“Extreme Vetting” Comes to Employment-Based Immigration

In a busy weekend for immigration news, the Trump administration took another step toward restricting employment-based immigration. On the heels of Friday’s news concerning the pardon of the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the questionable future of DACA and of certain categories of J-1 exchange visitors, the administration significantly expanded its “extreme vetting” into employment-based immigration. According to an internal [...]

By |2017-08-28T16:25:48-06:00August 29, 2017|

RAISE Act Would Bring Major Immigration Changes if Passed

A newly proposed bill — the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act — aims to reduce the number of immigrants legally entering the United States through a merit, point-based system that would favor highly-skilled workers who are proficient in English. If passed, the bill could cut the number of immigrants who legally enter the Unites States each year [...]

By |2017-08-28T16:08:42-06:00August 29, 2017|

DOL and DHS Promise to Detect Fraud in Worker Visa Programs

A number of technology companies rely heavily on foreign workers — and the H-1B program — to fill positions requiring specialized, highly trained employees. However, a recent executive order asking for an overhaul of the H-1B program is beginning to take effect, and it could become increasingly difficult for tech companies to easily and affordably obtain a skilled workforce. Moreover, [...]

By |2017-08-02T10:46:55-06:00August 2, 2017|

DHS Publishes Final Rule Easing Regulations for Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers

The Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule amending its regulations related to highly skilled immigrant and nonimmigrant workers. The changes, which are aimed at improving the process for U.S. employers and providing greater stability for foreign workers, went into effect on Jan. 17, 2017.  Much of this regulation creates formal regulations around long-standing USCIS practices, effectively giving these practices [...]

By |2017-01-20T09:48:58-06:00January 18, 2017|

DHS Announces List of H-2A and H-2B Eligible Countries

The Department of Homeland Security recently published its 2017 list of countries from which the United States will accept H-2A and H-2B temporary workers. The only new addition from its 2016 list is the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which joins 84 other countries eligible for the H-2A visa and 83 other countries eligible for the H-2B [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:17-06:00November 18, 2016|

USCIS Proposes Rule for Entrepreneurs Who Provide Business Growth and Job Creation

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has issued a proposed rule that seeks to amend the regulations surrounding discretionary parole for certain foreign entrepreneurs of start-up entities. The proposed rule would guide the use of parole on a case-by-case basis specifically for entrepreneurs who provide a significant public benefit through substantial and [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:19-06:00September 6, 2016|

Employer Compliance in 2016 — The Government Giveth and the Government (Enables Itself to) Taketh Away

Summer of 2016 was a mixed bag for employers in the world of immigration compliance. I-9 Penalties Increasing to Adjust for Inflation First the bad news — effective Aug. 1, the Department of Homeland Security issued a rule that will increase civil monetary penalties for any regulations enforced by the department, which, as employers should note, includes penalties for I-9 [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:19-06:00August 24, 2016|

Department of Homeland Security Issues Final Rule Expanding F-1 STEM OPT Program

On March 10, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new rule for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practice training program (OPT) under the F-1 educational visa. This rule is in response to the August 2015 ruling declaring the old STEM extension program to be invalid. The current rule will be vacated on May 10, 2016, and [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:27-06:00March 15, 2016|

Department of Homeland Security Proposes Rule on Expanding the F-1 STEM OPT

In October, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practice training program (OPT) under the F-1 educational visa. This rule is in response to the August ruling declaring the old STEM extension program to be invalid. The new rule lengthens the optional extension to 24 months. In a continuation [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:29-06:00November 24, 2015|

OSC Updates its List of Employer Do’s and Don’ts for E-Verify

The United States Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently released an updated list of Do’s and Don’ts for employers who use E-Verify. The list serves to discourage discrimination against employment-authorized workers based on their citizenship or immigration status or their national origin. E-Verify, an online system administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:07:01-06:00July 31, 2014|