United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Department of Homeland Security

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

EB-5 Legislative Update

While the 10,000 visas that have been set aside for the EB-5 foreign investor program are part of the permanent law, the regional center program, which allows businesses and developers to aggregate the investment proceeds for...more

State Department Revises October 2015 Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) just issued a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin. As we noted in our last Alert, the DOS recently changed the format of its Visa Bulletin to add cutoffs for application dates. These are...more

Client Alerts Update: Filing Date Retrogression: U.S. Department of State Releases Revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015

On September 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released a revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015. This bulletin supersedes the October 2015 bulletin originally published on September 9, 2015. Following...more

White House Report Offers Roadmap for Modernizing & Streamlining the U.S. Immigration System

On July 15, 2015, in an action that sought to confront a number of the U.S. legal immigration system’s lingering problems, the White House issued a report entitled “Modernizing & Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for...more

Department of State and Department of Homeland Security Announce a Major Change to the Visa Bulletin

On September 9, 2015, the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security, acting through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced that they were significantly revising Visa Bulletin procedures....more

White House Report Offers Ideas for Streamlining, Improving Immigration System

The White House, in concert with the Secretary of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has issued a report that proposes ways improve the legal immigration process. The report, Modernizing & Streamlining Our...more

Obama Proposal Would Allow More Illegal Aliens to Stay in US While Seeking Legal Status

A proposal by President Barack Obama would expand the number of illegal aliens who are permitted to remain in the United States while applying for legal status. Federal law currently requires aliens who entered the country...more

Important Changes to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin

On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced important changes impacting certain individuals in the permanent residence (“green card”) process. This...more

Federal Court Vacates STEM Extension Program

Current STEM OPT holders not affected until February 2016. A federal judge's ruling earlier this month invalidated the 17-month extension of optional practical training (OPT) for international students in the science,...more

The New L-1B Adjudications Policy, Effective August 31

The recently issued U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final policy memorandum on L-1B visas clarifies the requirements for a sponsoring multinational organization transferring international personnel to the...more

What is going on with STEM OPT?

A recent federal court ruling has created uncertainty and speculation about the STEM OPT program. This summary is provided to inform employers and F-1 STEM students of the facts about the effect of this decision....more

Employment Law - August 2015 #2

The Customer Isn't Always Right—Especially When He Harasses Employees: Why it matters - Providing an important reminder about the potential for liability from customers, a new lawsuit was filed against a supermarket...more

Immigration Alert: Decision Overturning 17-month OPT/STEM Extensions is stayed as USCIS scrambles to cure deficiencies

On August 12, 2015, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt a blow to employers by vacating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 interim rule expanding the...more

Proposed Expansion of E-Verify Services and Obligations Could Add New Burdens for Employers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced its intention to expand not only its E-Verify communication services but also implement new obligations for employers that participate in the E-Verify...more

Knock, Knock: Who’s there?

Due to a contempt hearing scheduled for August 19, 2015 in the case of the State of Texas v. United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking radical measures to recover all three-year Employment...more

White House Releases Report on Improving and Modernizing the Immigration System to Meet 21st Century Needs

Earlier this month, the White House released a review of the United States’ immigration policies in a report entitled, “Modernizing & Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.” The Report highlights key...more

Executive Action Update: 3 Year EADs Issued After 2/16/15 Injunction Must Be Returned by 7/17/15

It is no surprise that the implementation of this administration’s executive actions has run into a series of political and legal snags. But what is surprising is the administration’s response or overall handling of the...more

Update on Temporary Protected Status

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland security designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for a period of 18 months, effective June 24, 2015 through December 24, 2016, based on the conditions...more

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