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On June 16, 2015, USCIS announced the suspension of the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) for Forms I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and Forms I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. Due to challenges with ELIS and in an effort to improve it, effective June 15, 2015, USCIS will no longer accept electronically filed forms for either category. Additionally, USCIS ELIS will no longer support the Regional Center Document Library.

This change will not affect petitioners/applicants with pending cases in the system as of June 15, 2015. Filings submitted after this date must be filed in paper format. The following procedures will apply to pending electronic applications:

  • Attorneys and customers who already started an electronic Form I-539 or I-526 on or before June 15, 2015 will have 30 days from the day they commenced the application to complete it and submit it electronically. If the application is not completed within this period, a paper application will be required.
  • Applications previously submitted through ELIS will continue to process and attorneys and customers will maintain continuous access to their electronic accounts.
  • Applicants who filed Form I-526 electronically will retain access to ELIS to review existing documents uploaded by the document library manager, however the document library manager will not be able to create new document libraries. Applicants will be able to respond to RFEs and check case status online for electronically filed applications.
  • Regional Centers will need to file documents in paper format in support of Form I-526 or Form I-924 applications.

For further information regarding the transition from USCIS ELIS to paper filed applications, please visit the USCIS ELIS website.

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.

Photo of Rebecca B. Schechter ‡ Rebecca B. Schechter ‡

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher…

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher petitions and labor certification applications. Rebecca regularly assists GT clients with global immigration matters, including business and work visas to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She also works on state and federal I-9 and E-Verify audits. Rebecca has a thorough understanding of third party contractor issues and experience handling complex naturalization, deportation defense, family and employment-based adjustment applications.

Admitted in Maryland and Connecticut. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.