News & Analysis as of

H-1B Visas

The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly... more +
The H-1B visa program allows U.S. employers to hire temporary nonimmigrant workers for specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are defined as occupations requiring the application of a "body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent." Examples of specialty occupations include chemistry, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and architecture, to name a few. Individuals may not apply for H-1B visas; they are distributed only through the approval of employer petitions. In order to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition resulting from the program, the rules require that employers pay nonimmigrant workers equivalent wages to similarly-situated U.S. workers or the industry's prevailing wage. H-1B visas are subject to a yearly cap which is currently set at 85,000.   less -

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019 on April 2, 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) starting April 2, 2018. Because April 1, 2018 falls on a Sunday, USCIS will accept...more

U.S. Citizenship Services Rescinds Former Deferential Policy Regarding Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

U.S. Citizenship Services (USCIS) rescinded its long-honored policy guidelines that were instituted in April 2004, and were in effect until October 23, 2017 regarding giving deference to the adjudication of prior nonimmigrant...more

USCIS Formalizes Policy On Lack Of Deference To Previously Approved Petitions

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

All I-129 petitions, whether initial requests or requests for extension of visa status, will be subject to the same level of scrutiny, USCIS has confirmed. The agency will no longer defer to the findings of a previously...more

H-1B Work Site Visits Expected To Increase: What Employers Need To Know

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

On October 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General issued Report OIG-18-03, “USCIS Needs a Better Approach to Verify H-1B Visa Participants”, targeting fraud in immigration processes,...more

USCIS Reverses Policy on Temporary Visa Extensions

by Foley Hoag LLP on

On Monday, October 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reversed a long-standing policy regarding non-immigrant extension petitions. Historically, as memorialized in an April 23, 2004 USCIS policy...more

Departments of Justice and State Announce Joint Effort Targeting Visa-Abusing Employers

The federal government’s intent to increase restrictions on legal and illegal immigration is no secret to any U.S. business. The Trump administration’s various proposals have included ones intended to deal with perceived...more

What’s New in Immigration Law?

by Dickinson Wright on

USCIS Permits Certain EAD Applicants to apply for a Social Security Number on Form I-765 - Based on a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security...more

Are You Prepared? Recent U.S Immigration Law Changes that Will Impact Your Business

by BakerHostetler on

After some earlier versions that encountered significant resistance and judicial challenge, President Donald Trump issued a Proclamation on Sept. 24 that restricts travel to the United States by nationals of eight countries –...more

US Resumes Premium Processing for H1-B Visas

by Ronald Shapiro on

After premium processing of H-1B visas was temporarily suspended because of a large number of applications for work visas, the US is now resuming it. The H-1B visa is a work visa intended to allow companies in the US to...more

DHS Uses the Power of Policy to Alter Immigration Without Legislation

Efforts to reform our nation’s immigration system through legislation are frequently contentious and can become embroiled in larger legislative debates that make the passage of a bill into law a complicated process and,...more

Trump Administration Plans Large Scale Shift in Immigration Laws

President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are now exploring different options to fundamentally transform the immigration system in the United States without legislative action by Congress, according to CNN...more

Business Immigration Update: October H-1B Reminders, Information on Employment-Based I-485 Interviews and Trump Administration...

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

October brings seasonal reminders for employees who are starting employment pursuant to H-1B status as well as some current changes to employment-based permanent resident applicants. In addition, the White House has issued...more

U.S. and Turkey Suspend Nonimmigrant Visa Services

On October 8, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, announced that it has suspended all nonimmigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey. “Recent events have forced the United States Government to...more

Beltway Buzz - October, 2017

Tax Reform Gets Under Way; Special Interest Groups Already Bustling.As soon as the Republican-controlled Congress cast aside (however momentarily) its attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to focus on tax reform,...more

Timing is Everything

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

In immigration news, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 that it has resumed its premium processing program for all H-1B visa petitions. USCIS had previously suspended...more

Premium Processing for H-1Bs Resumes

by Davis Brown Law Firm on

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

Premium Processing Resumed for all H-1B Petitions

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC on

USCIS announced that it has resumed premium processing for all H-1B visa petitions after a six month suspension of the program for these petitions. Over the past few months, USCIS has progressively re-opened premium...more

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing For ALL H-1B Petitions

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

On October 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting premium processing requests for all categories of H-1B petitions. In March 2017, USCIS had suspended the premium...more

Premium Processing Resumes for All H-1B Petitions

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: On October 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective immediately it would resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions....more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

by Epstein Becker & Green on

On October 3, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) reinstated the premium processing service for all H-1B petitions, effective immediately. USCIS had temporarily suspended the premium processing...more

USCIS Announces Sweeping Changes To Policies Involving In-Person Interviews, H-1B Premium Processing, Employment Authorization And...

On September 28, 2017, the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman hosted a stakeholder call that offered more details about the new personal interview requirements for employment-based adjustment...more

Premium Processing Reinstated for All H-1B Cases

by Cozen O'Connor on

USCIS announced that premium processing has been reinstated for all H-1B petitions. Effective October 3, 2017, employers may request to upgrade pending H-1B petitions to premium processing. Suspension of premium processing...more

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing Service for All H-1B Petitions

by Miller Canfield on

USCIS announced it has resumed premium processing for all types of H-1B petitions. Effective Oct. 3, 2017, employers may request to upgrade pending H-1B petitions with premium processing or file new H-1B petitions using...more

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

On October 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting premium processing requests for all categories of H-1B petitions. In March 2017, USCIS had suspended the premium...more

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions

by Strasburger & Price, LLP on

On October 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it would begin accepting Premium Processing Requests for H-1B petitions in every filing category. The program was temporarily suspended in April 2017 for H-1B filings, causing...more

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