News Updates

Update: Automatic EAD Extensions

20:16 02 February in News Updates by Larrabee

AUTOMATIC EAD EXTENSIONS PROVIDED BY THE "HIGH SKILLS BILL" 2/1/17 Updates:  I-9 guidance now available USCIS reverses position; EADs timely-filed before 1/17/17 now grandfathered   Background On Jan. 17,2017, a final rule, "Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers," went into effect. This regulation implemented one of the Obama Administration's directives to address some of the issues related to the lengthy delays in the employment-based permanent residency process.   For example, Indian nationals in the EB-3 category face an approximately 12-year wait for an immigrant visa to become available to complete the green card process. One of the provisions of the rule provides for the automatic 180-day extension of...

Update: Travel Implications of Executive Order

15:10 31 January in News Updates by Larrabee

The Draft Executive Order referenced in our advisory of Friday, January 27, 2017 "Advisory: Travel Warning for Nationals of Certain Countries in Anticipation of Executive Order" was in fact executed later that day The content of the Executive Order (EO): "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry in the United States," was substantially similar to the draft version.  There were no significant substantive changes, other than the removal of the provision which directed the Secretaries of State and Defense to establish a place to provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrians could await firm resettlement. LAC understands the...

Advisory: Travel Warning for Nationals of Certain Countries in Anticipation of Executive Order

16:53 27 January in News Updates by Larrabee

Immigration-related Executive Orders issued by President Donald Trump A presidential Executive Order relating to nonimmigrant visa issuance, immigration screening procedures, and refugees is likely imminent.  The draft of the Order, entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals," is NOT the final version of the Executive Order and it has not yet been signed by the President.  Changes can be made prior to formal issuance.   LAC will update you if/ when the Order is issued.  However, given the significance, we are taking the unusual step of advising our clients of its specific content before the order is actually issued. If...

News Regarding FY2018 H-1B Cap

23:17 04 January in News Updates by Larrabee

April 3, 2017 marks the opening date of the filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2018 (10/1/17 to 9/30/18) cap or quota number.  USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2017 H-1B cap starting Monday, April 3, 2017.   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: For the past four years the H-1B quota was met as soon as the filing window opened in April, triggering the lottery provision.  This provision requires the USCIS to allow employers to continue to...

Practice Advisory: Highlights of the New I-9

23:47 06 December in News Updates by Larrabee

Highlights of the New I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form When must an employer begin using the new I-9 Form? The new version of the Form I-9 (Revision date 11/14/2016 N) is effective for use immediately.   Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 (Revision date 03/08/2013 N) until Jan. 21, 2017. Use of the new version will be mandatory as of January 22, 2017.  The new form bears an expiration date of 8/31/2019. Where can I get the new Form I-9? The new form is available at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.  The site includes the smart / fillable version of Form I-9; non-fillable "flat" version;...

Immigrant Visas — December 2016 Priority Dates; Predictions of Future Visa Availability

20:29 02 December in News Updates by Larrabee

DECEMBER 2016 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 December 2016 shows slight forward movement in some categories but overall not much significant movement from the previous month.  All EB-1 categories remain current (for now), EB-3 China remains almost 10 months ahead of EB-2 China, and EB-2 categories continue to show heavy demand across the board.  WHAT IS A PRIORITY DATE? PRIORITY DATES/ IMMIGRANT VISA AVAILABILITY AS OF DECEMBER 1, 2016: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-december-2016.html PREDICTIONS OF...

EVUS Enrollment Now Required for Chinese Nationals Traveling to U.S. on Visitor Visas

16:03 30 November in News Updates by Larrabee

Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) Enrollment Now Required for Chinese Nationals Traveling to U.S. on Visitor Visas Please note that effective November 29, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection requires all Chinese nationals with 10-year B-1/ B-2 visitor visas to enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) prior to traveling to the U.S.    As with other visitor visas, although the visa may be used for multiple entries during the 10-year validity period, each admission to the U.S. remains limited to a maximum of six months per visit. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-now-requires-evus-enrollments-chinese-national-10-year-visa Release Date: November 29, 2016 Nationals of the People's Republic of China with a 10-year visa...

Post-Election Message to our Clients

18:29 11 November in News Updates by Larrabee

The United States has a new President Elect.  On November 9, 2016, the country, and the world, woke up to a President Elect Donald J. Trump, who will be governing a Republican-controlled Senate, a Republican-controlled House, and will be charged with the responsibility of filling at least one Supreme Court vacancy during his tenure, likely with a very conservative Justice. President Elect Trump made a very restrictive immigration policy a central tenet of his campaign, a message that appeared to resonate with a significant portion of the electorate.  His promises of change, of offering employment opportunities to a sector of American...

Travel Advisory for the Holidays

21:40 08 November in News Updates by Larrabee

Travel Information for Foreign Nationals As the busy holiday travel season approaches, LAC wishes to provide the following information to assist our clients with international travel. Time-Saving Travel Programs Travelers Arriving at a Land Border Port of Entry Can Now Pay for I-94 Online As a way of avoiding long lines at land borders, the I-94 website now allows travelers to submit a request for I-94 online, up to seven days prior to arriving at a land port of entry.  After submitting the application and payment online, travelers will receive a provisional I-94.  The I-94 online application will collect information that is otherwise...

USCIS Filing Fees to Increase on 12/23/2016

22:52 25 October in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS Filing Fees to Increase on 12/23/2016 On December 23, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will raise certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a weighted average of 21%.   After a comprehensive fee review, DHS has determined that a fee increase is necessary in order to avoid a $560 million shortfall.  The USCIS fee schedule was last adjusted in November of 2010. The new fees for common applications and petitions are as follows: Immigration benefit request Current fee ($) New fee ($) Difference ($) Percent change I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker   325   460   135   42 I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e)   340   535   195   57 I-130 Petition for Alien Relative   420   535  115  27 I-131 Application...