Tag Archives: DHS

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

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

July 2016 “SEVIS by the Numbers” Report Indicates Growth in the Number of International Students Studying in the United States

This week, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published its quarterly “SEVIS by the Numbers” report announcing that there are over one million international students in the United States.  Many of these students will seek employment with U.S. companies using work authorization granted to them pursuant to their F or M visa status.  In … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposes International Entrepreneur Rule to Spur Innovation and Job Creation

On Aug. 26, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking for an International Entrepreneur Rule, and provided an advance version of the proposed rule for public review. According to an announcement from USCIS, the proposed rule will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exercise discretion, on a … 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

Data Entry Completed for Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

As GT previously reported, this year USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.  USCIS has now announced that as of May 2, 2016, all data entry for fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random process has been completed. USCIS will … Continue Reading

DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students

Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months.  DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10.  … 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

Countries Ineligible for the Visa Waiver Program Now Include Libya, Somalia, and Yemen

On Feb. 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the growing list of countries that are no longer eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). These three countries join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria (announced last month as reported here) as countries with restrictions on travel for certain … Continue Reading

March 1 Deadline to Register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen

On Sept. 3, 2015, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an 18 month period due to the ongoing armed conflict in the country. The deadline to register for TPS for Yemen is March 1, 2016. To register for TPS,  eligible nationals of Yemen (and people without nationality who last habitually … 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

OSC Issues Updated Guidance on Internal I-9 Audits and Determining Validity of Documentation Provided

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) issued an updated Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) on Jan. 7, 2016, relating to an employer’s internal Form I-9 audit procedures. The TAL addresses: 1) an employer’s obligation to prevent discrimination in compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA);  … Continue Reading

WashTech Opposes DHS’s Request for Additional Time to Finalize STEM OPT Rule

The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) filed a response on Jan. 11, 2016, in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) request to extend the deadline to implement the STEM OPT rule from Feb. 12, 2016, to May 10, 2016. DHS requested additional time to finalize the STEM OPT interim rule  after receiving more than … Continue Reading

DHS Seeks Additional Extension for STEM OPT Rule Beyond Feb. 12, 2016

In August 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly promulgated the regulation allowing the 17-month STEM extension for optional practical training (OPT) because the regulation was not subject to notice and comment rulemaking, which requires DHS to consider public comments before making the … Continue Reading

Congress Weighing Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

The recent tragic events in Paris, France have moved Congress and the Administration to seriously consider changes to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP permits citizens of 38 countries to apply for entry to the United States as a visitor, without first obtaining a visa. On Dec. 8, 2015, the House of Representatives passed … 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

Original Visa Bulletin Not Restored

On September 28, 2015, several highly-skilled immigrant workers from India and China filed a federal class action lawsuit in the State of Washington against the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) over revisions to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin (Revised Visa Bulletin).  A temporary restraining order was subsequently filed … Continue Reading

Class Action Law Suit Filed Against U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Response to the October 2015 Revised Visa Bulletin

On September 28, 2015, several highly-skilled immigrant workers from India and China filed a federal class action lawsuit in the State of Washington against the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) over revisions to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin (Revised Visa Bulletin) that impacted them adversely.  On September 30, … Continue Reading
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