Immigration News

Thousands of Employers Prepare to Play the H-1B Visa Lottery

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

A company does not have to win the lottery for its business to succeed, however, it may need to win the H-1B visa lottery to be able to hire specialized and highly skilled employees.  Employers are willing to play the lottery, which involves considerable time and expense, because there are simply not enough US workers to fill every specialty professional occupation in the U.S.  The highest demand for foreign workers are in science, technology and engineering related occupations. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin...

read more

Court Grants 90-Day Extension of Stay of Vacatur of STEM OPT Rule

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in Employment Authorization, F-1 Students, News | 0 comments

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) motion for limited relief from the court’s August 12, 2015, order, and ordered that vacatur of the 17-month STEM OPT extension be further stayed until May 10, 2016. In its option, the Court rejected the Plaintiff’s argument that it had been divested of jurisdiction to grant the requested relief. The court also found that, in light of the “unexpected and unprecedented” 50,500 public comments received in...

read more

USCIS Extends Temporary Protected Status for Sudan

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in News, Temporary Protected Status | 0 comments

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Sudan’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months due to the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Sudan that prevent its nationals from safely returning. The extended designation is effective May 3, 2016, through November 2, 2017. Current TPS Sudan beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from January 25, 2016 through March 25, 2016. U.S. Citizenship and...

read more

USCIS Increases H-1/L-1 Filing Fees for Certain Employers

Posted by on Feb 5, 2016 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113), signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, increases fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. These petitioners must submit an additional fee of $4,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $4,500 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after December 18, 2015. The additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the United States, with more than 50 percent of those employees in H-1B or L (including L-1A and L-1B) nonimmigrant status....

read more

Et, tu, DHS? Gov’t Revises October 2015 Visa Bulletin

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in I-485 Adjustment of Status, News, Visa Bulletin | 0 comments

On Sept. 25, the Department of State (DOS) published an updated October 2015 Visa Bulletin. This bulletin supersedes the bulletin for October 2015 that was originally published on Sept. 9, 2015.  The Dates for Filing Applications sections on pages 4 and 6, which have been adjusted, have been identified in bold type and highlighted. Applicants should use the chart published by DOS on Sept. 25 when filing for adjustment of status. Please be advised that DHS will rely on this revised bulletin rather than the bulletin published on Sept. 9, 2015,...

read more

How Changes in the Visa Bulletin Impact When Family-Based Applicants Can Apply for Adjustment of Status

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Family Immigration, I-485 Adjustment of Status, News | 0 comments

Effective October 1, 2015, there is a new procedure for determining when beneficiaries of family-based preference petitions can file applications for “Adjustment of Status” with USCIS. The new procedure will enable some beneficiaries to file for adjustment earlier than current procedures allow. However, the timing for approval of these adjustment applications will remain the same. This new procedure affects beneficiaries in the United States who plan to obtain Permanent Residency through “Adjustment of Status” in the United States...

read more

EB Immigrant Numbers Run Out for FY2015

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Employment Immigration, I-485 Adjustment of Status, News, Visa Bulletin | 0 comments

USCIS will suspend final adjudication of employment-based Form I-485 applications (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) because the Department of State reports that the statutory cap has been reached for the employment-based preference categories for fiscal year (FY) 2015. This suspension applies to all employment-based adjustment applications pending with USCIS through September 30, 2015 (the remainder of FY2015). USCIS will continue to accept adjustment of status applications that are filed when the...

read more

Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Employment Immigration, I-485 Adjustment of Status, Visa Bulletin | 0 comments

USCIS, in coordination with Department of State (DOS), is revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status. The revised process will better align with procedures DOS uses for foreign nationals who seek to become U.S. permanent residents by applying for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad. This revised process will enhance DOS’s ability to more accurately predict overall immigrant visa demand and determine the...

read more

District Court Vacates 17 Month STEM OPT Program

Posted by on Aug 14, 2015 in F-1 Students, News | 0 comments

The District Court for the District of Columbia held that a 2008 DHS interim final rule extending the period of post-graduation optional practical training (OPT) by 17 months for eligible STEM students on F-1 visas was invalid, because DHS issued the rule without notice and public comment. The court found, however, that vacating the rule immediately would cause substantial hardship for F-1 STEM students, and would create a major labor disruption for the technology sector. As such, the court ordered that the 2008 rule and its subsequent...

read more

USCIS Final Guidance on When to File an Amended H-1B Petition

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

On April 9, 2015, USCIS’ Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued the precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (Simeio), that addressed when an employer must file an amended H-1B petition.  It held that an H-1B employer must file an amended or new H-1B petition when a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s place of employment. Except as provided below in the Simeio compliance section, a petitioner must file an amended or new H-1B petition if the H-1B...

read more