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

Lawsuits Question Procedure and Substance of H-1B Lottery

Late this spring, two lawsuits were filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about and challenging the administration of the H-1B visa...more

DHS Announces Changes to Benefit Undocumented Immigrants

On July 29, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule that expands eligibility or a provisional waiver of unlawful presence, (‘‘provisional waiver’’). For readers who are unfamiliar with the provisional...more

Immigration Update: August 2016 Visa Bulletin; Increased Fines for I-9 and Other Immigration Violations; USCIS Returns Unselected...

Tracking newsworthy developments in the ever-changing world of business immigration and its impact on employers and employees. This month: August 2016 Visa Bulletin; Increased Fines for I-9 and Other Immigration...more

2016 Business Immigration Updates – Getting Through the Long Days of Summer

August ushers in a host of immigration-related news and updates, ranging from fine increases to wait times for visa appointments. Stay up-to-date with some quick notes on these issues. DOJ Fines Increase as of August 1,...more

STEM OPT 7-Month Extension Application Deadline Coming Up on Monday, August 8

On March 11, 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule pertaining to optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics...more

DHS Expands the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

Today, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized a rule that expands eligibility for provisional waivers of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence. The provisional unlawful presence waiver...more

Report Shows Better Oversight Needed for DHS Fee-Collecting Programs

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report after examining the way the U.S. Department of Security (DHS) manages the billions of dollars it collects from its various programs. In FY 2014, DHS...more

Proposed Changes to E-Verify

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is in the process of reviewing public comments and considering revisions to its recently proposed changes to the E-Verify program. USCIS’ Supporting Statement...more

Lawsuit Against DHS and USCIS Seeks Transparency in H-1B Lottery Process

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The...more

Department of Homeland Security Now Accepting Comments on Its Proposed Filing Fee Increase

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued notice of a proposed rule that would update the application fee schedule for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), noting an overall...more

To E-Verify or Not to E-Verify: That Will No Longer Be a Question for Some Tennessee Employers

Beginning in 2017, Tennessee will require employers with 50 or more employees to enroll in the E-Verify system for the purpose of verifying the citizenship or work authorization status of their workers. E-verify is an...more

Department of Homeland Security Proposes USCIS Fee Increases

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed increasing the fees that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges for certain immigration and naturalization filings. The proposal...more

Immigration Update: Rule Changes for International Student Workers

Many of our clients employ international students in a status known as "F-1/OPT," which is "Optional Practical Training," a program similar to an internship that allows international students to get practical work experience...more

New 24-Month F-1 STEM OPT Extension Rule Now Effective; Employers Required to Implement Training Plan for Eligible F-1 STEM OPT...

The long-awaited final rule on the F-1 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension, authorizing a new 24-month STEM extension for qualified foreign students, took...more

Ready or not, the new STEM OPT rule is in play!

As higher education institutions with international students should already be aware, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently published a new regulation that provides eligible F-1 graduates from STEM programs in...more

Major Modifications to Immigration Programs May Cause Major Headaches

Today, I’m delighted to bring you what I hope will be the first of several updates for employers from the immigration law perspective. One of my newest colleagues, Ashley Mendoza, along with my law partner Brenda Eckert,...more

50-State Survey of State Immigration Laws Affecting Employers

This survey is an update on this rapidly evolving area of the law in all 50 states and focuses on laws and bills that could potentially impact employers and their worker eligibility obligations beyond existing federal...more

Approaching the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s New STEM OPT Extension Regulations with Caution

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will implement major modifications to Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) extensions for students on F-1 visas enrolled in science, technology,...more

DHS Proposes To Raise Filing Fees By 21%

In a proposed rule published in the May 4 Federal Register, DHS is proposing to raise its fees by an average of 21% to recover the full cost of USCIS operations. DHS is also proposing to establish a three-level fee for...more

Government Filing Fee Changes May Be Coming Soon

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to increase filing and processing fees for certain applications. The proposed rule will be open to comment from the public until...more

U.S. Government Expands Job Opportunities for Foreign STEM Students

As HR Legalist has reported, the H-1B Cap has been met for FY2017. USCIS received over 236,000 petitions. From among this number were selected the congressionally mandated limit of 65,000 regular cap H-1B petitions, and an...more

DHS Increases Period of STEM Optional Practical Training to 24 months: Imposes Additional Requirements on Employers and F-1...

The U.S. government never gives without getting something in return, and the same is true with the new STEM 24-month, Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program. On March 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published...more

Pilot Program May Soon Help Streamline Employment-based Visa Process

On March 3, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a pilot program called “Known Employer” to streamline the process by which employers who sponsor foreign national workers send documents and...more

DHS Releases Published F-1 Visa STEM OPT Regulation

On March 11, 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final regulation for F-1 nonimmigrant students on optional practical training (OPT) with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

New STEM OPT Rules: More than Just an Extra Seven Months of Work Authorization

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule on enhancements to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering...more

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