Archives: USCIS

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Do Not Respond to Emails Requesting I-9 Information

The USCIS has issued the following notice regarding scam emails requesting I-9 information: USCIS has learned that employers have received scam emails requesting Form I-9 information that appear to come from USCIS. Employers are not required to submit Forms I-9 to USCIS. Employers must have a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person on … Continue Reading

Mandatory E-Verify under Consideration in Congress

Every employer in the United States would be required to use E-Verify to determine whether employees are authorized to work if “The Legal Workforce Act of 2017” (LWA) is passed. Supported by President Donald Trump and introduced by Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Ken Calvert (R-Cal.) to “turn off the jobs and benefits magnet” that … 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

Insights: AOS Interviews Begin

The USCIS has started conducting in-person interviews for all employment-based adjustment of status (AOS) applicants whose applications were filed on or after March 6, 2017. The AOS will not be approved until after a “successful” interview. Although there is no formal guidance as yet, there have been some reports on what to expect. The Process … Continue Reading

DHS Updates Temporary Protected Status for Sudan and South Sudan

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Sudan will terminate in 12 months on November 2, 2018, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced on September 18, 2017. TPS is terminated when DHS determines that the country’s conditions no longer warrant such designation. In addition, DHS announced that TPS for South Sudan has been extended … Continue Reading

Insights: USCIS Denying Pending Advance Parole Applications Due to International Travel

USCIS is adopting a new approach for international travel and Form I-131 Advance Parole (AP) applications. Until recently, USCIS has approved AP applications even where the beneficiary travelled internationally during the pendency of the application. This was the case even though the I-131 application states, “If you depart the United States before the Advance Parole … 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

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

USCIS Releases New Form I-9 and New Handbook for Employers

On July 17, 2017, the USCIS announced the release of a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The revised version may be used immediately but it must be used no later than September 18, 2017. Employers can continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through September 17, 2017. Employers … Continue Reading

USCIS May Request I-9

The USCIS is requesting some applicants for Adjustment of Status to submit copies of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms that they (and their employers) completed for current or former employment. These requests are coming as RFEs or from local USCIS field officers. The stated purpose is to help determine benefit eligibility, particularly to determine … 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

Expect Redesigned Green Cards from USCIS

After May 1, 2017, be on the lookout for redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). The USCIS will start issuing newly styled cards on May 1 as part of the “Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project” to make cards highly secure and more tamper-resistant. New Green Cards and EADs will: Display the individual’s … 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

Future of H-4 Work Permits Uncertain

In 2015, the Obama Administration DHS issued the H-4 EAD Rule allowing certain spouses of H-1B holders to obtain EADs and work while waiting to become permanent residents.  Soon thereafter, a group of high-tech workers, Save Jobs USA, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that the DHS lacked … Continue Reading

Restrictions on Personal Electronic Devices, including Laptops, on Flights from 10 Airports

No personal electronic devices (PEDs) larger than a cellphone or smartphone, such as a laptop computer or e-reader, can be carried into the cabin of airplanes flying directly to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, the DHS and TSA announced on March 21, 2017. Following are the airports: … Continue Reading

Revised Travel Ban Blocked

Late on March 15, Judge Derrick Watson of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide injunction blocking the revised travel ban Executive Order that was scheduled to take effect on March 16.  In addition, on March 16, Maryland U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang, in a less sweeping order, granted a nationwide injunction … 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

Legislative and Other Challenges to Immigration Executive Order

Following recent ICE arrests of 680 individuals in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, and New York City areas, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced a bill to nullify the effect of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, “Enhancing Public Security in the Interior of the United States.” … Continue Reading
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