U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put a hold on immigration enforcement operations in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks, according to a joint announcement issued by ICE and US Customs and Border Protection in connection with Hurricane … Continue Reading
Despite the absence of new regulations or policies enacted following the President’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order, a recent shift in the adjudication of H-1B visas indicates the Administration’s policy initiatives are already being accomplished behind the scenes. Employers should be aware that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is exercising greater scrutiny over H-1B petitions, issuing requests … Continue Reading
Employers need to switch to yet another new I-9 Form on or before September 18, 2017. The latest update–the second revision to the I-9 since the beginning of the Trump Administration—does not reflect any significant substantive changes. But employers who fail to timely implement use of the new form risk being fined for non-compliance.… Continue Reading
Concerns over the EB-5 “Gold” visa have been revived since Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner’s sister pitched the prospect of EB-5 immigration visas to Chinese investors. While the program may appear an easy path to permanent residency, any business banking on this program should fully understand the risks.… Continue Reading
Employers will likely experience new challenges as the Trump Administration continues to expand its immigration enforcement efforts. Immigrants–including lawful permanent residents—can be subject to deportation for relatively low-level, minor offenses such as jaywalking and driving without a license. Employers can be subject to criminal penalties if a foreign national employee inadvertently falls out of legal status. Employees with family members … Continue Reading
Employers are advised to restrict international travel for employees who are not U.S. citizens. This is particularly so for employees from the seven countries targeted by President Trump’s January 27 Executive Order restricting immigration, even if they have a dual passport.… Continue Reading
As of January 22, 2017, U.S. employers should be using the new Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification, available here.
Federal immigration law requires that U.S. employers use the Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees and to re-verify continuing employment authorization of existing workers who hold temporary employment authorization only. All U.S. employers … Continue Reading
As we observed (here), the heated tone of the recent presidential election poses unprecedented challenges for employers attempting to manage employee interactions in the workplace, especially when issues related to immigration and national origin inevitably come up. Right on cue, on November 21, 2016, the EEOC, emphasizing the rising numbers of immigrant workers in many of the United … Continue Reading
The H-1B visa program has been one of the most successful programs in U.S. immigration history, allowing for U.S. entities to hire and place highly skilled workers, holding at least a bachelors’ degree or the equivalent, into specialty occupation positions with their companies. However, the rigid cap of 85,000 new annual H-1B visas (which includes a carve out of 20,000 … Continue Reading
U.S. embassies and consulates abroad recently suspended issuing any U.S. visas as a result of worldwide technical issues with State Department computer systems. These technical problems cause considerable delays to foreign nationals waiting for their visa to be issued prior to traveling to the United States. The suspension is global, and does not apply to any specific visa category or … Continue Reading
In response to recent litigation that created significant uncertainty around processing of applications for H-2B temporary foreign workers, the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security recently issued a federal regulation that changes the application process and assigns employers additional obligations in 2015.… Continue Reading
Effective May 2015, certain spouses of H-1B visa-holders who are present under H-4 status will be eligible to apply for an employment authorization document, or EAD. Currently, those in H-4 status—the category assigned to spouses and children of H-1B visa-holders—are not authorized to work in the States, creating economic and personal hardship for these families during lengthy wait periods for … Continue Reading
The beginning of the calendar year is the perfect time for employers to begin planning for the FY 2016 H-1B cap filing season, which will begin on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
Commensurate with the nation’s economic growth, the demand for H-1B visas is expected to surpass years past. The H-1B quotas for FY 2016 are again capped at 65,000 petitions … Continue Reading
President Obama has ambitiously announced several executive actions that have the potential to impact undocumented immigrants, as well as employers, foreign national workers, and their spouses. While these efforts are focused on administrative relief for undocumented immigrants who apply to remain in the United States, these executive actions potentially offer significant benefits to the employment-focused immigration community.… Continue Reading
The State Department has announced that it will accept applications for the FY 2016 “diversity immigrant visa” lottery beginning October 1, 2014. Applicants who are selected and approved may submit their green card applications starting on October 1, 2015.
The State Department annually accepts “diversity immigrant visa” applications from qualified individuals born in certain countries with historically low rates of … Continue Reading
I-9 investigations are at an all-time high. Audits of employer I-9 forms increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscal years 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million. The number of company managers arrested has increased to 238, according to data provided by U.S. … Continue Reading
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published Introduction of the Revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form in the March 8, 2013, Federal Register. The new Form I-9 is available here. Employers should use the new form as soon as possible but have until May 7, 2013 before they will be penalized for not doing so. In addition, employers … Continue Reading
The U.S. employer that wishes to have a foreign national conduct business with its company or work for its company in the United States should determine if a temporary visa or a more permanent immigration solution is required for time spent in the United States. As part of this strategy, the U.S. based employer should work closely with the foreign … Continue Reading