Trump Administration: DACA to Be Phased Out Over Six Months

The Trump administration announced today that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be phased out over the course of six months. DACA, an executive action signed by former President Barack Obama, provides legal protections to approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the country illegally as children. In a statement, Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said the administration’s [...]

By |2017-09-05T12:11:26-06:00September 5, 2017|

USCIS Reverses Long-Standing Policy for Adjustment of Status Applicants

In a change of long-standing policy, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has elected to stop granting advance parole to adjustment of status applicants who travel internationally while their application is pending. This means that individuals with an H-1B or L-1 visa who travel while the advance parole application is pending, or individuals seeking to renew their advance parole documents, [...]

By |2017-08-29T14:59:44-06:00August 30, 2017|

“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|

H-1B Cap Random Selection Completed for FY 2018

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced this week that the agency has completed its selection process for the H-1B petitions it received for Fiscal Year 2018. The lottery, a computer-generated random selection process, was completed on April 11 after the agency received approximately 199,000 H-1B petitions during its filing period, which began on April 3. The agency received well [...]

By |2017-06-19T14:05:40-06:00April 20, 2017|

AAO Establishes New Standard for National Interest Waivers

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ended 2016 with a significant change to the legal standard for National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitions. On Dec. 27, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office released Matter of Dhanasar, which created a new framework for evaluating NIW petitions. The NIW provides an immigrant visa to “qualified immigrants who are members of the professions holding advanced [...]

By |2017-01-19T13:30:28-06:00January 19, 2017|

Fees Increasing for Most Immigration Applications and Petitions, Per USCIS

In a final rule published on October 24, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that, for the first time in six years, fees for most immigration applications and petitions will increase starting on December 23 (happy holidays from USCIS!). Per USCIS, fees will increase by a weighted average of 21 percent. The department said these increases are necessary to [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:18-06:00November 4, 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|

USCIS Publishes Proposed Rule Related to Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

While most people were preparing to ring in the New Year on Dec. 31, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services was busy publishing a hefty proposed rule that, according to the agency, will modernize and improve certain aspects of employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs if finalized. It’s important to note that the proposed rule, spread over more than 40 [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:28-06:00January 20, 2016|

USCIS Clarifies “Specialized Knowledge” Standard for L-1B Visas

Earlier this year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a draft memorandum clarifying the standard of “specialized knowledge” for L-1B visas. The comment period for the draft memo closed on May 8, 2015, and the guidance is scheduled to take effect on August 31, 2015, barring any changes. L-1B visas allow multinational businesses to transfer foreign staff who [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:38-06:00June 4, 2015|

Terminating an H-1B employee: Obligations of the Employer

With the H-1B season behind us, now is a good time to look at the other end of the spectrum – the conclusion of H-1B employment.  While obtaining an H-1B visa to hire a skilled foreign worker can be a process in itself, employers should know that there are some obligations they need to meet when choosing to terminate an [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:38-06:00May 19, 2015|