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H-1B Season Has Started!

Petitions for new H-1B visas are eligible to be filed on April 1, 2017, for federal FY 2018 beginning October 1, 2017. There are a limited number of new H-1B visas each year (65,000 and an additional 20,000 for foreign nationals with a U.S. Master’s degree or higher), which historically is used up within days … 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

Cuban Refugees Are Waiting at the Border

Many Cubans who were making the long and dangerous trek through jungles and other countries to the United States before the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20 are waiting at the U.S. border for word from the Trump Administration on how they will be treated. For decades, under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA), … 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

Executive Order Effects Immigration Ban

While at the Pentagon on January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order, essentially ordering that all foreign nationals from countries identified in the E.O. – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – be stopped from entering the United States. … Continue Reading

New Executive Order to Suspend Entry of Persons from Certain Countries Expected

Posted at 12:20 pm “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” is expected to be the next Executive Order on immigration from the Trump Administration. This Order is intended to “protect the American people from terrorist attacks” and “ensure that those admitted into our country do not bear hostile attitudes toward our country … Continue Reading

Improved Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Focus of Two Executive Orders

Posted at 10:34 am Border security and immigration law enforcement are the subject of two new Executive Orders from President Donald Trump released on January 25, 2017. “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” directs the Department of Homeland Security to start the process of constructing the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico immediately. The … Continue Reading

DHS Releases Proposed Amendments to EB-5 Regulations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released for public comment its amendments to the regulations governing the EB-5 Immigrant Investor classification: The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Rule. The EB-5 program provides green cards to foreigners who invest in projects that create at least 10 jobs. The standard required investment amount has been $1 … Continue Reading

International Entrepreneur Rule from DHS Encourages Start-Ups

In six months, on July 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security’s final rule to improve the nation’s economy by making it possible for certain promising start-up founders/entrepreneurs to begin growing their companies in the United States will become effective. The new rule amends the regulations on discretionary parole by adding provisions that will allow … Continue Reading

Congress Considers Halting Job Flexibility Rule, Bill to Change Employer H-1B Exemption Eligibility

Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has introduced two pieces of legislation to watch. The Midnight Rules Relief Act, H.R. 21, would allow Congress to overturn any regulations en masse that were finalized or will be finalized during the lame duck session. This could include the long-awaited rule regarding Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers … Continue Reading

Two International Entrepreneurs Start under New York’s International Innovators Visa Program

Understanding the scarcity of H-1B visas, early in 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), launched the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) to build a pathway to help international entrepreneurs grow companies and create jobs in the United States, specifically in New York City. … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Continuing Resolution That Includes Extension of Four Immigration Programs

On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2028 (Pub. L. 114-254), a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government running through April 28, 2017. H.R. 2028 includes a Continuing Resolution that extends four immigration programs: The Conrad 30 J Waiver, the Non-Minister Special Immigrant Religious Worker Visa, the EB-5 Regional Center Visa Program, … Continue Reading

Retired Marine General Chosen to Head Department of Homeland Security

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine General John F. Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the third largest cabinet department. Kelly was head of the U.S. Southern Command until his retirement from the military in February 2016. If confirmed Kelly’s responsibilities will include border security and immigration. The head of DHS … Continue Reading

Reminder: USCIS Fee Increase Effective December 23, 2016

Any employer anticipating submission of an immigration application or petition should consider filing prior to December 23, 2016, to avoid higher USCIS filing fees. On October 24, 2016, USCIS announced a final rule that adjusts the required fees for most immigration applications and petitions. This will be the first increase in six years and, according … Continue Reading

USCIS Publishes Final Job Flexibility Rule for Employment-Based

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published the long-anticipated final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers.” The rule will take effect on January 17, 2017, before President Barack Obama leaves office. The rule codifies existing policies in establishing job portability and flexibility for certain … Continue Reading

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rolls Out New Provisional I-94 Program

Travelers arriving at U.S. land-based ports of entry now can apply online for an I‑94 in advance of their arrival in exchange for a $6 fee under a new program U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on September 29, 2016. The foreign national enters into the application all necessary data for I‑94 processing (including biographical … Continue Reading
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