Category Archives: H-1B

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New USCIS Memo Formalizes Additional Requirements for H-1Bs at Third Party Worksites

In support of its efforts to combat H-1B fraud and consistent with President Trump’s Buy American Hire American initiative, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now require employers sponsoring H-1B workers at third-party worksites to include additional information and documentation in their H-1B filings. The new policy memorandum “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for … Continue Reading

GT’s Rebecca B. Schechter and Courtney B. Noce Featured in Law360

Law360 recently published an article by Rebecca B. Schechter and Courtney B. Noce titled, “The New Normal For Business Immigration in 2018.” The article discusses the year ahead and what employers can expect in terms of immigration. Schechter and Noce provide insights on “Buy American, Hire American” (BAHA), including increased scrutiny and stricter requirements. Additionally, the … Continue Reading

USCIS’ Recap on Activities since Buy American, Hire American

Since the introduction of the Executive Order “Buy American, Hire American” (BAHA), federal agencies, including DHS and USCIS, are following the directive to focus on protecting U.S. workers and U.S. resources.  The USCIS website was updated as of Dec. 20, 2017 regarding BAHA and below are key highlights from this update, which is essentially a … Continue Reading

New Trump Administration Policy in Support of Buy American, Hire American Toughens Visa Extension Process

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 underlying facts.  This changed yesterday. As part of the Trump Administration’s Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First initiative, USCIS rescinded a long-standing policy … Continue Reading

USCIS Changes Locations To File Forms I-129

On Oct. 12, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a major change in the direct filing addresses for certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker petitions. Previously, the filing center for these petitions was determined by the U.S. state or territory where the beneficiary’s worksite or training site was located. With USCIS’s … Continue Reading

USCIS Approval Notices Cause Confusion due to Inconsistent Validity Periods

USCIS has begun issuing I-797A, Notice of Action Approval Notices containing inconsistent validity periods on the face of the document. Specifically, the top portion of the I-797A approval notices lists the approved visa classification (e.g., H-1B) and the authorized validity period of that visa classification (e.g., from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 11, 2020). The … Continue Reading

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Petitions Filed under FY2018 Cap

USCIS announced today that it will resume its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions that are subject to this year’s H-1B cap.  This news provides much needed relief to employers and foreign nationals, particularly in those situations where an employee is relying on F-1 optional practical training (OPT) cap gap provisions for work authorization. … Continue Reading

Emerging Trends: USCIS Challenging Level 1 Wages and Computer Programmer Occupational Classification for H-1B Petitions

Over the past several months, some trends have developed which pose challenges for employers taking part in the H-1B program: 1. the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions that challenge the H-1B position’s level 1 prevailing wage classification, the lowest permitted wage level for H-1B filings; … Continue Reading

USCIS Posts Comprehensive Reports Containing H-1B and EAD Data

Under the heading “Transparency for U.S. Workers,” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uploaded five reports today containing comprehensive data regarding its H-1B and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) adjudications. The H-1B reports “provide information about the hiring practices of employers who petition for foreign national workers.” The H-1B trend report contains statistics about the H-1B program … Continue Reading

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Institutions

On June 20, the USCIS Ombudsman office held a teleconference on H-1B petition processing to discuss various topics, including premium processing.  Premium processing for H-1B petitions had been suspended in mid-March of this year so that resources could be focused on processing current petitions.  During the call, USCIS stated that it would bring back premium … Continue Reading

Proposed California Law Would Increase Employer Responsibilities When Faced With Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions

In response to the Trump administration’s stance on immigration enforcement, California is considering legislation (Assembly Bill 450 (Chiu)) which would prohibit employers from providing federal immigration officials with access to nonpublic areas of the workplace without a judicial warrant. While aiming to provide new protections to workers, the bill’s broad language does not eliminate any employer … Continue Reading

President Trump Signs New Executive Order: “Buy American and Hire American”

On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) titled “Buy American and Hire American.” The stated purpose of this EO is to protect the American economy by having the U.S. government and agencies focus on purchasing goods made in America, and to also protect American workers. The first part of the EO includes … Continue Reading

Agencies Open H-1B Cap Season with Initiatives to Combat Fraud and Abuse

The U.S. immigration agency’s busiest day of the year was marked with reminders about the dark side of the H-1B visa program.  Acceptance of H-1B cap-subject petitions started on April 3, 2017. But the flurry of H-1B filings were met with announcements from agencies involved with the H-1B program about measures designed to tighten policies … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Attorney Ian Macdonald Featured in NPR News Marketplace

Greenberg Traurig shareholder Ian Macdonald was recently quoted by National Public Radio (NPR) for a story on the Marketplace Morning Report, which is part of the Marketplace portfolio of public radio programs. Macdonald provided an employer’s perspective on H-1B visas and challenges employers must face when sponsoring highly-skilled workers. To read the full article, click here.  … Continue Reading

Effective April 3, 2017, USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Late Friday evening on March 3, 2017, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will temporarily suspend its premium processing service for all H-1B petitions, including CAP-subject H-1B petitions.  The temporary suspension will begin on Monday, April 3, 2017, and may continue for up to 6 months.  This procedural change is intended … Continue Reading

Technical Error by USCIS Results in H-1B Approval Notices Incorrectly Listing Class as “1B1” Instead of “H-1B”

Due to a technical error, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently began issuing H-1B approval notices on Form I-797 that incorrectly list the class as “1B1.”  This technical error affected H-1B approval notices for H-1B petitions that were filed with the Vermont, Nebraska, and California Service Centers. The California Service Center confirmed … Continue Reading

The Trump Administration Contemplates an Executive Order Affecting Advance Parole

It has been reported that President Trump’s administration is likely preparing to effectuate additional changes affecting immigration issues.  Specifically, in addition to the Executive Order executed on Jan. 27, 2017, the administration is reportedly working on additional Executive Orders, a released draft of which addresses the availability and use of advance parole, among other issues … Continue Reading

GT Alert – Preparing for H-1B Cap Season in Fiscal Year 2018

This year’s H-1B cap is fast approaching. USCIS will start accepting new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2018 on April 1, 2017. Although the federal government annually allocates 65,000 H-1B visas to eligible foreign national employees, USCIS receives far more H-1B petitions within the first weeks or even days of April during each fiscal year … Continue Reading

Upgrade – DHS Finalizes Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Programs

On Nov. 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its final rule to “modernize and improve” employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visa programs.  As stated by DHS, the primary purpose of the improvements is to enhance the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain specific foreign national employees who are the beneficiaries of … Continue Reading
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