Archives: Visas

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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

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

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

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

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

H-1B Lottery Class Action Lawsuit Says System Should be Scrapped

Employers needing foreign talent to fill professional positions obtain work authorization for these individuals most frequently by applying for an H-1B visa. Individuals from across the globe may be sponsored for this type of visa if the position requires a minimum of U.S. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent. The H-1B visa is often the only way … Continue Reading

Labor Department Announces Procedural Changes to H-2B Visa Program

In an effort to further streamline the H-2B application process and make it less burdensome for employers, the Department of Labor has announced procedural changes to reduce the amount of documentation to demonstrate “temporary need.” To get approval to hire H-2B workers, an employer must establish that the need for H-2B workers is temporary in … Continue Reading

Department of State Accepting Applications for Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery

The U.S. Department of State has announced that applications for the upcoming Diversity Visa (DV-2018) Lottery will be accepted electronically between noon EDT, October 4, 2016, and noon EDT, November 7, 2016. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery is administered annually by the Department of State and provides up to 55,000 Diversity Visas each fiscal year … Continue Reading

L-1 Visa Applicants on Blanket L Petition Must Use of New Form I-129S starting August 29, 2016

The Department of State reportedly has confirmed that starting August 29, 2016, U.S. consular posts (i.e., embassies, consulates general, and other U.S. missions abroad) will accept only USCIS’s new, June 2, 2016, version of Form I-129S from L-1 nonimmigrant intracompany transferees. This is in line with USCIS’s prior announcement, at www.uscis.gov: “Starting 08/29/2016, USCIS will … Continue Reading

DOL Judge Says Flagging Economy Insufficient Basis to Relieve H-1B Employers of Wage Obligations

Employers employing foreign nationals in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status must pay their H-1B employees the wage specified on the Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by DOL, regardless of whether the H-1B employer is enduring difficult economic or financial periods due to struggling national economy, an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Labor has ruled … Continue Reading

State Department May Revoke Visa for DUI Arrest without Determination of Guilt

Individuals who hold nonimmigrant visas in the U.S. are likely to face severe consequences if arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or a related offense, based on the recently released guidance from the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Earlier this year, DOS made public all unclassified content in Volume 9 of its Foreign Affairs … Continue Reading

Recent Policy Change to Permit Entry of Cohabiting Partners?

Consider the dilemma of the newly drafted NHL hockey player from Canada. After signing his Standard Player Contract, obtaining his P visa, and loading up his gear and heading to the border with his long time girlfriend alongside to begin training camp, both are stopped at the border. The immigration officer inquires of the girlfriend … Continue Reading
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