Tag Archives: Visa

USCIS Continues to Increase Number of RFEs and Denials Issued

Since President Trump issued his “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order in April 2017, USCIS has been issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) at unprecedented rates. While the H-1B visa category was specifically targeted as one requiring stricter scrutiny and reform efforts, USCIS has also focused on other visa types for significant adjudication and approval … Continue Reading

November 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) November 2018 Visa Bulletin shows movement in employment-based categories. The EB-1 category remained retrogressed for November 2018. Although it is likely that there will be some forward movement in December 2018 for EB-1 India, it will probably NOT return to “current” this calendar year. The EB-2 India category will likely move … Continue Reading

Challenges with “Function Manager” Positions in the L-1A and EB-1 Multinational Manager Classifications

In today’s world of evolving multinational organizations, from hierarchical to flat structures, and increased scrutiny of the L-1 visa category by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the challenges of the “function manager” position within the L-1A visa and First Preference Employment-based immigrant visa for Multinational Managers or Executives (EB-1 MM) classifications continue to cause … Continue Reading

USCIS Proposes Increase to Premium Processing Fee

On Aug. 31, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a final rule in the Federal Register to increase the premium processing fee for certain visa petitions to $1,410, effective Oct. 1, 2018. Premium processing, a service offered for certain petitions, requires U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate a petition (i.e., approve, … Continue Reading

President Signs KIWI Act Providing for E-1 and E-2 Status for New Zealand

As an update to an earlier post, on Aug. 1, the president signed the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI Act) granting E-1 and E-2 status to certain New Zealand nationals under mutual considerations. This will permit citizens of New Zealand to apply for U.S. visas to carry on significant trade with the United States … Continue Reading

OMB OIRA Releases Unified Agenda and USCIS Regulatory Priorities, Including H-1B, EB-5, and More

On Dec. 14, the Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OMB) published the biennial Unified Agenda.  A long-standing outgrowth of previous regulatory reform efforts, the Unified Agenda offers the public the “current thinking” of federal agencies on upcoming Agency regulatory priorities. Of importance to the immigration community, DHS USCIS posed … 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

The White House Releases Immigration Principles & Policies

On Oct. 8, 2017, the White House released the promised Immigration Principles & Policies (Principles & Policies) which outline the Trump Administration’s position on immigration. This document is broken into three parts: 1) Border Security, 2) Interior Enforcement, and 3) Merit-Based Immigration. A summary of each part is broken down below.… Continue Reading

New DOS Rule Regarding Misrepresentation – An End to the 30/60 Day Rule

On Sept. 1, 2017, the U.S Department of State (DOS) updated the Field Adjudicators Manual (FAM) at 9 FAM 302.9-4(B)(3).  The Field Adjudicators Manual (FAM) serves to guide consular officers in their adjudications process, and this particular section provides guidance regarding “misrepresentation” by applicants “at the time of visa application or to DHS when applying … Continue Reading

Denial of Advance Parole Applications Due to International Travel Adversely Impacts U.S. Companies

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denying Advance Parole (AP) applications when an applicant travels internationally while the application is pending with USCIS.  This represents a big adjudication shift by USCIS, which has for several years allowed certain AP applicants to travel abroad while waiting for USCIS to approve an AP application.  By making … Continue Reading

September 2017 Visa Bulletin Update

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2017 Visa Bulletin.  The charts show movement in some employment-based categories, with no movement in other employment-based visa categories. According to the September Visa Bulletin, the following are updates to Final Action Dates: EB-1: The Worldwide EB-1 category for India and China remains stalled at Jan. 1, … 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

The Department of Homeland Security Adds an Additional 15,000 Visas to the H-2B Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Department of Labor (DOL) have submitted a final rule to the Federal Register, which will be published on July 18, 2017, increasing the number of H-2B visas by 15,000. DHS Secretary John Kelly determined, along with DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta, that there are not enough qualified and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of the United States Partially Lifts Injunctions from Travel Ban – Implications for Foreign Nationals

As previously reported, the Supreme Court of the United States lifted the injunctions that were granted by the Fourth and Ninth Circuits after President Trump issued his second Executive Order mandating a temporary travel ban. This means that the second Executive Order (EO) is now in effect as of June 29. The injunctions for the … Continue Reading

President Trump Issues Executive Order Amending Executive Order 13597

On June 21, President Trump issued an Executive Order Amending Executive Order 13597. This Executive Order rescinds a  provision, subsection (b)(ii) of Section 2,  of an Obama Administration era Executive Order Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force On Travel and Competitiveness that read, “ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues Guidance Regarding Adjustment of Status Application Filing Dates for July 2017

USCIS has determined that for July 2017, the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin must be used for both family-sponsored filings and employment-based preference filings. By way of background, individuals who are present in the United States are eligible to file a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status in … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Labor Certification Enforcement Initiative

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Jim Acosta announced an initiative aimed at addressing fraud and restoring transparency in U.S. non-immigrant visa enforcement.  As released by the Department of Labor (DOL), the key initiatives include: Directing the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (the Division) to use all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor … Continue Reading

June 2017 Visa Bulletin Update: EB-1 Final Action Dates Retrogression for China and India

According to the June 2017 Visa Bulletin released by Department of State and effective June 1, there will be significant retrogression in the EB-1 category for individuals born in mainland China and India. While the current cutoff date for worldwide chargeability in the EB-1 category will remain current, the final action dates for Chinese and … 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
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