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 Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Cases

22:11 18 September in News Updates

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on September 18, 2017 for all pending H-1Bs filed under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap.  Premium processing is an expedited adjudication service.  For an additional filing fee of $1225, USCIS guarantees a 15-day response time. Premium processing for petitions seeking extensions of stay or change of employers in categories not mentioned below remains unavailable and will resume as USCIS workloads permit. Premium processing is currently available for the following H-1B petitions: - Petitions filed under the FY 2018 cap. - Petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested...

2019 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Online Entry Window to Open October 3, 2017

15:04 14 September in News Updates

2019 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY - ONLINE ENTRY PERIOD  Begins at Noon EDT on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Ends at Noon EST on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card or DV Lottery) provides immigrant visas each fiscal year for persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Essentially, this program provides certain nationalities with the opportunity to win the chance to apply for a green card, without having to qualify in one of the family-based or employment-based categories. For fiscal year 2019, 50,000 diversity visas will be available. Various immigration bills, including...

H-1B Site Visits: Guidance for Employers

19:27 11 September in News Updates

As we reported in April, USCIS is continuing its initiative to increase H-1B site visits.  Accordingly, employers and H-1B visa beneficiaries may wish to review the below guidance to be prepared for such a visit. H-1B Site Visits:  Guidance for Employers BACKGROUND The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) in 2004 with a mission to detect, deter, and combat immigration benefit fraud and to strengthen USCIS' efforts ensuring benefits are not granted to persons who threaten national security or public safety.  H-1Bs have been the subject of site visits since approximately 2009. FDNS is USCIS'...

Rescission of the DACA Program

16:39 06 September in News Updates

DACA Program Rescinded The Department of Homeland Security has officially rescinded the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  The announcement came following a policy decision by President Trump, and a concurring legal opinion by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In his statement, President Trump specified that the reason for gradually ending DACA over a six-month period is "to provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act" to address the issue of individuals who have become known as "Dreamers" - individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump had promised...

Reminder: E-Verify Required for Most Federal Contractors

18:08 31 August in News Updates

While E-Verify is currently a voluntary program for most employers, it is mandatory for most federal contractors and subcontractors if the contract includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.222-54.  The FAR clause has been effective since September 8, 2009, but we expect a renewed emphasis on enforcement.   Employers who are uncertain whether FAR E-Verify applies to them should consult with their general counsel/ individual with knowledge of the terms and conditions of their business contracts, and immigration counsel. Failure to enroll in E-Verify when required, and/or failure to consistently and accurately use the system, can result in significant monetary penalties. ...

USCIS Announces Interviews for Employment-based Green Card Processes

19:44 29 August in News Updates

USCIS Announces Expansion of the Interview Requirement To Employment-based Green Card Processes Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin conducting in-person interviews for the following: Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant Why the change? USCIS advises that this change "complies with Executive Order 13780, 'Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States," and is part of the agency's comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection...

September 2017 Immigrant Visa Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

21:16 25 August in News Updates

Each month, the U.S. Department of State publishes its Visa Bulletin, in which it establishes cut-off dates in each immigration category, for each nationality.  Among the notable developments in the recently released Visa Bulletin for September 2017 is the continued advancement of the cut-off date for EB-3 India and a nine-month progression of the EB-2 Worldwide cut-off date.  WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE?    PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF SEPTEMBER 1, 2017: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-september-2017.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY:    Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted August 16, 2017).  The information below is based on the discussion...