New F-1 Optional Practical Training STEM Rules Go Into Effect on May 10, 2106

Starting May 10, 2016, certain F-1 students who have completed their degrees can obtain extended post graduate work experience in their field using Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) beyond the 1 year period available to all graduates of bachelor degree programs.  Graduates in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) can obtain a 24 month extension …

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USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap For Fiscal Year 2017 in 7 Days

On April 7, 2016, USCIS announced that it had received more H-1B petitions that the statutory annual limit for H-1B employer filings for Fiscal Year 2017. Federal law permits a maximum of 65,0000 first time H-1B petitions, and an additional 20,000 first time U.S. earned advanced degree holder H-1B petitions each fiscal year.  Each federal …

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All Canadian K-1 Visa Applicants to be Interviewed in Montreal

Beginning on April 1, 2016, all interviews for K-1 fiancé applicants in Canada will be conducted at a single location: the U.S. consular post in Montreal.  That U.S. consular post currently processes immigrant visa applicants for all of Canada.  The change, according to the U.S. Department of State, is for more efficient scheduling and decision …

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H-1Bs by the Numbers: DOL Reports on Q1 FY2016 Usage

The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released information breaking down H-1B usage for the first quarter of FY2016, based on Labor Condition Application filings, or LCAs.  Every H-1B petition must be accompanied by an LCA which has been certified by DOL.  DOL compiled the data by the total LCA …

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Visa Bulletin Trends Regarding EB Visas for India and China

In January, 2016, the Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Charles Oppenheim responded to questions regarding trends and projections for employment based visa number availability for EB-2s and EB-3s for India and China. In brief, here is what he said: India:    EB-2s from India have advanced significantly in the last few months …

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