Archives: USCIS

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Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites Are Unlawful, Lawsuit Alleges

USCIS has exceeded its authority in issuing additional requirements on H-1B petitions involving third-party worksites, a suit filed in New Jersey seeking a temporary restraining order alleges. Just before the 2019 H-1B filing deadline, USCIS issued a memorandum clarifying that petitioners who send employees to third-party worksites must provide significantly more evidence to show that … Continue Reading

Major Change in USCIS Policy on Accrued Unlawful Presence Likely to Impact F, M and J Status Holders

USCIS has posted a policy memorandum that will radically change current policy for students and exchange visitors.  The policy makes it much more likely that those in F, M or J status will find themselves accruing unlawful presence and becoming subject to three and ten-year bars to admission. Under current policy there is a distinction between … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases Improvements to E-Verify System

After gathering feedback and extensive testing, USCIS has unveiled an updated and modernized E-Verify system to improve the user experience, efficiency, and reduce errors. Enhanced features include: Expanded helper text and visuals; Real-time feedback on errors; Auto-scroll feature that takes the user to the next section; Streamlined case creation and case closure; Modernization to reduce … Continue Reading

USCIS Introduces Onsite Training Restriction on Staffing Agencies Hiring OPT STEM Students

The 2016 STEM regulations made it more difficult for staffing agencies and consulting companies to sponsor graduating F-1 OPT employees for the two-year STEM OPT extension. According to the regulations, the training plan must be signed by the entity that has a bona fide employment relationship with the student and the bona fide employer must … Continue Reading

L Intracompany Transfers Pilot Program for Canadian Citizens

USCIS and CPB at the Blaine, Washington, Port of Entry (POE) have formally announced that from April 30, 2018, until October 31, 2018, the agencies jointly will implement a pilot program for Canadian citizens seeking entry in L status pursuant to NAFTA. L-1 admission is for intracompany transfers into the U.S. of managers, executives, and … Continue Reading

Update on Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians will terminate on March 31, 2019. USCIS has now published filing instructions in the Federal Register for those Liberians affected who wish to extend their employment authorization through the DED termination date.  Employment authorization is automatically extended until September 30, 2018 for Liberian DED beneficiaries who have employment authorization documents … Continue Reading

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians to End

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians, a humanitarian relief program similar to TPS (Temporary Protected Status), will terminate on March 31, 2019 according to a formal memo released by President Donald Trump. Liberian DED was set to expire on March 31, 2018. President Trump announced that there will be twelve-month wind down period to ease the transition … Continue Reading

ALERT: Possible Change in Processing of L-1 NAFTA Applications

According to CBP personnel, a pilot program is being developed that would eliminate “instant” border adjudications of L-1 NAFTA applications. The pilot program is expected to be introduced at the Blaine, Washington port of entry.  At this time, processes and procedures are still under review and consideration but it appears that the current CBP border … Continue Reading

USCIS Green Card Processing Time Information Poor, Inspector General Reports, and USCIS Agrees

Since 2011, government processing of green card applications has taken longer and longer. Concerns expressed by lawmakers, immigration advocates, and the public prompted Senator and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in late-2016 to ask the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the DHS to review … Continue Reading

New USCIS Guidance Clarifies Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites

Further to President Donald Trump’s Buy American and Hire American executive order, which directs the DHS to protect the interests of U.S. workers and make sure that there is no fraud, abuse, or circumvention of the laws, USCIS has issued a new policy memorandum, “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites.” The … Continue Reading

Important E-Verify Announcement: All Regular Timelines Will Remain in Force, For Now

Despite its prior announcement, USCIS has just notified the public that the E-Verify enhancements will be postponed.  Accordingly the system will remain in operation through this weekend and until further notice and all regular timelines will remain in force. Jackson Lewis will continue to provide updates as they become available.… Continue Reading

H-2B Visa Shortage and Other Immigration Issues Hold Up U.S. Budget as Deadline Nears

The H-2B visa shortage continues, impacting thousands of U.S. businesses around the country. H-2B visas are used widely in hospitality and tourism, landscaping and the construction industry to hire foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural work.  There are 66,000 available annually – half for the winter season and half for the summer season. The first step … Continue Reading

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing Service for Cap-Subject H-1B Cases

USCIS has once again announced the temporary suspension of the Premium Processing service for all cap-subject H-1B cases, including “Master’s Cap” cases. The suspension is expected to last until September 10, 2018, but USCIS will notify the public before lifting the suspension.  Unlike last year, at least for now, USCIS will continue to accept premium … Continue Reading

Update: USCIS Denies Creating an Oversight Division

As we recently noted, the Washington Post reported that USCIS was creating an employee oversight division to monitor staff who might be perceived as too lenient in their adjudications of requested immigration benefits. USCIS has now specifically denied that claim: “Contrary to recent news reporting, USCIS is not creating an oversight division to monitor employees perceived … Continue Reading

E-Verify to be Temporarily Suspended for System Upgrade, USCIS Announces

Some E-Verify timeframes will be suspended temporarily, USCIS has announced. E-Verify services will be unavailable from midnight March 23 (Friday) to 8:00 a.m. March 26 (Monday) due to system upgrades. The agency has provided a Fact Sheet on E-Verify requirements and other issues during the outage. During the suspension, employers will not be able to … Continue Reading

Report: New Internal Oversight Division within USCIS to be Established

The Washington Post has reported that USCIS is establishing an internal oversight division. The new division’s purpose, in part, would be to monitor more closely officers who are too lenient in assessing applications for permanent residence and citizenship, including overlooking negative factors such as misdemeanors and the receipt of government benefits (e.g., food stamps). Employees … Continue Reading

INFOPASS Blues

If foreign national employees have recently experienced trouble scheduling INFOPASS appointments, it may be because USCIS is preparing for an expected rollout of a new pilot program over the next couple of months. Instead of standard self-service online scheduling of appointments, the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) first will be coordinating scheduling for five selected District … Continue Reading

USCIS Revises Its Mission Statement

The new USCIS mission statement, issued on February 22, 2018, by Director L. Francis Cissna, no longer emphasizes customer satisfaction, i.e., the satisfaction of petitioners and beneficiaries. Instead, it focuses on serving the American people and making sure that benefits are not provided to those who do not qualify or those who “would do us … Continue Reading

USCIS Memorandum on Qualifying ‘Economist’ under NAFTA TN Classification Raises Questions

NAFTA’s TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level. One TN-qualifying profession is that of an “economist,” which requires a baccalaureate or licenciatura degree. NAFTA does not provide a specific description of what an economist does, what professions … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Guidance on DACA Program While Supreme Court Looks at Legality of Program Rescission

Post-shutdown, while Congress debates immigration and the future of the “Dreamers,” the litigation over the legality of President Donald Trump’s rescission of DACA is speeding up. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted the request for an expedited review of the Administration’s petition for certiorari and has set February 2, 2018, as the date when briefs must … Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Is Over, For Now

Congress reached agreement and voted to end the government shutdown at least until February 8, 2018. In case another impasse occurs, this is how a federal government shutdown would affect immigration. Department of Labor (DOL) The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will stop processing all applications, and its personnel will not be available to … Continue Reading

Status of International Entrepreneur Rule on Tenuous Ground, But USCIS To Begin Accepting Applications

The DHS is giving with one hand and taking with the other. In response to the December 1, 2017 federal court ruling in National Venture Capital v. Duke, the DHS is complying and implementing the International Entrepreneur Rule parole program (IER).  At the same time, the DHS is in the final stages of publishing a … Continue Reading
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