News Updates

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

17:23 19 May in News Updates

USCIS issued the following Press Release: Release Date: May 02, 2016 USCIS announced on May 2, 2016, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2017 H-1B cap subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once...

New 24-Month STEM OPT Rule in effect as of May 10, 2016

17:20 10 May in News Updates

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented a new rule extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. What are the main benefits of the new rule? Increases the available time for a STEM OPT extension from the current 17 months to 24 months.  This is in addition to the 12 months of regular post-completion OPT, bringing the total period of OPT available to some students to 36 months. Expands the majors eligible for a STEM OPT extension. Allows for two lifetime STEM OPT periods. Allows for a STEM OPT extension...

Diana Vellos Coker and Claudia Martorell to speak at AILA Annual Conference

16:47 06 May in News Updates

Attorneys Diana Vellos Coker and Claudia Martorell will be speaking at the Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Las Vegas in June. Diana’s presentation is entitled "PERM: Audits, Supervised Recruitment, and Denials".  Claudia will be presenting on the panel “Nonimmigrant Visas Overview—Alphabet Soup”. <-- Back to News Updates...

Breaking News: STEM OPT Update

23:04 11 March in News Updates

Breaking News:  STEM OPT Update Has DHS issued a new STEM OPT regulation in time to prevent the program from terminating on May 10, 2016? Yes.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a preview copy of the Final Rule extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.  The Final Rule will be published March 11, 2016. When does the Rule go into effect? The Final Rule will go into effect Tuesday, May 10, 2016 I currently have STEM OPT work authorization.  How does this Rule impact my current OPT? A 17-month STEM OPT Employment...

February 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

22:06 03 March in News Updates

IMMIGRANT VISAS PRIORITY DATES AND PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY 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. The recently released Visa Bulletin for February 2016 shows a better than expected advancement for EB-2 India, and a continued imbalance between EB-2 and EB-3 China. WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE? PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF FEBRUARY 1, 2016: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-february-2016.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted January 28, 2016). The information below is based on the discussion...

News Regarding FY2017 H-1B Cap

21:20 02 March in News Updates

This is a follow up to our prior H-1B cap email of January 4, 2016.  USCIS will begin accepting filings toward the FY2017 H-1B cap on April 1, 2016.  Informal reports indicate that the cap is expected to be reached right away.  USCIS has not made any predictions as to when the H-1B cap may be hit, but has indicated that it always plans for the possibility of the need to conduct a random lottery for petitions filed within the first 5 business days of April. Therefore, if you have not already done so, it is important that any potential H-1B...

STEM OPT Litigation Update

21:10 02 March in News Updates

We have been bringing you updates on the STEM OPT lawsuit, which was brought by a union representing U.S. technology workers challenging the 17-month STEM OPT program on the basis that the government did not follow the appropriate procedures for implementing it in 2008. The latest development is that the court granted USCIS an extension until May 10, 2016 to follow the proper procedures to formally implement the STEM OPT rule. We anticipate USCIS will use this time to provide guidance regarding the new provisions of the rule, including extension of STEM OPT from 17 to 24 months. <-- Back...