New USCIS Rule to Benefit Certain High Skilled Nonimmigrants and Immigrants

On January 15, 2016, USCIS published a new rule affecting H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrants, as well as certain EB-1 immigrants. The rule harmonizes the regulations with the implementing statute so that both state that H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrant workers are authorized to work for a specific employer incident to their status.  The rule clarifies that …

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DHS Seeks Additional Time to Issue New F-1 STEM Regulations

On December 22, 2015, Department of Homeland Security filed a motion in federal court in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. United States Department of Homeland Security  to extend time that its current F-1 STEM regulations remain in effect beyond their current court ordered expiration date of February 12,  2016.   In response to the court …

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House Passes Short Term Continuing Resolution: Agreement on Omnibus Bill Close

On December 11, 2015, the House passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 16, 2015 averting a government shutdown and providing time to reach an agreement on the massive Omnibus bill before Congress recesses for the Christmas holiday.  Among the provisions to be considered in the Omnibus bill are statutory changes to …

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Administration Tightens Security for Visa Waiver Applicants

On December 1, 2015, the White House announced security enhancements to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.  The program allows citizens of 38 countries temporary admission for business or pleasure for up to 90 days without first obtaining a U.S. visitors visa.   Approximately 20 million visitors use the program annually. All VWP applicants must register in …

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McDonald’s Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim With the Dept. of Justice

On November 19, 2015, McDonald’s entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.  The Office of Special Counsel alleged that the operating company for McDonald’s company-owned restaurants engaged in discrimination in its I-9 employment eligibility re-verification practices. The Office of Special Counsel investigated and …

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USCIS Notice Benefits Nepalese F-1 Students With Severe Economic Need

A USCIS Notice advises that certain regulations have been suspended for Nepalese F-1 students in the United States who have experienced severe economic need arising out of the devastating earthquake which stuck Nepal on April 25, 2015.  Eligible Nepalese F-1 students can engage in employment authorization and register for a reduced course load per semester. …

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Nevada Cab Companies Agree to Pay $445,000 to Settle DOJ Discrimination Claim

On October 20, 2015, three Nevada cab companies settled discrimination charges brought by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.  The charges alleged that the companies, which operated together under the name Yellow Checker Star Transportation Company, discriminated against foreign nationals with U.S. work authorization because …

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Visa Bulletin For August 2015

Number 83 Volume IX Washington, D.C A. STATUTORY NUMBERS1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during August. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, …

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Visa Bulletin For July 2015

Number 82 Volume IX Washington, D.C A. STATUTORY NUMBERS 1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during July. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were …

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USCIS Received an Unprecedented Number of H-1B Petitions for FY 2016

On April 13, 2015, USCIS announced that it had received 233,000 H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2016 – the largest ever received in advance of a fiscal year – which reached the statutory cap for both the 65,000 H-1B visa numbers in the general-cap category, and the advanced degree exemption of 20,000 H-1B visa numbers.  …

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