News Updates

H-1B Site Visits: Guidance for Employers

19:27 11 September in News Updates by Larrabee

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 by Larrabee

DACA Program Rescinded The Department of Homeland Security has officially rescinded the program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.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 by Larrabee

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 by Larrabee

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 by Larrabee

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...

USCIS Is Denying Pending Advance Parole Applications (Forms I-131) for Abandonment Due to International Travel

18:48 22 August in News Updates by Larrabee

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued an advisory regarding advance parole denials. USCIS has begun denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the individual has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. The pending Form I-131 application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States. In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Form I-131 instructions at page 6 where it states that "[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance...

New I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form Released Today

20:28 02 August in News Updates by Larrabee

NEW I-9 EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY FORM RELEASED REQUIRED AS OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 USCIS released a slightly-modified Form I-9 today, bearing a revision date of 7/17/17. Employers may use the current version (11/14/16 N) through September 17, 2017. Effective September 18, 2017, use of the new I-9 form will be required for all new hires, as well as for Section 3 reverifications/ updates for existing employees. Please note that although the revisions to the form are minor, in the event of an audit Immigration and Customs Enforcement generally deems the failure to use the proper version of the I-9 to be a technical violation subject to...

CBP Expands Global Entry

21:18 20 July in News Updates by Larrabee

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded eligibility for the Trusted Traveler Program "Global Entry" to include citizens of India.  India becomes the 11th country whose citizens are eligible to enroll in Global Entry. Benefits of the Program Global Entry allows for expedited clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travelers. This allows CBP to focus resources on higher risk (non-vetted) travelers, and for enrolled travelers results in much shorter wait times in clearing Immigration/ Customs at U.S. ports of entry.  Global Entry is currently available at 53 U.S. airports and 15 Preclearance locations.  Global Entry members bypass traditional CBP inspection lines and use an...