United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Visas

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

The Other EB Visa for Foreign Investors? EB-1(c) Visas as an Alternative to the EB-5 Visa

Overview - I have written a few articles regarding the over-promotion of the EB-5 visa program from the standpoint that frequently the foreign investor’s desire for a Green Card is over-zealous before considering all of...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

USCIS Finalizes New Guidance on L-1B Specialized Knowledge Petitions

On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final Policy Memorandum on L-1B visa adjudications (L-1B Memo). The L-1 (intracompany transferee) nonimmigrant visa classification permits...more

Obergefell Expands The Number Of Individuals Potentially Eligible To Apply For Immigration Benefits

Obergefell effectively expands the number of individuals who would be eligible to submit immigration applications on behalf of a same-sex spouse because same sex marriage is now legal across the country, rather than in a...more

USCIS Final Guidance on L-1B Adjudications Offers Some Comfort—But No Cure—for Employer Concerns

On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum aiming to clarify the standard required for L-1B specialized knowledge visas. The memorandum notably begins by reminding...more

Immigration Corner: Time to Get Simeio-Compliant, Faster H-1Bs, a Permanent Resident Card Refresher and Increased Security...

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now published a final policy memorandum designed to bring employers into compliance with the ruling in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and to assess whether H-1B...more

U.S. Visa Categories Leave Entrepreneurs Few Options

Many of Julie Ferguson’s immigration law clients are entrepreneurs seeking to launch startups in the United States. They come from all over the world, but Ms. Ferguson, who practices in Miami, sees especially high numbers...more

H-1B Update – New Petition Required When Work Location Changes – the World is Global, but U.S. Immigration is Local

While the 21st Century is a time of globalization, a time where with telecommuting and virtual offices there is a re-examination of whether there is still significance to your geographical location, United States Citizenship...more

H-1B Update – Is an Employer Required to file an H-1B Amendment Petition Due to a Change in Work Location which Occurred Prior to...

USCIS, on July 21, 2015, issued final guidance as to the implementation of Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (Simeio). The Simeio decision requires employers to file an amended H-1B petition anytime an employee is moved to...more

West Virginia Amends State Rule Verifying Legal Employment Status of Workers

On July 1, 2015, a new legislative rule amending the procedures required for West Virginia employers to verify the legal employment status of their workers went into effect in West Virginia. Pursuant to section 21-1B-4 of the...more

USCIS Says Green Cards Without Signatures Are Acceptable I-9 Documentation

USCIS recently announced that permanent resident cards (also known as “green cards”) that say “signature waived”, on the front and back of where a signature would normally be located, are acceptable documents to prove...more

USCIS Releases Final Guidance on H-1B Job Site Changes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released final guidance on a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision requiring amended or new H-1B petitions for workers who change job sites. These requirements...more

USCIS Releases Final Guidance on H-1B Job Site Changes

On Tuesday July 21, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released final guidance on a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision requiring amended or new H-1B petitions for workers who change job...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extension Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will resume accepting Requests for Premium Processing for all H-1B extension petitions effective July 13, 2015. Premium processing for H-1B extensions had...more

USCIS Completes Return of H-1B Petitions Not Selected in the Lottery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 14, 2015, that it completed processing the return of fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in its “computer-generated random...more

USCIS Clarifies Position on Worksite Changes and Need to File Amended H-1B Petitions

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued guidance on changes in H-1B (visa) work locations in the wake of the Administrative Appeals Office's (AAO) April 9, 2015 decision in Matter of...more

FY2016 Cap Petition Return Complete

USCIS announced on July 14, 2015, that it completed the return of rejected fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions. It was previously announced on May 4, 2015, that USCIS completed data entry of all selected...more

Preview of Potential Changes to EB-5 Immigration Program: Source of Financing for Construction and Hospitality Projects

With the impending expiration of the Immigrant Investor Visa Program, also known as EB-5, in September, bipartisan legislation has been proposed in Congress to renew and improve the Program. The proposed changes could...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Service for H-1B Extensions

As of today, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume accepting premium processing requests for H-1B extensions. Any premium processing request for H-1B extensions received prior to July 13, 2015 will be...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

USCIS announced that beginning July 13, 2015, the agency will resume accepting premium processing requests for H-1B extension of stay applications. This provides an early cancellation of the previous USCIS directive...more

Employers That Need To File H-1B CAP Cases Will Now Need To Wait Until FY 2017

In April 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 85,000 total visas for fiscal year 2016, within the first week of the filing...more

EB-5 Program Reauthorization: Proposed Legislative Reforms

Created by the Immigration Act of 1990, the Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly referred to as the EB-5 program, offers foreign investors an opportunity to secure permanent residency in the United States by making a...more

Employers Beware: If You Moved an H-1B Worker Without Advising USCIS, You Have Until August 19, 2015 to Make Amends

A recent binding decision issued by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has complicated even further the confusing rules governing employer obligations in the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program. Part of U.S....more

Job Relocations May Trigger Need for Amended H1-B Petition

Before moving an employee with an H1-B visa to a different office or worksite, the employer may have to file an amended H1-B petition, according to a recent US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative...more

Visa Processing Nearly Back Online After Critical Hardware Failure, but Bottleneck May Take Weeks to Clear

After a major hardware failure on June 9th that created significant delays in processing and issuing visas, the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) for U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide is nearly back online. As of...more

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