According to the DHS Fall Regulatory Agenda, the Administration is planning further restrictions to immigration regulations that, if enacted, will affect employers.

Over the past few years, DHS has changed the way it reviews H and L visa petitions from employers, which has resulted in significant increases in Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and denials.

The House of Representatives has taken a step in the direction of eliminating green card backlogs by passing the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044) introduced by Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Ken Buck. (R-CO). The support was bi-partisan and passed in a 365 to 65 vote.  The bill would:

  • Increase per

The Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to transfer more than 700 border agents from the 120 ports of entry at the Northern (Canadian) border to the Southern (Mexican) border. The purpose is to bolster the number of agents available to help with asylum seekers.

Members of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus (NBC) oppose

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed in 1992 was meant to make North America more competitive in the global economy by reducing trade barriers and increasing business development among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  It essentially created a free-trade zone, but always faced criticism.  Opponents believed and have argued, among other things, that

President Donald Trump issued a Memorandum on April 22, 2019 aimed at reducing visa overstays – people who stay in the U.S. beyond the time authorized by their visas.  Assertions set forth in the Memorandum include:

  • For FY 2018, the Administration believes that there were 415,000 individuals in the U.S. who had overstayed on nonimmigrant

USCIS has released a policy memorandum clarifying the “one continuous year out of three years” L-1 requirement refers to the time before the individual’s filing.

Eligibility for L-1 status requires the following:

  • The U.S. company has a parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch abroad (“qualifying organization”)
  • The U.S. company is or will be doing business

A potentially significant bill eliminating the per-country caps on employment-based visas may become law.

H.R. 392, Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, first introduced in 2017, had 300 co-sponsors. It is now championed by outgoing Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) as an amendment to the spending package that Congress likely will pass this year.

The bill

Beginning September 11, 2018, USCIS immigration officers will have more discretion to issue petition and application denials without first issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs).

On September 6, 2018, the Ombudsman’s Office provided further details on the new policy change. The following was noted:

  • The new policy takes effect