News Updates

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

16:47 06 May in News Updates by Larrabee

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 by Larrabee

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 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 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 by Larrabee

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 by Larrabee

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...

Update on STEM OPT Litigation

18:21 02 March in News Updates by Larrabee

Update: DHS Asks Court to Extend Stay on STEM OPT Until May 10, 2016 What is the Update? On December 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a motion requesting that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia extend the stay of vacatur of the 2008 STEM OPT Interim Final Rule for 90 days, in order to give the Government additional time to analyze the more than 43,000 comments that were received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Agency on October 19, 2015. Can we get that in non-legalese? Sure. Basically, DHS has asked...

News Regarding FY2017 H-1B Cap

23:14 04 January in News Updates, Uncategorized by Larrabee

April 1, 2016 marks the opening date of the filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2017 (10/1/16 to 9/30/17) cap or quota number. USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2017 H-1B cap starting Friday, April 1, 2016. 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...

Breaking News: STEM OPT Update

22:35 19 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Breaking News:  DHS Issues Proposed Rule "Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students" Today the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") issued an Advance Copy of proposed rulemaking related to F-1 students with STEM degrees, as well as cap-gap relief for all eligible F-1 students.   DHS issued this Rule on the deadline under the Administrative Procedures Act to allow for the Rule to take effect prior to February 2, 2016, thereby preventing the possible termination of STEM OPT work authorization on that date.  Among other significant changes, the Proposed Rule...

The 2017 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Entry Period to Open on October 1, 2015

23:09 30 September in News Updates by Larrabee

The 2017 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Online Entry Period will begin at Noon ET on October 1, 2015, and will end at Noon ET on November 3, 2015. Applicants may access the eligibility requirements, instructions for application, and FAQs for the 2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program at: http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Diversity-Visa/DV-Instructions-Translations/DV-2017-Instructions-Translations/DV-2017%20Instructions%20and%20FAQs.pdf The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card 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...

Certain Applicants without a Current Priority Date to become Eligible to File for Adjustment of Status Beginning October 2015

22:25 09 September in News Updates by Larrabee

This information is likely of interest to foreign national employees who are pursuing U.S. permanent residence (a green card) through adjustment of status. Certain Applicants without a Current Priority Date to become Eligible to File for Adjustment of Status Beginning October 2015 The October Visa Bulletin includes a positive development that will benefit quota backlogged immigrant visa (i.e. greencard) applicants. The Visa Bulletin will now contain two charts: The first chart lists the "current" priority dates, which are the dates when applicants become eligible to receive a greencard.   Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA - mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 1st C C C C C 2nd C 01JAN12 01MAY05 C C 3rd 15AUG15 15OCT11 08MAR04 15AUG15 01JAN07 Other Workers 15AUG15 01JAN06 08MAR04 15AUG15 01JAN07   A new second...