Category Archives: Immigration Planning & Compliance

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USCIS Launches New Organizational Accounts Platform to Facilitate the H-1B Lottery Registration Process

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched its new organizational accounts platform which allows multiple individuals within an organization, as well as their legal representatives, to collaborate on and prepare H-1B registrations on behalf of qualified candidates for the upcoming H-1B lottery. It’s imperative that employers familiarize themselves with this platform to avoid … Continue Reading

USCIS Fee Increases Are Imminent: The Concurrent Adjustment Clock is Ticking for Indian and Chinese Investors

Thanks to a final rule recently announced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), filing fees are about to increase on April 1, 2024, and filers who fail to make haste will end up paying more, or risk experiencing additional processing delays in certain visa categories. Specifically, on January 31, 2024, USCIS published a final … Continue Reading

A Modern Approach: USCIS Proposes to Update the H-1B Program

USCIS is proposing to modernize the H-1B visa program by streamlining eligibility requirements, improving program efficiency, providing greater benefits and flexibilities for employers and workers, and strengthening integrity measures related to the lottery. Employers are invited to participate in the rulemaking by submitting written data, views, comments, and arguments on all aspects of USCIS’s proposed … Continue Reading

Zooming In On The I-9: Five Things Employers Need To Know About Remote Immigration Verification

In July, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its long-awaited modernization of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification process. The new rule became effective August 1, 2023, and allows eligible employers to utilize an alternative process for I-9 verification. The alternative process allows continued remote inspection of Form I-9 documents by a live … Continue Reading

Florida’s New Immigration Bill: What Employers Need to Know

Florida employers should prepare now to comply with a new law taking effect in July, aimed at ensuring that employers do not allow undocumented immigrants to work in their businesses. Senate Bill 1718 (SB 1718), which became law on May 10, 2023, is an expansive immigration bill enacted in response to the expiration of federal … Continue Reading

Retrogression and Further Delays Expected in the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Process During May 2023

Employers sponsoring foreign nationals should be aware that some cut-off dates for filing immigrant visa applications in certain employment-based (EB) preference categories have recently “retrogressed” or moved backwards in time due to increased demand. The Department of State publishes a monthly Visa Bulletin, which apprises foreign nationals of the time to file their immigrant visa … Continue Reading

The H-1B Lottery Registration Period is Approaching!

Employers interested in hiring foreign nationals in specialty occupations should seriously consider registering for the H-1B lottery, which is quickly approaching. Last month, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would open the initial registration period for this year’s H-1B lottery at noon EST on March 1 and close at noon EST on … Continue Reading

Top 10 Labor & Employment Issues in M&A Transactions

Your business is buying (or selling) a company – now what? Due diligence is an essential part of a successful merger or acquisition, and there are countless labor and employment issues that may come up during this process. Should due diligence reveal that the target company is not in compliance with a certain law, the … Continue Reading

H-1B Visa Lottery Deadlines Approaching

Last week, USCIS announced the H-1B visa cap registration deadlines for FY2023. Registration is mandatory for most employers wishing to sponsor a candidate for an H-1B visa in the FY2023 H-1B cap cycle. Registration is an annual electronic process through which USCIS receives registrations from employers for the H-1B lottery. USCIS has historically conducted a … Continue Reading

Luck Strikes Twice for Certain FY 2021 H-1B Petitioning Employers

Certain U.S. employers now have a second chance to refile Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B lottery visa petitions that were rejected or administratively closed solely because of the requested employment start on the petitions. Employers must refile eligible FY 2021 H-1B cap petitions, with all applicable fees, before October 1, 2021. Employers petitioning for cap-subject H-1B … Continue Reading

Biden Quickly Shifts Immigration Policies – What Employers Need to Know

With the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, immigration reform is on the near horizon. Employers are advised to stay abreast of fluid immigration policies that could have sweeping effects on the sponsorship of various foreign national workers.  In addition, several immigration rules … Continue Reading

Use of Form I-765 Approval Notices for I-9 Verification Due to COVID-19

Employers who accept certain Form I-765 Approval Notices specifically approved during the pandemic for I-9 documentation purposes must reverify the employees presenting such documents no later than December 1, 2020. Delays in production of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced some foreign national workers to experience a lapse in employment … Continue Reading

Suspending Entry for Temporary Workers: What Employers Need to Know

On Monday, President Trump issued a Proclamation restricting certain foreign workers from entering the U.S. through the end of 2020, claiming it is necessary to curb the “economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.” The ban specifically targets work visas that many American employers rely upon to fill U.S. labor shortages. With the stated purpose … Continue Reading

Homeland Security Eases Policy on Expired Documents and Extends Remote Verification for Form I-9

In light of COVID-19, the federal government has extended temporary guidance relating to remote verification and relaxed restrictions on documents supporting I-9 verification. With respect to the latter, given ongoing stay-at-home orders and restrictions on renewing state driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and other forms of List B identity documents due to COVID-19, the Department … Continue Reading

Return to Work: Key Immigration Issues for Employers

As federal, state, and local government authorities pave the pathway to re-opening America in the ever-changing COVID-19 environment, employers should be prepared to address key immigration issues likely to arise. To ensure continuity of business operations and alleviate disruptions in the workforce due to immigration noncompliance, employers should develop a plan now to carefully transition … Continue Reading

New I-9 Form Required But Verification Relaxed for Some Employers

Amidst the fast changing pace of employer benefits and obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented changes to ensure that immigration worksite compliance continues. Beginning May 1, 2020, employers must use the newer 10/21/19 edition of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, but may also benefit from relaxed I-9 procedures … Continue Reading

Suspending Entry for Certain Green Card Applicants: How Does it Impact Employers and Foreign National Employees?

President Trump’s latest Executive Order temporarily suspends the issuance of certain Immigrant visas (Green Card) at U.S. Consulates and Embassies overseas and halts Green Card applicants from entering the United States. However, it does not have an immediate impact on U.S. nonimmigrant workers in valid status such as H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, and … Continue Reading

Handling Foreign National Healthcare Workers in the Pandemic

Healthcare workers – critical to the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic – are needed more now than ever, yet the bureaucracy surrounding employment of foreign national healthcare workers creates roadblocks. With the closing of Consulate offices and suspension of Premium Processing, employers must be creative in navigating options for obtaining approval for foreign national … Continue Reading

Deadline Rapidly Approaching To Register Online for H-1B Visa Lottery

The rush is on: U.S. employers looking to hire foreign professionals through H-1B sponsorship must register online for the annual lottery by noon (12:00 pm) EST on March 20, 2020. Employers petitioning for cap-subject H-1B hopefuls are required to register electronically through myUSCIS and pay a $10 registration fee to be entered in the yearly … Continue Reading

Preregistration Process Brings Revamp and Uncertainty to H-1B Visa Program

U.S. employers wanting to hire foreign professionals should identify those eligible for H-1B sponsorship as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to navigate newly required procedures in March 2020, including using the H-1B electronic registration system. Employers petitioning for cap-subject H-1B hopefuls are now required to register electronically and pay a $10 registration fee … Continue Reading

Anticipated Changes to Employment-Based Green Card Processing

U.S. employers and foreign workers could soon face significant additional burdens and years-long delays in the employment-based green card process. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044), which seeks to eliminate the per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas (i.e., “green cards”). The legislation proposes … Continue Reading

Sanctuary Cities in the United States: Sinking or Swimming?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is one step closer to eliminating protections availed in so-called sanctuary cities. On May 6, 2019, the federal immigration authority launched a new program that encourages local law enforcement to arrest foreign nationals in cities that have chosen to be a safe haven for immigrants. This program, which debuted … Continue Reading

USCIS Introduces Two-Phased Approach to Premium Processing for FY 2020 H-1B Cap Cases

As of April 1, 2019, U.S. employers requesting a change of status for H-1B hopefuls should request Premium Processing by concurrently filing visa petitions with Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, available here. But don’t expect the Federal Immigration Service to begin working immediately. In a statement released on March 19, 2019, the U.S. … Continue Reading
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