Archives: USCIS

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15,000 Increase in H-2B Visas Comes with Strings Attached

An additional 15,000 H-2B visas will be released in response to industry demand. The USCIS will begin accepting petitions on July 19, 2017, for the fiscal year which ends on September 30, 2017. Petitions will be accepted until the 15,000 visas run out or until September 15, 2017, whichever comes first. This is only a … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases New Form I-9 and New Handbook for Employers

On July 17, 2017, the USCIS announced the release of a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The revised version may be used immediately but it must be used no later than September 18, 2017. Employers can continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through September 17, 2017. Employers … Continue Reading

USCIS May Request I-9

The USCIS is requesting some applicants for Adjustment of Status to submit copies of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms that they (and their employers) completed for current or former employment. These requests are coming as RFEs or from local USCIS field officers. The stated purpose is to help determine benefit eligibility, particularly to determine … Continue Reading

DOL, USCIS Continue Focus on H-1B Visa Abuse

With his “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, President Donald Trump officially announced his intention to reform the H-1B visa program and the DOL and the USCIS are taking steps accordingly. In April, the DOL announced it would be investigating violations of the H-1B visa program, “cautioning employers who petition for H-1B visas not to … Continue Reading

Expect Redesigned Green Cards from USCIS

After May 1, 2017, be on the lookout for redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). The USCIS will start issuing newly styled cards on May 1 as part of the “Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project” to make cards highly secure and more tamper-resistant. New Green Cards and EADs will: Display the individual’s … Continue Reading

State Department Orders ‘Extreme Vetting’

State Department Secretary Rex Tillerson has directed all consular chiefs to determine which populations of visa applicants should be subject to additional “extreme” vetting.  The March 15 direction is in response to President Donald Trump’s March 6 “Travel Ban” Executive Order and Presidential Memorandum on “extreme vetting.” The Memo directed the U.S. Attorney General and … Continue Reading

Future of H-4 Work Permits Uncertain

In 2015, the Obama Administration DHS issued the H-4 EAD Rule allowing certain spouses of H-1B holders to obtain EADs and work while waiting to become permanent residents.  Soon thereafter, a group of high-tech workers, Save Jobs USA, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that the DHS lacked … Continue Reading

Restrictions on Personal Electronic Devices, including Laptops, on Flights from 10 Airports

No personal electronic devices (PEDs) larger than a cellphone or smartphone, such as a laptop computer or e-reader, can be carried into the cabin of airplanes flying directly to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, the DHS and TSA announced on March 21, 2017. Following are the airports: … Continue Reading

Revised Travel Ban Blocked

Late on March 15, Judge Derrick Watson of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide injunction blocking the revised travel ban Executive Order that was scheduled to take effect on March 16.  In addition, on March 16, Maryland U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang, in a less sweeping order, granted a nationwide injunction … Continue Reading

Courts Hold Hearings on Administration’s Travel Ban

President Donald Trump’s revised Executive Order with its revised travel ban is scheduled to become effective just after midnight on March 16. While the revised Order regarding the travel ban is a bit of a retreat from the original, states have wasted no time trying to block the Order and hearings in two of these … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Immigration Actions’ Disproportionate Impact on Certain Industries

The food, construction, and healthcare sectors are concerned about fallout from the crackdown on immigration called for in Secretary John Kelly’s Implementation Memos, President Donald Trump’s travel ban, and possible new legislation aimed at reducing overall immigration by 50% within 10 years. Those sectors suffer from labor shortages already and have relied on immigrants to … Continue Reading

Legislative and Other Challenges to Immigration Executive Order

Following recent ICE arrests of 680 individuals in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, and New York City areas, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced a bill to nullify the effect of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, “Enhancing Public Security in the Interior of the United States.” … Continue Reading

Opposition to Travel Ban EO Includes Tech Firms and Others

After oral arguments on February 9th, the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s request to reinstate the travel ban EO. State of Washington v. Trump. More than 135,000 people listened to the Ninth Circuit oral argument, which was conducted by phone and had no video, on the Court’s own live stream. News websites also carried the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Denies Government’s Motion to Stay District Court’s Order Blocking Travel Ban

In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay of President Trump’s travel ban.  The Court found in favor of the State of Washington on all of its arguments and held that the Administration had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of the case. … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Update: Court Refused Emergency Government Request to Continue Implementation of EO

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has denied the government’s request for an emergency “pause” of Judge James Robart’s TRO prohibiting implementation of the EO barring individuals from seven countries to enter the United States. The Court ordered briefs to be submitted on an expedited basis with the final brief due by … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Fact Sheet and Guidance on Automatic Extensions of EAD and I-9 Compliance

Among the last rules issued during the Obama Administration, Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers went into effect on January 17, 2017. One of its provisions allows for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) for up to 180 days if … Continue Reading

State Department Confirms No Plan to Add Countries to Travel Ban under Executive Order

The Department of State has confirmed to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) that there is no immediate plan to add any other countries to the current list of seven under President Donald Trump’s “Protecting  the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order signed on January 27, 2017. In the chaos surrounding … Continue Reading

Travel Update Under Trump’s Executive Order

While daily governmental guidance for affected individuals, in the United States and abroad, has followed the signing of Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” on January 27, 2017, reports of inconsistent treatment of individuals abound. The following illustrates some of the confusion regarding individuals “from” Iraq, Iran, Libya, … Continue Reading

Congress Considers Visa Bill Ahead of Expected Immigration Executive Order

Perhaps anticipating an Executive Order from the White House on business immigration reforms, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.), who represents Silicon Valley, has introduced a bill that calls for many reforms. The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017, similar to a bill introduced by Representative Darrell Issa (R-Cal.), raises wage levels related to certain H-1B … Continue Reading
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