Archives: Temporary (Non-immigrant) Work Visas

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State Department Replaces Rule for Inconsistent Conduct by Aliens

The Department of State has quietly revised guidance to Consular Officers on the “30/60 Day Rule” regarding adjustment of status applications. The Rule sets standards for determining whether an alien would be inadmissible for inconsistent conduct. It provides: If an alien engaged in inconsistent conduct within 30 days of an entry, a willful misrepresentation could … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Considers Elimination of J-1 Program for Some Students

The Trump Administration is considering the elimination of the J-1 Summer Work-Travel Program for students who come to tourist areas in the U.S. as temporary summer help and as participants in cultural exchanges. Like the numerical limitations placed on H-2B temporary seasonal visas, the elimination of this J-1 Summer Work-Travel Program would particularly affect the … Continue Reading

Suspension of Visa Operations in Russia

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia announced that “[a]s a result of the Russian government’s personnel cap imposed on the U.S. Mission, all nonimmigrant visa (NIV) operations across Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017.” This is the most recent volley in the diplomatic back-and-forth that started with the reports of possible Russian … Continue Reading

Insights: Expediting H-1B Petitions

While unusual, the government has suspended expedited or premium processing for H-1B cases from time to time. In years past, in response to the filing of Cap cases, the start of the 15-day adjudication clock was delayed. There also have been suspensions in other situations when the USCIS anticipated increased caseloads, such as when EADs … Continue Reading

New Operational Directives Reflect ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Executive Order

Following the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, issued in April, the Attorney General and the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security have made operational changes that emphasize targeted investigations and individual official’s judgment in carrying out the purposes of the E.O. The E.O. directs the agencies to “propose new rules and issue new … Continue Reading

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
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