On August 10, 2016 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that some requests for renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Considerations (DACA) filed between February 14, 2016 and May 16, 2016 were delayed due to technical difficulties and may fall outside of expected processing times. Which may result in DACA renewal requests, whether filed timely (120 days or more before expiration) or untimely (120 days or less before expiration), not being adjudicated before the expiration of the previous grant of deferred action and employment authorization.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) jointly issued an interim final rule, which became effective on August 1, 2016. This rule increases the amount of penalties against employers who substantially fail to meet the terms and conditions of employing an H-2B worker or who make a willful misrepresentation in an H-2B petition.
On July 1, 2016, in an effort to transfer the workload, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) began accepting certain Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker for H-1B and H-1B1 petitions, as well as Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants that are concurrently filed with a Form I-129.
Employers with employees working pursuant to Optional Practical Training (OPT) on a 17-month extension may extend work authorization for an additional seven (7) months. This extension request must be filed by August 8, 2016.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) enforces the anti-discrimination provision (§ 274B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
For undocumented individuals, becoming a permanent resident is extremely challenging. Even those who have family members that could otherwise petition for them experience great difficulty obtaining lawful status because they entered “without inspection,” or unlawfully. The unlawful entry renders them “inadmissible,” thereby preventing them from meeting important criteria for Adjustment of Status.
On July 8, 2016, USCIS announced that it has returned all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the lottery. As of Mar 2, 2016, all selected petitions were receipted and receipt notices were mailed.
In November 2014, President Barack Obama announced what became known as the Immigration Accountability Executive Action, which expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and created a new program referred to as DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) ...
The U.S. Department of State has released its Visa Bulletin for May 2016, which sets forth the availability of immigrant numbers for “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications” for May. The following are summaries for Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based Visas as set forth in the Bulletin:
On May 2, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process, or lottery. Since all 65,000 bachelor degree and 20,000 Master’s degree filings have been selected, USCIS will now begin returning all other H-1B cap-subject petitions. In the event that your employee is not selected for the H-1B lottery, you may want to explore the following options:
Members of the American Immigration Law Association (AILA) recently reported that a number of L-1A Executives have recently received scam letters purportedly written by Lori Scialabba, the Deputy Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS, however, confirmed that the agency did not issue these letters.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) will be conducting a series of raids in May and June, news sources reported Thursday. These raids will mainly target Central American mothers and children who entered the United States without inspection.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 21, 2016, that some of its cases will be transferred between its five service centers to balance its workload and ensure timely processing.
USCIS has announced that as of April 21, 2016, petitioners who filed a Form I-129 requesting either an extension of status or a change of employer may inquire about the status of their petition if it has been pending for 210 days or more. An inquiry under these circumstances may be made based on the petition being outside of normal processing times, as these petitions are generally processed within two months of submission.
The H-1B lottery is over, but new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules have increased options for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) students whose petitions may not have been chosen for H-1B processing. If you have a STEM student working pursuant to valid Optional Practical Training (OPT), they may be eligible for an extension of their stay under a new DHS rule effective May 10, 2016.
Are you planning on traveling this summer? If so, please take note of increased travel security from Visa Waiver countries. Effective April 1, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require the use of electronic passports, or e-Passports, by all travelers coming to the U.S. from the 38 countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program
Cancellation of removal is a form of immigration relief for individuals who have been placed in removal (deportation) proceedings and meet certain requirements. As immigration judges can approve only 4,000 cancellation of removal requests each fiscal year,not all foreign aliens meeting the requirements will be granted relief. If granted, the foreign national may adjust to or maintain permanent resident status.
Generally, expedited removal is a process the Department of Homeland Security uses to remove certain non-citizens who try to enter the U.S. without proper entry documents, such as visas. If an officer encounters an individual attempting to enter the U.S. by fraud or without proper documents, the expedited removal process authorizes the officer to order that individual removed without a hearing or review by an immigration judge. Because there is no opportunity to present a case in an immigration court, the removal process may only last hours or days; hence the removal is expedited.
On October 3, 2015, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (INA) celebrated its 50 year anniversary. The INA banned discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas based on “race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.” It also imposed annuals limits of visas for immigrants from certain countries. The shift in demographic diversity seen in the U.S. population today is a direct result in the enactment of the INA.
On December 31, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a Proposed Rule (80 FR 81899) for public comment, entitled Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers.