News & Resources

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 […]

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Green Card EB-1 Filing Backlogged until October 2018 – and Beyond

The Department of State (DOS) recently announced that it reached the cap for green card filings in the EB-1 category, which affects all extraordinary ability workers, including managers, executives, athletes, and researchers. This backlog for EB-1 visas is expected to continue beyond October 2018 (the beginning of the new fiscal year) and potentially into 2019. As a result, it is possible that new applications for permanent resident status will no longer be accepted for EB-1 […]

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Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing Extended and Increased Fee

As we approach October 1 – the date when adjudication of H-1B cap petitions should have been completed – USCIS announced it is extending the suspension of premium processing for H-1B cap petitions until Feb. 19, 2019. It is also expanding the suspension to include most H-1B petitions and raising the premium processing fee for all Forms I-129 and Forms I-140. The fee will increase from $1,225 to $1,410. These unparalleled changes are affecting US […]

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I-9 Audits Continue to Surge This Summer

Before the summer began, the number of worksite immigration-enforcement investigations had already doubled last year’s. And employers’ risk is only rising, as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) moves forwards with a nationwide increase of Form I-9 audits this summer. Plans are also underway for a national inspection center. The center would allow for 15,000 Form I-9 audits every year. This is a significant jump from the 2,282 conducted in FY2017. The Marks Gray immigration […]

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Business (B-1) Visas May Become Harder to Get

USCIS is developing rules, policy memoranda, and operational changes to continue implementing President Trump’s Buy American and Hire American Executive Order. One priority area is the Business (B-1) and Tourist (B-2) visa programs. USCIS has proposed regulatory changes to restrict the criteria for these classifications. These changes could limit permissible business activities. USCIS is also considering changes to the B-1 in Lieu of H visas. Following a discussion with the Departments of State, Labor, and […]

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ICE Pushing Employers to Revamped E-Verify Site

ICE has been more aggressive on enforcement efforts and encouraging employers to enroll in E-Verify, which basically provides the government with direct access to your I-9 information.    The recent revamp of the E-Verify website is aimed at supporting employers’ enrollment.   Some of the changes include features to: help ensure correct data entry, make the system more user-friendly, increase the speed and accuracy of results, streamline the creation and management of cases, improve data integrity […]

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