News & Analysis as of

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

E-2 Visas May be Available to Israelis by end of 2015

On June 11, 2012, President Obama signed legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for nonimmigrant E-2 treaty investor visas. This was a substantial positive development in the creation of stronger...more

U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv Launches Online Videos about the Visa Process

What do Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have in common? The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is using all three to reach visa applicants. The goal is to educate the public in Israel about the visa process. With Israel being the app...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

Immigration and Nationality Act 50th Anniversary Series: National Origin Quotas to Skills & Family Based Immigration

Political Theater: President Johnson and the Bully Pulpit - Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave Representative Michael Feighan (D-OH) his famous “Johnson Treatment”—using his intimidating physicality to...more

CBP Announces the Expansion of Global Entry to UK Citizens

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced an expansion of the Global Entry program to include UK citizens at the World Travel Market in London. UK citizens can register beginning...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

2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Coming to a Close

On October 1, 2015, the US Department of State commenced accepting applications for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes available up to 50,000 immigrant visas...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

New System, Same Result

The new “two-pronged” priority date system announced recently by the U.S. State Department appears, thus far, to promise more of the same for foreign nationals in historically over-subscribed visa categories. The November...more

Immigration Update: Holiday Travel for U.S. Visa Holders

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, now is the best time for visa holders to review their travel documents and begin planning for renewals if necessary. Planning ahead can alleviate much of the stress of...more

Die DV-2017 Green Card Lotterie

Es ist wieder an der Zeit die Green Card Lotterie zu spielen! 50.000 Einwanderungsvisa werden von der US-Regierung verlost. Das Außenministerium wird die Anträge (E-DV Entry Form oder DS-5501) für die DV-2017 Green Card...more

DHS Publishes STEM OPT Rule - Potential New Benefits and Requirements

On Monday, October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its eagerly anticipated STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) rule in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period ending on November...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

New STEM OPT Extension Rules to Extend the Program Have Been Proposed

On October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published eagerly anticipated proposed STEM OPT Extension rules that, if adopted would allow U.S. employers greater flexibility for employing foreign nationals...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

DHS Proposes New Rule for STEM OPT Extension

New rule would extend STEM optional practical training to 24 months. On October 19, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

US Department of State Issues November 2015 Visa Bulletin

The new bulletin shows no movement in filing date cutoffs and little movement in approval date cutoffs for those chargeable to India and China. The November 2015 Visa Bulletin shows little change from the October 2015...more

DHS Submits New STEM OPT Rule for Comment

Today, October 19, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule modifying the existing optional practical training (“OPT”) available to certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

The DV-2017 Green Card Lottery - Register Before November 3, 2015

While some wait decades for their turn to receive a “green card”, and there are discussion about building walls to keep immigrants out of the U.S., 55,000 immigrant visas are “won” each year in a Green Card Lottery! It is...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

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

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery Offers Alternative Immigration Path for Employees Subject to Backlogs

The U.S. Department of State opened the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery registration for FY 2017 at noon eastern standard time (EST) on October 1, 2015. It will close on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at noon (EST). The DV program...more

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