DHS Expected to Announce Cancellation of TPS for Nepal

There are unofficial reports that indicate that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to make an announcement regarding the end of temporary protected status (TPS) for approximately 9,000 Nepali citizens. DHS originally granted TPS to Nepali citizens three years ago following a severe earthquake that devastated the country and killed thousands of people.

USCIS New Policy Shuts Down STEM OPT Training at Third Party Sites

The extension of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) allows eligible students to apply to extend their post-completion OPT authorization. Under the 2008 interim final rule, an F-1 student with a STEM degree from a U.S. institution of higher education could apply for an additional 17 months of OPT (per the 17-month STEM OPT extension), provided that the employer from which the student sought employment was enrolled in and remained in good standing in the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification program, as determined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

FY 2019 H-1B Visa Cap: USCIS Reaches Annual Cap in 5 Days

According to a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement, “USCIS has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019.” The fiscal year (FY) 2019) H-1B cap filing season launched on Monday, April 2, 2017 (since April 1, 2018 was a Sunday). On Friday, April 6, 2018, USCIS announced that it had already met both the 65,000 cap and the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree “master’s cap.”

Port-of-Entry Inspections and NAFTA Professional (TN) Visas: Differential Diagnosis for Advance Practice Nurses

Since President Trump first issued his executive order suspending travel to the United States by certain foreign nationals, a flood of generalized reports regarding changes to U.S. port-of-entry inspection operations emerged. Although key portions of the travel ban have since been blocked by a preliminary injunction, some inspection operation changes have continued to play out at U.S. ports of entry.

AAO National Interest Waiver Decision May Open Doors for a Broader Group of Professionals and Entrepreneurs Seeking Green Cards

On December 27, 2016, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) —the appellate body for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—announced a new standard for National Interest Waiver visa petitions in a precedent decision, Matter of Dhanasar. This reassessment comes after almost 20 years of the standard announced in Matter of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) that has admittedly left many “uncertain what ultimately is the relevant inquiry.”

New U.S. Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) Required for Certain Chinese Nationals Beginning November 29, 2016

On October 20, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule requiring travelers holding People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports with B-1, B-2, or 10-year B-1/B-2 visas to enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) before being admitted into the United States. The rule will go into effect on November 29, 2016, and will apply to both current visa holders and new applicants.

A Reminder on Voting Rules for Non-U.S. Citizens

As the 2016 presidential election approaches, election reminders abound encouraging everyone to get out and vote on November 8th. Largely focused on the importance of participation, these messages do not typically distinguish between U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPR), and individuals in the United States pursuant to temporary nonimmigrant visas. In fact, it is critically important for LPRs and temporary nonimmigrants to understand the negative consequences that involvement in the election process could have on their U.S. immigration status.

The H-1B Lottery: How Does a Petition Get That Winning Number Anyway?

The H-1B “cap season” has become an annual event for U.S. employers seeking work authorization for highly skilled foreign professionals. Working months in advance, employers and their attorneys prepare and submit H-1B petitions starting on the first business day in April. These petitions are added to a pool of applications and may be selected for an H-1B visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) controls the allocation of H-1B visas and accepts petitions until it has received an amount sufficient to reach the statutory limit of 65,000 visas available for new hires—and 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduated with a master’s or doctoral degree from a U.S. university.

DACA Program Raises Questions for Employers in the I-9 Process

Companies must balance countervailing mandates under immigration law: verifying employment eligibility while not discriminating unlawfully. With the recent implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives work authorization to those who establish that they were in the United States without authorization, implementation questions are sure to arise. Below is some guidance

Buyer Beware

Why Your Predecessor’s Noncompete May Not Protect Your Company After a Merger or Acquisition in Ohio Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision that highlighted the fact that companies cannot assume that the forms and agreements of a prior company will provide the same protections for a successor company. In…..

Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B Cap Exhausted

USCIS announced on November 22, 2011 that it had received enough H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit and that it would reject petitions filed thereafter. USCIS exhausted the 20,000 H-1Bs reserved for foreign nationals with U.S.-earned advanced degrees on October 19, 2011. The H-1B1 category is still available for nationals

Social Security No-Match Letters Halted

After a long hiatus, effective April 2011, the Social Security Administration (SSA) resumed its practice of sending out employer decentralized correspondence (DECOR) letters, otherwise known as “no-match” letters for tax year 2010. However, on October 27, 2011, SSA advised that, beginning August 29, 2011, owing to budgetary constraints, it had suspended sending these infamous no-match letters, the purpose of which is to advise employers that their workers are using a social security number that does not coincide with SSA’s records.

Discrimination Enforcement on the Rise

The Department of Justice, through its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), has filed a complaint against the University of California, San Diego Medical Center alleging unfair documentary practices. Commonly referred to as “document abuse,” the law prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than required to verify employment eligibility,

January 2012 Visa Bulletin: Continued Forward Movement in EB-2 India and China Priority Dates

As we reported in the November 2011 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, the cut-off dates for the India and China EB-2 (Employment-Based, second preference) category have been advancing at a rapid rate. Cut-off dates will leap forward, by nearly 10 months, to January 1, 2009, according to the Department of State’s (DOS) January 2012 Visa Bulletin.

H-1B Cap Reached

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on November 22, 2011 that it had received enough H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit and that it would reject petitions filed thereafter. USCIS exhausted the 20,000 H-1Bs reserved for foreign nationals with U.S.-earned advanced degrees on October 19. The H-1B1 category

Update on H-1B Cap Count for Fiscal Year 2012

On November 23, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, as of November 22, 2011, it has received enough H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap.” As we reported in the October 2011 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, USCIS previously confirmed that it had exhausted the 20,000 cap for foreign nationals with U.S.-earned advanced degrees. USCIS has stated that it will reject cap-subject petitions (for new H-1B visas requesting an employment start date in FY 2012) that are received after November 22, 2011.