Tag Archives: H-1B

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 As part of the Trump Administration’s Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First initiative, USCIS rescinded a long-standing policy … Continue Reading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

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum to Define “Affiliate” or “Subsidiary for Determining the H-1B ACWIA Fee

On Aug. 28, 2017, USCIS released a policy memorandum that clarified the definition of “affiliate” and “subsidiary” for purposes of determining the H-1B ACWIA fee.  The H-1B ACWIA fee is $1500 for H-1B petitioners who have 26 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, and half that amount ($750) for H-1B petitioners who have 25 or … 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 H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program

Starting Monday, June 26, USCIS will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers. As background, the Conrad 30 program allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United States on a temporary visa after completing their medical training … 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

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

GT Alert – President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”: Q&A

We have prepared a serious of Questions and Answers below addressing some of the most commonly asked questions with regard to this Executive Order (EO). GT will continue to monitor developments and provide up to date information. Q1:         What do the provisions of the EO address? A1:         The provisions of the EO address several 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

Greenberg Traurig Post-Election Immigration Update

On November 10, 2016, Laura Foote Reiff, Bob Maples, and Rebecca Schechter presented an Immigration Post-Election Update webinar highlighting some of the anticipated key changes to U.S. immigration policy (click here to listen to the webinar).  President-elect Donald Trump will likely begin the change on current U.S. immigration policy as soon as he takes office.  … 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

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

Tips to Employers for Handling Site Visits

On July 26, 2016 the American Immigration Lawyers Association Liaison Committee to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Vermont Service Center published tips for employers for handling site visits by agency officers.  Under the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (“ASVVP”), officers from the Fraud Detection and National Security directorate (“FDNS”) of USCIS conduct worksite … Continue Reading
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