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Category Archives: Immigration

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Temporary Worker Visa Update: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Cap-Subject H-1B Visas

Posted in H-1B, Immigration
On Monday, September 18, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release announcing an immediate resumption of Premium Processing for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap. As summarized previously by HR Legalist, the H-1B status allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in “specialty occupations” where a… Continue Reading

Immigration Visa Update: USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Cap-Exempt H-1B Visas

Posted in Government, H-1B, Hiring, Immigration
In a July 24, 2017 news release, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced an immediate resumption of Premium Processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B (Temporary Worker) Visa petitioners, including: institutions of higher education; nonprofits related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or nonprofit research or governmental research organizations. Premium Processing will also… Continue Reading

Deadline Looms for Haitians as DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status

Posted in I-9, Immigration
A recent announcement by Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, carries an important message for employers concerned with I-9 Compliance.  On May 24, 2017, Mr. Kelly extended Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for six months, through January 22, 2018.   The deadline for current beneficiaries to re-register for Haiti’s TPS designation is July 24, 2017. If a… Continue Reading

Buy American, Hire American:  President Trump’s Executive Order Hints at Possible H-1B Visa Reform

Posted in Immigration
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, President Trump signed his “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order during a visit to the Snap On Tools headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Lauded by the administration as a sign of the administration’s commitment to protect American workers and U.S. manufacturing, the executive order calls on all federal agencies to “scrupulously… Continue Reading

President Trump Orders a Wall and Other Major Immigration Measures in His First Week in Office

Posted in Immigration
On January 25, 2017, President Trump issued three Executive Orders related to our immigration system and national security. Broadly speaking, the President’s orders focus on the following:  border security, removal of undocumented immigrants from the U.S., and the visa issuance by U.S. consular posts abroad. … Continue Reading

Department of Justice’s Holiday Treat: A New Final Rule for Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Immigration, IRCA
As the saying goes, “No news is good news,” and HRLegalist is happy to report today that the final rule introduced this week by the Department of Justice, just in time for the holidays, introduces no new requirements for employers, which is about as good a gift as we can expect from the federal government!… Continue Reading

DHS Announces Immigration Benefits Just Weeks Before Trump is Inaugurated

Posted in Immigration
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a final rule related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs.  The rule is set to go into effect on January 17, 2017, just days before Donald Trump’s inauguration as President.  The final rule is intended to conform regulations with long standing DHS practice and the… Continue Reading

New I-9 Form Now in Effect

Posted in I-9, Immigration
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  The previous version of the form will be accepted only until January 22, 2017. What’s different about the new Form I-9? The form has been updated to make it easier to complete and print using a computer.  Changes… Continue Reading

Win, Lose or Draw? How will the 2016 Election Impact Your Business

Posted in Fair Labor Standards Act, Immigration, NLRB, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour
On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel’s Labor Relations and Employment Department will host a discussion on the upcoming presidential race and what employers can expect from a Democratic or Republican victory.  The stakes are high this year as labor relations, overtime rules, the FLSA, immigration and other areas could all see major… Continue Reading

International Entrepreneurs Receive Welcome News from USCIS

Posted in Immigration
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced a proposal to grant international entrepreneurs temporary admission to the United States in order to start or scale their businesses here.  On Friday, August 26, 2016, USCIS Director, Leon Rodriguez, stated that “America’s economy has long benefitted from the contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs, from Main Street to… Continue Reading

New Blanket L Form Reflects Heightened Scrutiny of Outsourcing Companies

Posted in Immigration
In recent years the L-1 Intra-Company transfer visa program has come under scrutiny. Critics of the program, which allows a multinational company to transfer an executive, manager, or worker with “special knowledge” from a foreign affiliate to one of its U.S. offices, complain that the program has caused the displacement of American workers and is… Continue Reading

Employers Beware: DOJ Nearly Doubles Civil Penalties for IRCA Violations

Posted in Immigration, IRCA
On June 30th The Department of Justice (DOJ) published an Interim Final Rule adjusting civil monetary penalties for immigration related employment violations set forth in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA provides civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hire workers who are not authorized to work in the United… Continue Reading

U.S. Government Expands Job Opportunities for Foreign STEM Students

Posted in H-1B, Immigration
As HR Legalist has reported, the H-1B Cap has been met for FY2017.  USCIS received over 236,000 petitions.   From among this number were selected the congressionally mandated limit of 65,000 regular cap H-1B petitions, and an additional 20,000 for those with Master’s degrees.  For  F-1 student applicants who were unsuccessful in this year’s H-1B Cap… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Major Immigration Case Just as the Presidential Election Heats Up

Posted in Immigration
Immigration is already a major issue in this year’s presidential race, as candidates from both parties try to score political points out of the presence of roughly eleven million undocumented immigrants in the country and the effects such a number has on issues such as health care, education, traffic safety, national security, and the economy.… Continue Reading

Paris and San Bernardino Terror Invites Tighter Restrictions on Visa Free Travel to the U.S.

Posted in Immigration
On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill imposing new restrictions on the current Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which permits citizens of 38 participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days if they meet all requirements, including a background check… Continue Reading

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Highlights of the Resettlement Process and Tips for Employers

Posted in Immigration
The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th have heightened Americans’ concern over security as President Obama has pledged to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing that troubled, violent, and oppressive land.   A number of states have declared that they will refuse to accept for resettlement any Syrian admitted to the U.S. as a refugee, claiming… Continue Reading

Immigration Updates: USCIS Announces Yet Another Change to the Visa Bulletin and STEM Graduates Granted a Reprieve by DHS

Posted in Immigration
In our September 16th blog posting, we discussed the updated Visa Bulletin which provided a new chart for would-be immigrants. The new chart provides Dates for Filing Applications, or the earliest dates when an applicant may submit his or her application for permanent residence. The new system was to begin starting with the October visa… Continue Reading

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses, but Take a Ticket First: U.S. Institutes Measure to Shorten the Wait for a Green Card

Posted in Immigration
Starting in October, 2015, an additional chart will be posted on the Department of State Visa Bulletin that provides new filing dates, or dates when applicants may be able to apply for permanent residence. This change was announced on September 9th and implements executive actions taken by the Obama administration in November 2014, detailed in… Continue Reading

Even Bears Need Visas: Immigration Law Stalls Kiwi’s Dream of Playing American Football

Posted in Immigration
New Zealander, Paul Lasike, always dreamed of playing American football. This 5’11”, 232 lb. Auckland native came to the United States on a scholarship to Brigham Young University, where he played rugby, but his heart was on the gridiron. Though unselected in the 2015 NFL draft, Lasike joined the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free… Continue Reading

USCIS Memorandum on Specialized Knowledge Workers to Go into Effect August 31st

Posted in Immigration
In my HRLegalist blog post on April 2, 2015 I shared with our readers the news of the USCIS draft Policy Memorandum (“L-1B Memo” or “Memo”) offering clarification on the definition of “specialized knowledge.” The Memo clarifies for USCIS officers how L-1B visa petitioners may demonstrate that an employee has specialized knowledge and offers a… Continue Reading