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

Hybrid Visa Offers Alternative to Limited H-1B Visa

For an ever-increasing number of U.S. employers, the start of another calendar year also means H-1B season has arrived. However, given the competitive nature of the H-1B program, many employers are turning to an alternative...more

Taking the Temperature of Immigration Policy for Nurses

As we enter the throes of cold and flu season, thoughts naturally turn to matters of health and so it seems fitting that HRLegalist takes a look at visa options for foreign RNs, which has traditionally been more difficult...more

USCIS Processing Delays for H-1B Extensions Continue

As many have noticed, the processing of H-1B extensions at the California Service Center and Vermont Service Center continue to be extremely slow, and the backlog is causing significant hardships for those affected...more

60 Day Comment Period on Proposed Changes to Form I-9 Ended on January 25, 2016

On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a 60 day notice of proposed changes to the Form I-9 in the Federal Register. The 60 day public comment period ended on January 25, 2016....more

April 1 Deadline for Filing H-1B Visa Petitions Approaches

As of April 1, 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017). Upon approval, petitions for FY2017 will allow foreign nationals to work for...more

Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap Season Quickly Approaching

On Friday, April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2017 cap (FY 2017)....more

FY17 H-1B Cap Filings Begin April 1, 2016

U.S. employers who sponsor foreign workers for temporary H-1B work visas should be aware that April 1, 2016, is the earliest date that new H-1B petitions may be filed to count against the upcoming FY17 quota (or “cap”)....more

Department of State Releases February 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based adjustment of status applicants must file using the Application Final Action Dates chart. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its February 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out...more

STEM OPT Update: Program Remains Valid Through May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the stay of vacatur of the current STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program until May 10, 2016, providing the...more

Court Allows DHS Until May 10, 2016, to Issue New STEM OPT Rule

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until May 10, 2016, to correct the procedural defects to its STEM OPT rule. The prior deadline had been February 12, 2016, to...more

April 1, 2016 - H-1B “Lottery” Begins Again!

USCIS to accept new H-1B filings beginning April 1, 2016. Filing by April 7th will be critical: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting filings of new H-1B petitions on April 1st for the fiscal year...more

Breaking Immigration News: F-1 OPT STEM Decision Extended Until May 10, 2016; Gives DHS Additional Time to Implement Final Rule

On January 23, 2016, Judge Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the current stay of her prior order which will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize...more

“H-1B Season” to begin April 1, 2016 – Employer Action Needed Now

USCIS Will Complete the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process on April 7th - NOW is the time to identify employees who may need H-1B status to continue working in the United States and begin preparations to file an H-1B petition...more

Changes Ahead for Highly Skilled Workers

On December 31, 2015, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register in furtherance of President Obama’s executive action to modernize, improve and clarify certain...more

Good News for F-1 International Students: STEM OPT Authorization Allowed Beyond February 12

Federal court rules to allow limited relief of court’s order to May 10, 2016. On January 23, Federal Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle granted a request by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the possible...more

Adeus, Brasil - Parte 1

Considerações estratégicas para profissionais e donos de empresas que desejam imigrar para os Estados Unidos. Descrição geral - Sou um advogado americano e concluí os cursos de espanhol e português na Academia...more

Getting a Family-Based Green Card

Family immigration laws make it easier for relatives of U.S. citizens to gain permanent residency in America. With sponsorship, they can can apply for permanent residency status or an immigration visa number based on...more

Powerball for H-1B Visas

Lottery mania has been sweeping the nation as Powerball winnings exceeded $1 billion for the first time. For highly skilled foreign nationals and the employers who desire to employ them, a different kind of lottery mania is...more

Understanding Temporary Employment Visas

Foreign workers who enter the United States on temporary employment visas come from various occupations. These include technology specialists, scientists, researchers, nurses, agricultural workers,religious workers, athletes,...more

A Court Must Expressly Retain Jurisdiction to Enforce the Terms of a Settlement Agreement

In Mirsad Hajro and James R. Mayock v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al. (collectively, “USCIS”), 2016 S.O.S. 11-17948, The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals held that it had jurisdiction to review...more

Time to Get Ready for the H-1B Season

The most common H work visa is the H-1B which is for “specialty occupations.” A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in a specific field of study as a minimum for entry into...more

Critical Filing Dates for FY 2017 H-1B Cap

Employers who wish to sponsor H-1B workers for Fiscal Year 2017 can begin filing petitions on April 1, 2016 for a start date of October 1, 2016. The H-1B visa is used by businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals to...more

H-1B Visa - 2016 Filing Season

Starting April 1, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting H-1B visa petition filings – subject to the annual cap – for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2016....more

High-Skilled Foreign Workers: New Rules From USCIS on H-1B Work Visas, AC21, I-140 Petitions and EADs

The long-awaited proposed rule — “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers” (aka I-140/AC21/EAD Proposed Rule) — was published in the Federal...more

H-1B Cap Filing Season Begins on April 1, 2016

On Friday April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap. It is critical that employers begin preparation as soon as possible for...more

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