United States v. Texas Examines Sweeping Immigration Matter

The Supreme Court held 90-minutes of oral argument in April on President Obama’s plan to prevent deportation of undocumented immigrant parents of American children. The decision hangs in the balance with the Supreme Court appearing evenly divided. The 26-state challenge to Obama administration plans involves deferring deportation of some four million illegal immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens. The Court [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:24-06:00May 31, 2016|

USCIS Completes Lottery Processing of Record Number of H-1B Visa Applications Filed in 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that they have completed the process of data entry and providing receipts for H-1B applications selected in this year’s H-1B lottery.  As expected, applications for H-1B visas for U.S. organizations exceeded the allocated supply significantly. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles applications for the visas, announced it received more than 236,000 [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:25-06:00May 9, 2016|

H-2B Returning Workers Exempted from the Visa Cap for Fiscal Year 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that, effective Dec. 18, 2015, H-2B workers classified as “returning workers” are exempted from the annual H-2B cap of 66,000 visas for the 2016 fiscal year. USCIS defines a “returning worker” as an H-2B worker who was counted toward the annual H-2B cap during the 2013, 2014 or 2015 fiscal years. According [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:26-06:00March 22, 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|

DHS Enhances Opportunities for H-1B1, E-3, CW-1 Nonimmigrants and Certain EB-1 Immigrants, Final Rule Posted

On January 15, the Department of Homeland Security announced policy changes affecting H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrant workers and EB-1 immigrant workers. The regulations went into effect on February 16. The department’s stated intention is that by removing needless obstacles which disadvantage these workers in relation to similarly-situated but alternatively-classified counterparts, employers and workers will benefit. Among nonimmigrants, the changes affect highly-skilled [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:27-06:00March 8, 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|

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|

Changes to E Visa Application Processing in Mexico

Due to recent increases in overall visa applications, the United States embassy in Mexico City has announced that they will no longer process nonimmigrant E visa applications received in Applicant Service Centers. Noting that E visa treaty trader and treaty investor applicants are an integral part of the U.S. economy, the Embassy announced that processing of E1 treaty trader and [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:36-06:00August 11, 2015|

What’s Next for H-1B Visa Applicants Not Selected in USCIS Lottery

The random selection process for the H-1B visa used by U.S. businesses to employ highly skilled foreign workers is one of the most competitive administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The filing period opens on April 1 each year, and USCIS often closes the process only days later when they receive enough petitions to meet the cap. For [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:36-06:00August 10, 2015|

White House Releases Progress Update on Administration’s Immigration Reform Actions

In late July, the White House released a status report on President Barack Obama’s actions related to immigration reform from late 2014, including administrative actions related to border security, prioritizing deportation for immigrants deemed enforcement priorities and modernizing immigration systems to promote the hiring of highly skilled workers. The report, titled “Progress Update: President’s Immigration Accountability Administrative Actions,” particularly emphasized [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:36-06:00August 7, 2015|