Tag Archives: Visas

Department of Labor Adds More to Disclosure Data to Include End Client Information

The H-1B program is undergoing even more scrutiny under the current White House administration. Under the “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, the goal is for companies to hire only the best and the brightest for visa sponsorship, mostly H-1B visa holders. The Department of Labor (DOL), the governmental agency that handles the public disclosure … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Summary

As previously blogged (see EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection), the EB-5 regulations have been published as of July 24, 2019, as final, to take effect Nov. 21, 2019.  Below is a summary of the changes that will impact the EB-5 program: Priority Date Retention: Generally, priority date retention can be retained from an approved I-526 petition if … Continue Reading

EB-5 Regulations Published for Public Inspection

After more than two and a half years, Obama-era EB-5 immigration regulations are set to be published on July 24, 2019, with an effective date 120 days after publication or Nov. 21, 2019. See EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization. These regulations have been opposed by many industry participants, as evidenced in a letter to Congressional Leadership … Continue Reading

USCIS International Offices to No Longer Accept Form I-407 Starting July 1, 2019

Starting July 1, 2019, international offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence Status. On that date and going forward, all I-407 forms must be sent by mail to the address below. USCIS anticipates that processing of the form, from receipt … Continue Reading

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story

On June 4, 2019, the Kenan Institute released a timely policy brief, “Immigrant Entrepreneurship: An American Success Story,” on the value of highly skilled and motivated foreign entrepreneurs to the U.S. economy. The brief states, “When looking at the founding of the United States’ largest startups…[t]he immigrant-founded startups employ an average of more than 1,200 workers … Continue Reading

The United States Will Now Require Visa Applicants to Provide Social Media Information

Under a new State Department policy, virtually all visa applicants to the United States are now required to submit information about social media accounts they have used in the past five years. Applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas must use the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to complete online forms for nonimmigrant (DS-160) … Continue Reading

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

On May 17, USCIS announced completion of data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in its computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning petitions that were not selected. USCIS will issue another announcement once it has finished returning all petitions that were not selected. As has been the case in … Continue Reading

President Unveils New Immigration Reform Plan

Today, President Trump hosted a Rose Garden event unveiling his new immigration plan. The theme of the address, “Modernizing Our Immigration System for a Stronger America,” focuses on border security and modernizing the employment-based immigration systems to be more merit-based, according to the president. A new initiative called the “Build America Visa” would replace certain … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Release Prepublication Joint Rule for Additional H-2B Visas

On May 6, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor issued a prepublication of the joint temporary rule setting forth the process for accessing 30,000 additional H-2B visas. It is expected that on formal publication of the rule in the Federal Register May 8, eligible U.S. employers documenting returning worker status (over the last three … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Israel to Join Countries Qualified for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

As previously announced on our blog, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa will soon be available to Israeli nationals wishing to make a substantial investment in or set up a business in the United States. USCIS announced on April 22 that eligible Israeli nationals already in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status, as well … Continue Reading

Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates

On April 22, President Trump, in a quick turn to interior immigration enforcement, issued a Presidential Memorandum (Memo) initiating a process to develop administration initiatives to address visa overstays in the United States. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security released the Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report, stating a total overstay rate of 1.22%, … Continue Reading

Phase One of Premium Processing for FY 2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions Begins May 20

On May 20, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions that were filed (1) requesting a change of status; and (2) with a Form I-907. To manage high demand during the initial surge of premium processing requests for H-1B cap petitions and to … Continue Reading

DHS Grants Additional H-2B Visas for Seasonal Employment

Amid a flurry of media reports last week and verified today by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the availability of 30,000 additional H-2B visas for 2019 seasonal employment. Several years ago, Congress gave the DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Department of Labor, the authority to augment H-2B seasonal visas … Continue Reading

Changes in H and L Visa Processing in China

The Department of State (DOS) and Mission China announced that changes have been made to consolidate the processing in China of H and L visa applications for foreign nationals seeking to work in the United States. Starting March 1, 2019, all interviews for H and L visas will be conducted only at the U.S. Embassy … Continue Reading

February 2019 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) February 2019 Visa Bulletin shows considerably more movement in employment-based categories than in January. The EB-1 category will advance two months in all countries, with China and India advancing to Feb. 8, 2017, and all other countries moving forward to Dec. 1, 2017. The EB-2 category will remain current for all … Continue Reading

E-Verify and the Government Shutdown

We have received many client inquiries relating to E-Verify and the government shutdown. In short, E-Verify is unavailable, as the program’s authorization lapsed Dec. 22, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program, announced that the website http://www.e-verify.gov/ will not be actively managed and will not be updated until after funding is restored. … Continue Reading

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

September 2018 Visa Bulletin Updates

The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. The charts below show movement in employment-based categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin: EB-1: Mainland China and India had no movement, with a cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2012, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam … 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
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