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Premium Processing for H-1Bs Resumes

Premium processing (expedited review by the government) has resumed as of October 3, 2017, for all H-1B petitions. If you are interested in using premium processing for a new or pending H-1B petition, please let us know. ...more

10/6/2017  /  H-1B , USCIS , Visas

USCIS to Interview Most "Green Card" Applicants: Expect Delays

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has announced that effective October 1, 2017, applicants for “adjustment of status” (the last step in the “green card” process) based on employment sponsorship and for...more

Another New I-9 Form Becomes Mandatory September 18, 2017

It was only six months ago that the new fillable I-9 for went into effect, but just this week (July 17, 2017) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service published a new version, deleting the November 16, 2016, version from its...more

Trump Administration Takes Aim at H-1Bs

Besides the wall, another immigration-related theme made a frequent appearance in the presidential campaign: the H-1B visa. This program allows foreign nationals with a bachelor’s degree or higher (or the equivalent in...more

USCIS Announces Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1Bs filed on or after April 3, 2017

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) announced its plan to stop premium processing on the first working day of April (Monday April 3, 2017) for all H-1B filings. Background - “Premium processing” is a...more

3/7/2017  /  H-1B , Time Extensions , USCIS

REMINDER: New I-9 Form Now Required

The new version of the I-9 form is now required for all hires as of January 22, 2017. The form may be completed online, printed, and signed, or it may be printed and completed manually....more

1/24/2017  /  I-9 , Required Forms , USCIS

New Electronic I-9 Form - Some Bugs and Tricky Provisions

A new I-9 form was released this week, which will become mandatory on January 22, 2017. Until that time, employers may continue to use the “old” version (dated 03/08/2013). Electronic completion - The form now can...more

New STEM OPT Rule Goes Into Effect May 10: Good news and challenges

Both F-1 students and employers have been following the litigation over the F-1 OPT (optional practical training) program. The government was sued by tech workers in Washington, D.C. regarding a part of this program, the...more

Information about H-1B Filings FY2017

The H-1B “cap” petition filing deadline is quickly approaching. As a reminder, this is the national deadline for submitted petitions to sponsor workers in “specialty occupations” for those positions that are subject to the...more

3/31/2016  /  Filing Deadlines , H-1B , Lottery , OPT , STEM , USCIS , Visa Caps

New Immigrant Application Filing Dates Announced for October

Some hoped-for change is finally here. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) have coordinated a system to allow “early” filing of the final step in the green card process for...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

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Update on Visa Delays and H-1B News

Visa Delays World Wide - The Department of State (DOS) has announced that due to a central computer hardware problem, visa issuance has temporarily stopped. Applicants interviewed after June 9 will experience...more

EADs for H-4 Spouses Rule Announced

As promised since President Obama’s Executive Action of November 20, 2014, USCIS is amending its rules to allow work authorization for H-4 spouses in certain instances effective May 26, 2015. H-4 spouses (spouse...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: L-1 Visa Inspections Have Begun

The Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit of USCIS has begun inspecting L-1 visa holders as planned. FDNS has inspected (and likely is continuing to inspect) H-1B holders for several years. L-1s are the latest...more

8/5/2014  /  FDNS , Immigrants , L-1 , USCIS , Visas

Rule Allowing Work for Some H-4s, Expansion of EB1 OR Category Criteria and Automatic Work Extension for Others Progresses at...

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is publishing two proposed rules that are meant to help “attract and retain highly skilled workers”. Proposed rules do not go into effect until notice and...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: H-1B Filing Date Almost Upon Us: Considerations for Employers and Employees

With April 1 fast approaching, it is time to take a breath and make sure we have not overlooked anything in the rush to file the “cap” H-1Bs. Our office has made our list and is checking it twice – or three times (Santa has...more

3/24/2014  /  Filing Deadlines , H-1B , Immigrants , USCIS

Fraudulently-Used SSNs Can Now Be "Locked"

In an update that addresses one glaring gap in E-Verify, USCIS has announced that Social Security numbers that are used fraudulently (stolen, borrowed or purchased from someone else) will be “locked” in the system, generating...more

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 5 - Caution Regarding Use of "Automatic Visa Revalidation" for Mexican E Visa Applicants

In our final note on the CBP/AILA liaison minutes published this week, we are providing a caution regarding CBP’s interpretation of the automatic visa revalidation rules that could be yet another trap for the unwary, albeit...more

Border Entry Blog Series: Part 4 - CBP's Creative Interpretation of Status Violations

In the CBP/AILA liaison meeting, the minutes of which were published this week (see previous posts for more info), we note another (and even more) disturbing interpretation of immigration law by CBP that could take people by...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: The Government Shut Down: Is Immigration "Essential"?

In our view, yes. But in the federal government world, only parts of the immigration process are considered “essential” enough to proceed despite the lack of an approved budget. Even so, many immigration services continue to...more

10/2/2013  /  DOL , E-Verify , Government Shutdown , I-9 , ICE , USCIS

CBP awaiting "guidance" to form policy on same-sex marriage derivative admissions

Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services have taken active steps to prepare their agencies to receive applications relating to same-sex couples based on the Windsor decision....more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: USCIS Clarifies Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. On the immigration front, this means that a U.S. citizen same-sex spouse who is married to a non-citizen may now...more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Employees Will Now Receive Confirmation of TNCs by Email

If you are an E-Verify user, you know what a “TNC” is. It is a “tentative non-confirmation” provided when information entered in E-Verify cannot immediately be verified in the USCIS/SSA databases....more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Huge Leap for India EB2 in August

News travels fast, so you may have already heard that the waiting line for the EB2 (advance degree professional) category for India jumped from September 1, 2004, in July to January 1, 2008, for August....more

Iowa Immigration Law Blog: Family-based 2A Category Current for August

The waiting line for immigration of family members and those sponsored by their employers moves according to determinations made by the Department of State (DOS) each month....more

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