Court Enjoins Pentagon Policy on Permanent Residents Serving in the U.S. Military

Court Enjoins Pentagon Policy on Permanent Residents Serving in the U.S. Military

On November 30, 2018, a federal court enjoined a Trump administration policy adopted last year that called for enhanced background checks for lawful permanent residents wanting to serve in the U.S. military. The extra vetting in addition to biometrics screening and other existing requirements caused long delays that have prevented potential recruits from reporting for …

Read More

USMCA Preserves NAFTA’s Immigration Provisions

USMCA Preserves NAFTA’s Immigration Provisions

The United States has agreed to a new trilateral trade deal with Mexico and Canada that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to a September 30, 2018, announcement. The immigration provisions contained in NAFTA have been repackaged as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) but appear to largely remain the same. The …

Read More

Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Grow

Immigration Court Backlog Continues to Grow

A recent analysis of U.S. immigration court data has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of pending cases and average hearing wait times across many states. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University, the backlog has grown by 38 percent nationwide since President Trump assumed office. As of July 31, …

Read More

TRAC reports on zero tolerance at the southern border

TRAC reports on zero tolerance at the southern border

A recent analysis of immigration data by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University in New York has raised questions about the effectiveness of the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance approach to illegal border entries into the United States. On April 6, 2018, the government announced a new zero tolerance policy that called for the …

Read More

Can there be third party placements under STEM OPT?

Can there be third party placements under STEM OPT?

An April, 2018 update to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website has raised questions about third party placements of F-1 graduates under the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The agency appears to place additional limits on STEM OPT employment by barring student workers from participating in placements at offsite locations. The USCIS …

Read More

USCIS Alters Policy on When Unlawful Presence Begins for Certain Nonimmigrants

USCIS Alters Policy on When Unlawful Presence Begins for Certain Nonimmigrants

On May 11, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a policy change regarding when nonimmigrant exchange visitors and students will start to accrue unlawful presence. As background, a nonimmigrant who remains in the United States longer than the stated date on their Form I-94 by more than 180 days is barred from obtaining …

Read More

Despite obstacles, FY2019 H-1B demand remains high

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 6, 2018 that it has reached its 65,000 annual cap for H-1B visas for upcoming FY2019, just five days after the H-1B filing season began on April 2, 2018. USCIS received approximately 190,000 FY2019 H-1B petitions, down only 9,000 from FY2018. USCIS also received enough …

Read More

USCIS announces additional restrictions on certain H-1B petitions

USCIS announces additional restrictions on certain H-1B petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new policy memorandum on February 22, 2018, that requires U.S. employers filing H-1B petitions for employees at third-party work sites to submit additional documents and evidence. The new restrictions mean H-1B petitioners will now have to show that the H-1B beneficiary has “specific and non-speculative qualifying …

Read More