News Updates

Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington

18:50 11 September in News Updates by Larrabee

The LAC family sends our thoughts and support to our colleagues, clients, family and friends through the West Coast who are facing evacuations due to unprecedented wildfires throughout the region. We also join the nation in remembering the lives lost on September 11, 2001, and honoring the many firefighters and first responders who risked and lost their lives to save others.  We extend our thanks to the next generation of men and women who continue that important work in our local communities.   Firefighters, first responders - thank you for your service. Operations at the LAC office in San Diego, California are uninterrupted.  ...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 9.08.2020

17:56 08 September in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   DHS Sends H-1B, Work Authorization Rules to OMB for Review Before Publication - DHS has sent several rules to OMB for final review, including an interim final rule to redefine what constitutes an H-1B specialty occupation and an employer-employee relationship, and a proposed rule to eliminate eligibility for work authorization for certain people who have final orders of removal but are temporarily released from custody on an order of supervision, with limited exceptions. DHS To Propose Major Expansion of Biometrics Collection and Use - Among other things, DHS proposes that any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or individual...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 8.31.2020

20:05 31 August in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   1.  USCIS Cancels Planned Furloughs But Predicts Further Backlogs and Slowdowns; House Passes Related Bill - Just five days before furloughs were set to begin for more than 13,000 USCIS employees, the agency announced that it was canceling those plans. However, USCIS said backlogs and wait times would increase across the board. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives passed a related emergency funding bill, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain. 2.  State Dept. Expands Interview Waiver Eligibility for Certain Nonimmigrants - The Department of State has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 8.25.2020

15:25 25 August in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES 1. Breaking News:  USCIS Averts Furlough of Nearly 70% of Workforce -- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that the agency will avert an administrative furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin Aug. 30 as a result of unprecedented spending cuts and a steady increase in daily incoming revenue and receipts. 2.  Extreme Wait Times at Baja California Land Border Ports of Entry:   New protocols to deter unnecessary border crossings are causing wait times in the non-SENTRI lanes to exceed 6 hours at many times of the day, having a significant impact on daily border crossers.  To reduce the...

LAC Attorneys selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 in the field of Immigration Law

15:13 25 August in News Updates by Larrabee

Fausta Albi, Diana Vellos Coker, Claudia Martorell, and Grace Zimmerman have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 in the field of Immigration Law. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice." Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world.  "Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.  For more than three decades, our publications have earned the respect of the profession, the media,...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 8.17.2020

20:55 17 August in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   GAO Says Appointments of Wolf and Cuccinelli to Acting DHS Leadership[ Roles Were Invalid -- GAO concluded that the appointments of Chad Wolf (as DHS Acting Secretary) and Kenneth Cuccinelli (as Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary) were invalid. Please scroll down to view the full updates.   USCIS Suddenly Begins Selecting New H-1B Lottery Winners -- According to reports, USCIS experienced an unexpected decline in H-1B filings and therefore is selecting additional H-1B lottery winners from previous H-1B submissions.   Reminder:  New I-765 Form Must Be Used If Postmarked On or After August 25, 2020...

State Department Announces Update to National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamation 10052

15:47 12 August in News Updates by Larrabee

LAC advisory: Please note the significant conditions placed on issuance of an H-1B visa to an individual who seeks to return to H-1B employment in the United States.   The below changes to the proclamation do not provide any guarantee of return from international travel if visa renewal (stamping at the consulate) is required.    If an emergency appointment is granted by the consulate, the consular officer will be required to assess a number of factors beyond the current H-1B regulatory criteria.  That means that applicants must build a case demonstrating their merit for a national interest exception (NIE) to the travel ban...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 8.10.2020

15:37 10 August in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   Executive Order Heightens Scrutiny of Contractors employing Foreign Workers -- The order instructs the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security to take action to protect U.S. workers from "any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B visa holders at job sites (including third-party job sites)," among other things.  Please see full details below. Court Extends Temporary Restraining Order in Case Challenging EAD Delays -- On August 6, a U.S. District Court extended a temporary restraining order to August 24, 2020, to allow the parties time to negotiate a consent decree to resolve the...

USCIS to Increase Many Filing Fees Effective October 2, 2020

14:02 04 August in News Updates by Larrabee

8/03/20 Background Today USCIS published a final rule that significantly increases certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees.  The rule, which will be effective October 2, 2020, also removes certain fee exemptions, changes fee waiver requirements, alters premium processing time limits, and modifies intercountry adoption processing.  Any application, petition, or request postmarked on or after October 2, 2020, must be accompanied with the fees set forth in the final rule. The final rule increases USCIS fees by a weighted average of 20 percent, adding new fees for certain immigration benefit requests, establishing individual fees for nonimmigrant worker petition type, and limiting the number...