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

Indians Dominate Ranks of IT Workers on H-1B Visas

About 87 percent of H-1B visas for computer jobs are issued to Indians, according to a Computerworld analysis of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) data. The publication look at about 76,000 H-1B visas issued...more

The Department of Homeland Security offers important guidance relevant to foreign national job portability

On November 20, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") issued a significant draft policy memorandum ("PM") containing proposed guidance on the definition of "same or similar" under INA Section 204(j), which is...more

Expect the Unexpected – Delays in Processing O and P Petitions

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has sent out an alert that O and P petitions are currently taking approximately eight to ten weeks to be processed, which is much longer than the Vermont and California Service...more

Purging of E-Verify Records Older Than Ten Years Every Year In January Necessitates The Use Of The Historic Records Report in...

In accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records retention and disposal schedule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) disposes of E-Verify records that are over 10 years old...more

Planning Ahead: H-1Bs for FY2017

As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is almost here! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017 on Friday, April 1, 2016. As such,...more

Important Updates for E-Verify Employers

Effective January 1, 2016, E-Verify employers in California face new penalties for misuse of E-Verify. Other updates to E-Verify include a data purge on January 1 as well as system enhancements to assist E-Verify...more

Don’t End Up on a USCIS List of Terminated EB-5 Regional Centers: Be Creative and on Time with your I-924A Filing

USCIS updated its online list of terminated EB-5 regional centers on October 22, 2015. In the coming two months, regional centers are required to comply with the requirement to file their Forms I-924A in order to update USCIS...more

EB-5 Regional Center Annual Reports are Due by December 29, 2015

During its most recent stakeholders teleconference, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded participants that regional center reports for 2015 Fiscal Year were due on October 1, 2015, and must be filed by no...more

EB-5 Due Diligence Matters

Private placement offerings are an increasingly active part of the securities business. One especially complicated and emerging area of private placements is the EB-5 Investor Visa Regional Center Program. Under the current...more

Holiday Planning Should Include H-1B Cap Planning

While it may seem early, the holiday season is a good time for employers to start preparing for the H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins October 1, 2016. Demand for the H-1B has steadily increased so that last year,...more

USCIS Announces Enhancements to E-Verify

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced enhancements to E-Verify. Following is a portion of the announcement....more

F-1 Optional Practical Training Proposed Rule Released; Work Authorization Expanded for STEM Students

The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled “Improving and...more

Choosing The Right Entertainment Industry Work Visa

As smartphone recording capabilities and the popularity of social media help entertainers reach wider audiences around the world, entertainers who wish to come to the United States to perform are, paradoxically, finding it...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

USCIS’ Draft of Policy Manual Guidance on Extreme Hardship Available for Comment

USCIS has released a draft of the USCIS policy manual guidance on extreme hardship. This manual includes guidance on several different topics including...more

Summary of Key New California Laws for 2016: What Employers Should Know

Governor Brown has signed several laws impacting California employers. A summary of some of the key new laws follows. The effective date of the particular new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) and/or...more

Immigration Corner: E-Verify Makes History and Help with Hardship Waivers

How long have you been using E-Verify? United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective January 1, 2016, all E-Verify transaction records that are more than ten years old will be deleted...more

DOS vs USCIS: Visa Bulletin Games

Last week USCIS issued guidance stating that it will advise which of the two visa bulletin charts; Dates for Filing Visa Applications or Application Final Action Date applicants should use....more

Immigration Updates: USCIS Announces Yet Another Change to the Visa Bulletin and STEM Graduates Granted a Reprieve by DHS

In our September 16th blog posting, we discussed the updated Visa Bulletin which provided a new chart for would-be immigrants. The new chart provides Dates for Filing Applications, or the earliest dates when an applicant may...more

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees...more

USCIS Announces New System for Confirming Filing Eligibility for Adjustment of Status Applicants

In accordance with significant procedural revisions announced in September and implemented by the Department of State (DOS) with the publication of the revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration...more

Visa Bulletin: More Changes Impacting the I-485 Process

As previously reported in our legal update from September 10, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) made a major change to the Visa Bulletin in early September. Then, on September 25, 2015, that Visa Bulletin was rescinded and...more

Proposed DHS Rule May Save OPT STEM Extension

Foreign national students in F-1 status are generally allowed to apply for and obtain a one-year work permit, referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT). Certain students degrees from U.S. universities in specific...more

USCIS and DOS Attempt to Clarify Increasingly Complex Visa Bulletin Situation

Each month, the Department of State (“DOS”) publishes current immigrant visa availability information in its Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available to prospective immigrants...more

Employers Using E-Verify: Get Ready to Download Your “Historic Records Report” by Year-End

U.S. employers enrolled in E-Verify -- the electronic system of employment eligibility verification -- should prepare to download and preserve all E-Verify data submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...more

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