News Updates

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen? Tips to Successfully Manage the Corporate Immigration Process

08:07 02 October in LAC Blog

It is not uncommon for our clients to reach out to us and ask for guidance on how best to internally manage the immigration process for its foreign national employees. Some of our clients are just venturing down this path for the first time and others are struggling to manage the internal demands of a growing immigration need within their companies. As a result, we thought it might be helpful to provide some general guidance on the challenges and the best practices we see on daily basis from the interaction with our clients which range in size from small startups...

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

21:19 18 April in News Updates

USCIS issued the following Press Release:  USCIS announced that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master's cap. USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree...

I-9, E-Verify, and Worksite Enforcement Actions

22:05 13 April in News Updates

As immigration enforcement efforts increase, we expect a significant increase in worksite enforcement efforts as well. As noted in prior updates, worksite enforcement actions may take many forms:  H-1B and L-1 site visits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) audits of H-1B/ E-3 wage documentation; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) workplace raids; ICE HSI I-9 audits; USCIS E-Verify Desk Review; U.S. Department of Justice Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (DOJ IER) prosecution of employer for discrimination against employees in the I-9 process, etc.  In light of the above, employers should prioritize review...

USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

21:10 07 April in News Updates

H-1B CAP FOR FY2018 REACHED LOTTERY WILL BE CONDUCTED  As expected, today USCIS announced that the H-1B cap for FY2018 has been reached for both "regular" and "master's" cap cases.  USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap All cap-subject petitions received at USCIS between Monday, April 3, 2017 and Friday, April 7, 2017 will be entered into a random lottery for the available visas.    Petitions selected in the lottery will proceed to adjudication.   If approved, the earliest effective date of H-1B status will be October 1, 2017.  USCIS continues to accept H-1B petitions which are not subject to the cap.   Please see press release for additional information. Lottery...

Potential Changes to H-1B Adjudications

14:32 06 April in News Updates

On March 31, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum: Rescission of the December 22, 2000 "Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions."  However, while the title references "computer-related positions," the content of the memo is focused on the specific occupation of "Computer Programmer."  What is the potential change? We initially viewed this as "no news," as most practitioners have not filed H-1Bs for an entry level computer programmer for years.  This was specifically because there was ongoing concern, despite the 12/22/00 USCIS memo, regarding whether the occupation was specialized enough to qualify for an H-1B.  While...

The Future of H-4 EADs

14:25 06 April in News Updates

There has been a fair amount of concern regarding whether Employment Authorization Documents will continue to be available to spouses of certain H-1B visa holders under the current administration. Below is an overview of the current status. Ongoing litigation The litigation, Save Jobs USA v. DHS, initiated in April 2015 challenging the legality of the H-4 EAD regulation is ongoing.   On April 3, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked the court to hold the case in abeyance for up to six months, saying the Trump administration needs time to decide on revising the rule.   This is a reversal of position, as...

Background of Litigation

20:25 05 April in Uncategorized

In November 2014 President Obama issued the Immigration Accountability Executive Order which included actions to curb illegal immigration at the border, prioritize the deportation of felons, avoid separation of families, and "streamline legal immigration to boost our economy."   Among other things, the order acknowledged the fact that under the current immigration system, individuals in the employment-based permanent residency process often wait years for an immigrant visa to become available to them.  The order directed DHS to make regulatory changes to allow workers who are far enough along in the process to move or change jobs more easily, and to give their spouses the ability...

USCIS Announces Increase in H-1B Site Visits

22:27 03 April in News Updates

USCIS Announces Initiative to Increase H-1B Site Visits and Additional Measures to Detect Abuse of the Program Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will be taking additional measures to detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.   As noted in the Press Release, USCIS will target three types of employers for site visits: -    Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer's basic business information through commercially available data; -    H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and -    Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization's location. LAC's Answers to...

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

15:56 06 March in News Updates

Effective 4/3/17 USCIS WILL SUSPEND PREMIUM PROCESSING FOR ALL H-1B PETITIONS Premium processing may be unavailable for up to 6 months https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-will-temporarily-suspend-premium-processing-all-h-1b-petitions Q&A: 1.To which cases does this apply? This applies to ALL H-1Bs -- cap subject, cap exempt, extensions, etc. filed on or after 4/3/17 2. What if I had a cap exempt H-1B that was filed with premium before 4/3/17? Then USCIS will honor the premium request. 3. Does this change when we (employer/ employee) will find out if a cap-subject case is selected in the lottery? Yes. The advantage to adding a premium processing request to a cap-subject case is earlier notification if your case is selected...