Archives: Temporary (Non-immigrant) Work Visas

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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

DHS Releases 15,000 More H-2B Visas for Temporary Seasonal Workers

DHS announced on July 17, 2017, a one-time increase of 15,000 H-2B visas – still short of the number Congress had authorized. Given visa processing times, it may already be too late for businesses that rely on the summer season. The summer is half over and well-known vacation areas are in turmoil because companies have … Continue Reading

Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants May Have Longer Waits

President Donald Trump has issued an executive order striking the 80-percent/three-week goal for interviewing nonimmigrant visa applicants following submission of applications. Since September 11, 2001, the State Department has given priority to security over quick visa adjudications. For many reasons, including heightened security, between 2001 and 2010, the U.S. share of the global tourism market … Continue Reading

India-Based Infosys Plans to Hire Thousands of U.S. Workers for New U.S. Locations

Amid criticism of outsourcing firms, at least one large Indian outsourcing company is planning to hire 10,000 U.S. workers over the next two years. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka announced the company will open four technology and innovation hubs in the U.S. “focusing on cutting-edge technology areas, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital … 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

Spending Bill Would Fund Government E-Verify, Certain Visa Programs through End of Fiscal Year

Back in December, President Barack Obama signed a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government running through April 28, 2017.  Immigration programs that were extended at that time included the Conrad 30 Waiver, the Non-Minister Religious Worker Visa, the EB-5 Regional Center, and E-Verify. After weeks of tension, uncertainty and an interim agreement, it seems … Continue Reading

Pending: Bipartisan Legislation to Extend the Conrad 30 Program for J-1 Waiver Physicians

When President Donald Trump issued his “Travel Ban,” there were fears that the physician shortage in the U.S. would be exacerbated.  It has been reported that there is currently a deficit of 8,200 primary care physicians that will balloon to 94,700 by 2025 as the population ages.  For many years, many foreign physicians from Muslim-majority … Continue Reading

Court Ruling on DHS STEM OPT Extension Rule Expected Soon

A motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new rule governing the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) program has been granted in part and denied in part. Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS, No. 1:16-cv-01170-RBW (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2017). Judge Reggie B. Walton issued … Continue Reading

Push to Protect American Jobs: Round-up on Proposed Reforms to H-1B, L-1 Visas

Reforming the H-1B program “is an issue we are closely and carefully looking at,” Donald Trump had said during the campaign. This sentiment is shared by Congress, as evidenced by the slew of legislation proposed across both sides of the aisle. Senator Dick Durbin (D. Ill.) first introduced a bill in 2007 to cure what … Continue Reading

Federal Government Targets H-1B Visa Fraud by Employers with Focus on Outsourcing

In line with its focus on compliance and enforcement of existing laws, the Trump Administration has announced measures to “deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse” and to protect American workers just as thousands of H-1B visa petitions are inundating USCIS Service Centers on April 3 (the beginning of the H-1B season for FY … 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

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

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

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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