DHS Issues Interim Final Rule to Restrict Requirements for H-1B Visa Classification

On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its long-speculated interim final rule, “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program.” According to the interim final rule’s summary, the purpose of the new rule is to “strengthen the integrity of the H-1B program during the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency to more effectively ensure that the employment of H-1B workers will not have an adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.”

DOL Issues Interim Final Rule Adjusting Wage Level Calculations for H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 Visa and PERM Programs

On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its long-speculated interim final rule, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” The new rule will update how the existing “four-tiered wage structure based on the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey” is calculated for purposes of determining prevailing wages. The rule goes into effect immediately on October 8, 2020, with no notice period. These changes will result in significant wage increases to the wage levels for all four levels of the OES survey, across all occupations. The wage adjustments will affect the processing of H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 temporary work visas, as well as permanent labor certification program (PERM) applications.

Second Circuit Limits Scope of Injunction on Public Charge Rule to Connecticut, New York, and Vermont

On August 12, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit limited the scope of a nationwide injunction that had blocked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from implementing and enforcing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule (commonly called the “public charge rule”) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision, which came only days after a series of recent federal court decisions on the controversial rule, restricts the scope of the nationwide injunction to only those states under the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit.

Key Immigration Considerations During Mergers and Acquisitions, Part II: Green Cards

Part one of this two-part series outlined common considerations related to temporary work visas employers may have during the due diligence process of a merger, acquisition, or other corporate restructuring. Part two will cover key considerations for employers during a pre-close assessment of impacted foreign national workers—this time, regarding green card processing.

Initiate Petitions Now–H-1B Cap Filing Date Quickly Approaching

On April 1, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020). With the filing window quickly approaching, employers now have only a limited amount of time to identify and prepare petitions for employees who require new H-1B visas to work in the United States.

Ninth Circuit Partially Affirms Preliminary Injunction of the Travel Ban

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13769, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” (EO1), which went into effect immediately. In EO1, the president invoked his claimed authority to suspend the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States for a period of at least 90 days.

President Trump’s Sanctuary City Executive Order blocked by California Judge

In the latest blow to President Trump’s immigration agenda, on Tuesday a federal judge in California blocked the Trump administration’s threat to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions.” U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick imposed a nationwide injunction against President Trump’s executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” which was signed on January 25, 2017, just five days into his presidency.

CBP Designates Preferred Ports of Entry for First-Time Canadian TN and L-1 Applicants

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the agency charged with overseeing and facilitating international travel and trade across the borders of the United States. The CBP’s mandate includes responsibility over determining when a traveler, such as a returning U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or an applicant for temporary nonimmigrant admission, may be allowed entry