Category Archives: Department of Homeland Security

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USCIS Reissuing Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Receipt Notices for Certain EAD Categories Filed Between July 21, 2016 and Jan. 17, 2017

Beginning Feb. 16, 2016, USCIS began reissuing receipt notices on Form I-797 to applicants who continue to have pending applications for renewed employment authorization (EAD applications) under certain categories that were originally filed between July 21, 2016 and Jan. 16, 2017. EAD applications that were filed during this window did not fall within the benefits of … Continue Reading

DHS Releases Memoranda Outlining Immigration Enforcement Priorities

John Kelly, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued two memoranda on Feb. 20, 2017 outlining the Department’s plans for immigration enforcement under President Trump’s administration: “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest” and “Implementing the President’s Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies.” Both memoranda implement and provide further … Continue Reading

Summary of President Trump’s Jan. 25, 2017 Immigration-Related Executive Orders

On Jan. 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed two Executive Orders impacting U.S. immigration which are summarized below. Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements This Order addresses the recent surge of immigration by foreign nationals without proper documentation at the United States’ southern border with Mexico. The Order directs the government’s “executive … Continue Reading

New Framework for Adjudicating National Interest Waivers

USCIS has established a new standard for adjudicating national interest waiver petitions by naming the Administration Appeals Office’s (AAO) Dec.27, 2016 decision, Matter of Dhanasar, 26 I&N Dec. 884 (AAO 2016), a precedent decision. This decision vacates Matter of New York State Dep’t of Transp., 22 I&N Dec. 215 (Acting Assoc. Comm’r 1998), which established … Continue Reading

DHS Finalizes International Entrepreneur Rule

On Jan. 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule to implement discretionary parole authority to increase, promote, and encourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. This final rule will add new regulatory provisions that will allow DHS to grant parole in certain circumstances and by discretion to … Continue Reading

DHS Extends TPS Status for Citizens of Yemen

By notice published in the Federal Register on Jan. 4, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of the Republic of Yemen for another 18 months (to September 2018). This extension allows qualified citizens of the Republic of Yemen to continue to stay … Continue Reading

Reminder: Many USCIS Filing Fees Will Increase on December 23, 2016

On May 4, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register inviting public comment on a proposed increase in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fee Schedule, which we previously wrote about. This proposed rule was subsequently adopted as final on Oct. 24, 2016, and … Continue Reading

Summary of OIG Report on USCIS Green Card Issuance

Getting the green card is typically the last step in the Lawful Permanent Resident application process, one that immigrants look forward to for many months or even years. Unfortunately, as confirmed by a recent report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS has experienced many problems lately with correct and timely green card … Continue Reading

The Department of Homeland Security Released the Final Rule Updating its Freedom of Information Act

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a final rule updating its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. FOIA gives any person the right to request access to federal agency records or information. Each federal agency is required under the FOIA to disclose records requested in writing by any person. The final rule extends … Continue Reading

OMB Fall Unified Regulatory Agenda- Improvement of the Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations (EB-5)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Fall Unified Agenda, updating the Improvement of the Employment Creation Immigrant Regulations.  DHS has now moved the stage of rulemaking from “long-term actions” to “proposed rule stage.”  This new release also changes the date of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from “to be determined” to January … Continue Reading

DHS Extends TPS for Nepal

In June 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal on environmental disaster grounds due to conditions resulting from a severe earthquake in the country in April 2015. On Oct. 26, 2016, DHS extended TPS for eligible nationals of Nepal for an additional 18 months, effective Dec. 26, 2016 … Continue Reading

Update on DHS Proposed Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

As reported, in December 2015, USCIS published a proposed rule on the Federal Register in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to improve job portability for highly skilled immigrants and clarify issues affecting foreign nationals in employment-based nonimmigrant visa categories like H-1B. The proposed regulations received almost 28,000 comments. On October 24, 2016, … Continue Reading

After Recent Country Condition Reviews, Temporary Protected Status Benefits for Citizens of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to End May 20, 2017

On Sept. 22, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson extended the temporary protected status (TPS) designation for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone through May 20, 2017.  The TPS designations for these countries were extended for six months to allow for the “orderly transition” of its citizens back home.  Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were … Continue Reading

DHS Expands and Extends Employment Authorization and Suspension of Certain Conditions for Eligible F-1 Students with Syrian Citizenship

On Sept. 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the suspension of certain requirements for F-1 students with Syrian citizenship who can demonstrate severe economic hardship resulting from Syria’s continuing civil unrest.  The notice also extends the effective date of the previously announced authorization period through March 31, 2018 and expands the … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Renews TPS for El Salvador

Through a recent publication of the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador effective Sept. 10, 2016, through March 9, 2018.   The extension allows eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 9, 2018, so long as they otherwise continue to meet … Continue Reading

Employer’s Use of E-verify is Not a Substitute for Completing I-9 Forms, Fined More Than $200K in Civil Penalties

In the Final Decision and Order dated April 27, 2016, Administrative Law Judge Ellen K. Thomas ordered Golden Employment Group, Inc. (Golden Employment), a staffing and temporary-employment company, to pay $209,600 in civil penalties for 465 Form I-9 violations. Golden Employment, which receives between 2,000 and 3,000 applications each year and has more than 20,000 … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee to Consider Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016

Today, the House Judiciary Committee will consider H.R.5203, the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016.  The bill is authored by Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia. The bill’s purpose is to enhance security procedures for the processing of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.  We provide a sectional summary of the bill below. Section 2 of … Continue Reading

DHS Extends TPS for Nicaragua and Honduras

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective July 6, 2016, through Jan. 5, 2018.  Individuals with TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from May 16, 2016, through July 15, 2016. Likewise, DHS also extended TPS … Continue Reading

e-Passport Mandatory for the Visa Waiver Program

On May 9, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement clarifying that as part of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, those individuals utilizing the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to travel to the United … Continue Reading

Department of Homeland Security Unveils Known Employer Pilot Program

On March 3, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) formally announced the Known Employer pilot program. In January 2015, DHS advised that it would evaluate the Known Employer pilot as part of the United States-Canada Beyond the Border initiative. The pilot program was also recommended in the multi-agency report to the president, entitled “Modernizing and Streamlining … Continue Reading

DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status for Sudan

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, has extended Sudan’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months. Conditions in Sudan have been cited as unsafe for nationals to return due to the ongoing armed conflict. The extended designation will be effective from May 3, 2016, until Nov. 2, 2017.  Current TPS Sudan beneficiaries … Continue Reading

DHS Granted Extension to May 10, 2016 to Implement New F-1 STEM OPT Program

On Jan. 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) additional time–until May 10, 2016–before the court’s vacatur of the 2008, 17-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM Extension rule would go into effect. DHS requested this additional time to review more than 50,000 comments it received in response … Continue Reading

Summary of 12/31/2015 DHS Proposed Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs

On Dec. 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published proposed amendments in the Federal Register to its regulations related to EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 immigrant visa programs, as well as the nonimmigrant visa programs, including the H-1B visa. The EB-1 category is the first preference employment-based immigrant visa category, for aliens with extraordinary ability, … Continue Reading

Summary: Notice of Proposed Rule for STEM OPT Extension

On October 19, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued the long awaited notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations to allow for an extension of a student’s Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) period for an additional 24 months if the student has met the requirements.  The proposed rule is in … Continue Reading
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