advantage of unused EB-5 visas allotted to other countries. But as of the last week of...more

Reminder: USCIS Reviews All Immigration-Related Documentation in Employment-Based Adjustment Cases

Foreign nationals and immigration practitioners often wonder why USCIS requests all immigration status documents ever issued to an applicant when applying for adjustment of status based on employment. There is a long-standing...more

USCIS 2014 Ombudsman Annual Report Confirms Increased Scrutiny for L-1 Intracompany Transferrees

On June 27, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its 2014 Ombudsman Annual Report. The Ombudsman Annual Report confirms what employers and immigration attorneys have been experiencing for the past...more

Cap Gap Expiration Approaching: Some Employees' Work Authorization May End on October 1, 2014

Fiscal year 2015 cap-subject H-1B petitions selected and approved by USCIS will be valid starting October 1, 2014. However, as October 1, 2014 approaches, many cap-subject H-1B petitions remain pending at both the California...more

Duplicate Biometrics Appointment Notices

There are reports that USCIS is issuing a second biometrics appointment notice after receiving a prior notice over the past several weeks and appearing for biometrics capture. We understand that the American Immigration...more

How EB-5 Regional Centers and Sponsors Can Evaluate Broker-Dealer, Investment Company and Investment Adviser Registration...

This article is the first in a series of articles on how EB-5 regional centers and sponsors can evaluate broker-dealer, investment company and investment adviser registration requirements under U.S. securities laws....more

Alert – New Scam Targets Indian H-1b Applicants

Beware of a new scam, experienced by our clients and confirmed to have occurred by the American Immigration Lawyers Association to employees of other Indian companies. Callers, posing as officers of U.S. Citizenship and...more

Moore & Van Allen Immigration Update

Over the past three years, the L-1 Intracompany Transferee visa category has come under higher scrutiny from USCIS. Petitions for both L-1A Executive/Manager and L-1B Specialized Knowledge classifications continue to be...more

Ill-equipped or Ill-researched? A letter to the editor of Fortune Magazine

There’s an irony in Fortune Magazine’s July 24, 2014, article “The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program.” The article accuses foreign EB-5 investors of being “ill-equipped (or disinclined) to assess the...more

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issues New Guidance on H-1B Status for Nurses

On July 11, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum to provide updated guidance on the adjudication of H-1B petitions for nursing positions. The memorandum was issued in response to...more

Ebola Outbreak-related Immigration Relief Measures to Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Currently in the United States...

On August 15, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a press release addressing humanitarian relief that may potentially be available to nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who are currently...more

Lesser Known DOL Regulations: "Bona Fide" Terminations for H-1B Workers

Last week, we discussed whether you might be running a construction business. As I explained then, you have to look beyond the FLSA to comply with your wage and hour obligations, and that’s doubly true for employers who rely...more

E-Verify Update and Improvements

E-Verify has been operational since 1997 as part of a Basic Pilot Program to assist employers to verify electronically that a newly hired employee is authorized to work in the US. A number of states have made use of E-Verify...more

White House Immigration Update

On August 5th, the White House released a comprehensive update on President Obama’s efforts relating to immigration these past few months, including traveling to Texas in July to meet with local officials, faith leaders, and...more

Does the recognition of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania have any effect on immigration visa petitions for Pennsylvania citizens?

Immigration visas, unlike marriage recognitions, are regulated by the federal government, not the individual states. This means that the Pennsylvania Whitewood decision, albeit groundbreaking on a state level, has no effect...more

Hotel development & EB-5 financing: Why you don’t want to form your own regional center

How should hotel developers go after EB-5 financing? Although the EB-5 immigrant visa program has been around since 1990, the current trend of using this as a source of financing for hotel development began only three...more

The 5 questions every hotel developer is asking about EB-5 financing

In seeking to access EB-5 financing, our developer clients have asked a lot of questions, but most of them can really be summed up in the following 5 questions: 1. Will EB-5 work for me on my project? 2. How much...more

Special Immigration Alert: USCIS Releases Updated Guidance on H-1B Eligibility for Nurses

On July 21, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") released a policy memorandum ("PM"), dated July 11, 2014, which provided the first new guidance on H-1B eligibility for nurses in 12 years!...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: L-1 Visa Inspections Have Begun

The Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit of USCIS has begun inspecting L-1 visa holders as planned. FDNS has inspected (and likely is continuing to inspect) H-1B holders for several years. L-1s are the latest...more

August 2014 Visa Bulletin: Advancement of EB-3 China and EB-2 India Cut-off Dates

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, either...more

What is Happening Now in the Market for EB-5 Financing for Hotel, Multi-Family and Mixed Use Real Estate Developments

Competition for EB-5 Financing is Strong. Demand for EB-5 financing among U.S. real estate developers is at record high levels, and demand for high quality EB-5 investments in China remains strong. Marketing agents in...more

Discrimination Enforcement: Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), recently settled a claim alleging discrimination, based on unfair documentary practices during...more

Approved H-1B? Get the Ball Rolling on Your Consular Application Now!

Getting an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for new employment with a private employer in the United States has become an obstacle course that now even requires winning a lottery. The process has become so complicated that H-1B...more

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