Archives: H-1B

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‘I-Squared’ Bill Would Change H-1B and Other Immigration Programs

While the Administration and Congress work to reconcile the needs of DACA recipients with concerns over border security and illegal immigration, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a bill to reform immigration programs for high-skilled workers. If the bill passes, it would go a long way to maintaining U.S. competitiveness in … Continue Reading

Time to Prepare for the 2018 H-1B Lottery

For immigration attorneys and employers of foreign nationals alike, the frenzy of the spring H-1B Cap season is right around the corner. Now is the time to start preparations for the April filing deadline. Each year, 85,000 new H-1B work visas become available for high-skilled workers seeking employment in an “H-1B specialty occupation.” Many more … Continue Reading

Government Not Ending H-1B Extensions, USCIS Says

Reports about the possible elimination of AC-21 extensions (for H-1B workers awaiting green cards) are now being denied by the government. The USCIS is attempting to quell fears caused by rumors that the Administration would eliminate H extensions beyond the six-year limit for certain individuals unable to file the last step in permanent residency, adjustment … Continue Reading

U.S. Expected To Add Restrictions on Visas in New Year

Uncertainty regarding employment-related immigration regulations has not ebbed with the arrival of the New Year. Employers may be losing employees to the possible elimination of H-4 EADs and STEM extensions. Major changes in the H-1B cap process, including pre-registration and new eligibility standards, also are said to be on the horizon. The Trump Administration reportedly … Continue Reading

Department of Homeland Security to Tighten H-1B and Other Regulations

The Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions for the DHS contains close to 60 items. Published in the spring and fall, the Unified Agenda gives information about regulations that are under development. The latest iteration represents President Donald Trump’s promise to amend and eliminate “regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete” … Continue Reading

House Bill to Add Obligations for Employers Dependent on H-1B Visas Moves Forward

A bi-partisan House panel has approved the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,” a bill that would change eligibility requirements for exemption from the standard Labor Condition Application (LCA) requirement for H-1B-dependent employers. This is the first step in making it to the floor of Congress for a vote. Employers who depend on the H-1B … Continue Reading

USCIS Formalizes Policy on Lack of Deference to Previously Approved Petitions

All I-129 petitions, whether initial requests or requests for extension of visa status, will be subject to the same level of scrutiny, USCIS has confirmed. The agency will no longer defer to the findings of a previously approved petition even when the key elements of the petition have remained unchanged. This will affect most nonimmigrant … Continue Reading

State and Justice Departments to Share Information on Employment-Based Visa Fraud

As part of the Trump Administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is joining with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to combat both visa fraud and potential discrimination against U.S. workers. The partnership between the two agencies is based upon a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) … 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

Changes in FAM May Make it More Difficult for Students with Pending H-1B Cases to Travel

The Department of State has revised its guidance for Consular Officers on the issuance of student visas, emphasizing that the officer must be “satisfied that applicant intends to depart [the U.S.] upon completion of the approved activity.” The guidance states:  If you are not satisfied that the applicant’s present intent is to depart the United … 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

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
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