Immigration Blog

Ongoing Instability for International Students

For the first time in many, many years, the number of international students and scholars at US universities declined. This decline is attributed to various factors. Uncertainty about visa policies. Instability about OPT and CPT options. And yes, the United States being a less welcoming place to foreign students under the Trump presidency. Many new immigration policies make it difficult to recruit talented students and scholars to American campuses. This is also impacting US employers’ […]

Continue Reading

Want to Know What to Expect for Your H-1Bs in 2019?

A reversed lottery. Massive registration pre-filing. Visas for the highest paid. Be aware! The Department of Homeland Security’s latest regulatory agenda includes some big potential changes for H-1B visas. And they didn’t stop with those mentioned above. There may be changes to work authorization for certain spouses. New definitions for “specialty occupation” and other key terms. Restricted access to court. And more! The lottery may no longer be random. And we don’t know what it […]

Continue Reading

Expect More Form I-9 Audits: Are You Ready?

A client who received an ICE visit recently said to me, “Giselle, I don’t want to see them here again. How can we best prepare?” As promised in October of 2017, throughout this year employers have experienced a ramping up of I-9 audits and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) visits. These audits have been carried out against employers both large and small. ICE has stated that it wants employers to expect I-9 audits to be […]

Continue Reading

Delays and RFEs for Forms I-765 and I-131

Yes, ongoing delays and RFEs ahead for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as well as Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. As of September 2018, processing times at the National Benefits Center (NBC) for these forms were as follows: For I-765 applications based on pending I-485 adjustment of status applications: anywhere from 4.5 to 6.5 months. For all other I-765 applications for employment authorization: 5-7 months. For I-131 applications:5 to 6.5 months. For the […]

Continue Reading

An Arbitrary, Capricious, and Unlawful H-1B Extension Denial

Despite significant evidence that an Assistant Project Manager was a specialty occupation which required at a minimum a bachelor’s degree and sophisticated knowledge of construction systems, advanced project scheduling, cost estimation and analysis, information systems, and supply chain management, USCIS arbitrarily and unlawfully denied an employer’s H-1B extension petition. The employer is a major commercial construction company attempting to maintain its US-based workforce to continue to deliver projects of vital importance in the transportation, health, […]

Continue Reading

USCIS Policy Change: Outright Visa Denials without a Recourse

USCIS recently announced a major policy change. Officials may immediately reject visa applications at their discretion starting September 11, 2018. Officials are no longer required to send Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) when they encounter something that could be further explained and supported. This means that more applications will be denied without an opportunity to further explain very technical and specialized issues. If you need guidance for submitting your […]

Continue Reading