News Updates

Immigrant Visas: Priority Dates and Predictions of Future Visa Availability

14:59 20 March in News Updates by Larrabee

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 Visa Bulletin for April 2015 has been released and contains some important developments pertaining to EB-2/EB-3 China, EB-5 China, EB-2 India and EB-3 Worldwide, Mexico and Philippines. WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE? PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF APRIL 1, 2015: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-april-2015.html PREDICTIONS OF FUTURE VISA AVAILABILITY Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14071401 (posted March 18, 2015). The information below is based...

L-1B Denial Rates Continue to Increase – 2014 Statistics

13:58 20 March in News Updates by Larrabee

L-1B Denial Rates Continue to Increase The L-1B category is reserved for intracompany transfers who have specialized knowledge. "Intracompany" refers to individuals transferring from a qualifying company abroad to work temporarily for a related company in the U.S. Although there has been no change in the law or official change in policy, for several years now we have seen a significant increase in the rate of Requests for Additional Evidence (RFE) and Denials in L-1B cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Excessive and burdensome requests for additional evidence, some unreasonable denials, and an endemic pattern of inconsistency in...

What to Look for When Selecting Outside Immigration Counsel

17:25 09 March in LAC Blog by Larrabee

Those who vet outside counsel look at a variety of factors in the selection process, such as competence, cost and reputation. Beyond this, companies want counsel that understands the needs specific to their industry, will be proactive, and will act as a trusted partner with the best interests of the company in mind. Below are tips on how to assess these factors specific to the field of immigration law. Expertise Substantive competence in the field is often assumed if an attorney is licensed and indicates they have a certain number of years of experience practicing in the field. While a starting point, we...

USCIS to Begin Accepting H-4 EAD Applications 5/26/15

21:39 24 February in News Updates by Larrabee

The long-anticipated regulation allowing certain individuals in H-4 status to apply for an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. It will allow for eligible individuals to apply for an EAD on or after May 26, 2015. Please see the attached FAQ for additional information: http://larrabee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/H4EADFAQ.pdf For the USCIS Press Release, please see: http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends-eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence <-- Back to News Updates...

Employment Authorization Documents delayed at USCIS

21:33 24 February in News Updates by Larrabee

The below information is important to any: • Human resources representative; • Manager of an employee working pursuant an EAD; • Foreign national currently working pursuant to an EAD; and • Foreign national seeking employment and planning to use a pending EAD in the near future for work authorization purposes. Background A person can be eligible for an EAD card based on a variety of statuses, such as being an applicant for Adjustment of Status, an F-1 student on Optional Practical Training, and the spouse of those who hold E-1/ E-2/ E-3, J-1, or L-1 status. In some visa categories, by regulation the timely...

USCIS ERROR IN APPROVAL NOTICE MAILINGS

21:25 24 February in News Updates by Larrabee

Important Message for All Company Representatives Assisting with Immigration Matters: USCIS is temporarily sending original approval notices directly to the Petitioner or Applicant. Ordinarily, USCIS will send a Courtesy Copy of immigration approval notices to the Petitioner or Applicant (the employer or the foreign national, depending on the case type), and the original approval notice to the attorney of record. In the past few days, we have noticed that we are receiving from USCIS the courtesy copy of immigration approval notices, rather than the original. We contacted USCIS and the agent referenced a new Form G-28 - this is the attorney representation...

What types of OPT are available?

07:07 28 January in LAC Blog by Larrabee

Pre-completion: An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT after he or she has been enrolled for one full academic year. The pre-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major field of study. Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time while school is in session. They may work full-time when school is not in session. Post-completion: An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in post-completion OPT upon completion of studies. The post-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study and employment must be full-time.   Click here to schedule...

News Regarding FY2016 H-1B Cap

15:00 06 January in News Updates by Larrabee

April 1, 2015 marks the opening date of the filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2016 (10/1/15 to 9/30/16) cap or quota number. USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2016 H-1B cap starting Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The H-1B quota limitations are as follows: Regular cap (Bachelor's degree): 58,200 Regular cap, Citizen of Chile: 1,400 Regular cap, Citizen of Singapore: 5,400 Master's cap (Master's degree or higher from a U.S. University): 20,000 Background: You may recall that for the past three years the H-1B quota was met as soon as the filing window opened on April 1st, triggering the lottery provision. This provision requires...

E-Verify Records Retention and Disposal

20:32 19 December in News Updates by Larrabee

On January 1, 2015, USCIS will begin deleting E-Verify case records that are over 10 years old, which are those records whose last transaction occurred on or before December 31, 2004. The deletion of records will be an annual process that will continue in future years. The Department of Homeland Security will not have access to these old records effective January 1, 2015. If for any reason an employer would like to retain records subject to deletion, the employer may download a "Historic Records Report" containing information about transactions in each E-Verify case created on or before December 31, 2004. Please...