President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) on Tuesday, the same day as the last travel ban’s provision against refugee admissions was due to expire.  The EO allows refugees
Continue Reading Travel Update: Refugee Admissions to Resume with Trump Executive Order

For over a decade, filing an extension of nonimmigrant status in visa categories such as the H-1B was a fairly routine process for cases involving the same employer and same
Continue Reading New Trump Administration Policy in Support of Buy American, Hire American Toughens Visa Extension Process

Earlier this month, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for OCAHO ordered Hartmann Studios, Inc., an event design and production company based in Richmond, California to pay civil money penalties totaling $605,250 based on 808 I-9 paperwork violations.  The vast majority of violations involved the company’s failure to sign section 2 of the I-9 forms.  The Conclusion noted, “OCAHO case law has emphasized that penalties should have a deterrent effect on an employer’s behavior and not merely be the cost of doing business.”
Continue Reading California Event Design and Production Company Fined $605,000 for Over 800 I-9 Violations

The National Visa Center (NVC), in operation now for 20 years, is the U.S. Department of State agency responsible for pre-processing approved immigrant visas that include immigration based on: family and employment sponsorship, diversity visas and special immigrant visas. This month, the NVC met with the American Immigrant Lawyer’s Association and provided insight into its increased processing times, announced Fiscal Year statistics, and reported expected changes in 2015.

The NVC noted that during this year it started to receive 25,000 immigrant cases per week as opposed to roughly 8,000 cases as a result of USCIS working through its I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative application backlog. Due to this increase in volume, timing for case creation and document review increased, which is being addressed through staff adjustments. The NVC provided statistics for Fiscal Year 2014 including: it received 709,000 cases from USCIS, shipped 349,000 cases to various Consular Posts worldwide, and received 1.6 million calls. With respect to future changes, the NVC reported that early in 2015 it will start handling telephone inquiries regarding non-immigrant visa cases.


Continue Reading National Visa Center Provides Updates on Internal Processing

On March 31, 2014 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Chile as a country eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) making the total number of designated countries 38. Eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States without nonimmigrant visitor visas starting May 1, 2014. Chileans who are interested in this program, may visit: http://chile.usembassy.gov/vwp.html.


Continue Reading Chile added to the list of eligible Visa Waiver Program countries