In 2013, supporters of comprehensive immigration reform had high hopes for a significant overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, a prospect that appears increasingly unlikely as the end of the year approaches. While immigration reform has always been a top priority of the Obama administration, other domestic issues, such as healthcare reform and the debt… Continue Reading
Airports in San Jose, Miami and Los Angeles are bringing in dogs to greet travelers, as part of a new program aimed at de-stressing the traveling public. While the Miami airport only has one dog, a 4-year old golden retriever named Casey, she has become a local celebrity. Casey has her own website, fan mail,… Continue Reading
The December Visa Bulletin has been issued. The employment-based visa category for India retrogressed from June 15, 2008, to November 15, 2004. See State Department Visa Bulletin for December 2013.
Indian tech giant Infosys has reached a $34 million civil settlement with the US government for allegedly misusing the US visa system. The company was accused of obtaining business visitor, B-1, visas instead of H-1B work visas for its skilled workers. It was also accused of billing its clients for offshore work, when the work was… Continue Reading
USCIS just issued a policy memo clarifying how F-1 students in OPT status can get a 17-month extension for STEM Degree programs. See link to memo here.
The Department of Labor is open again and operating. This means that LCAs and other documents can now be filed again although the system has been crashing due to over-demand. USCIS continued to operate during government shutdown, because of revenue it raises through filing fees. We understand that some petitioners tried to file H-1B transfer… Continue Reading
USCIS has announced that Congress passed a bill extending Special Immigrant Visa program for Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government. USCIS may now approve an additional 2,000 cases, as long as the initial applications to the DOS Chief of Mission in Iraq are made by December 31, 2013.
The State Department released the Visa Bulletin for November 2013. Most family-sponsored preference cut-off dates moved forward slightly and employment-based third preference and Other Worker categories for worldwide charges, China, and Mexico advanced to October 1, 2010. See Visa Bulletin here: Visa Bulletin Nov 2013
We understand that court functions that support detained cases will continue, but other court functions are suspended. Department of Labor’s iCERT and PERM systems are unable to process requests. USCIS E-Verify is also unavailable, but USCIS offices are open and individuals should attend scheduled interviews and appointments.
USCIS has not yet issued any guidance on what will happen if there is a Federal Government shutdown. In the past, it has stated that many of the USCIS functions will continue, since they are primarily funded through user fees. In contrast, because they are funded through appropriations, DOL functions are likely to be interrupted.
Online registration for the DV 2015 lottery will begin on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See the Diversity Visa Program Instructions webpage at travel.state.gov for the DV 2015 Instructions. DV-2014 entrants may now check the status of… Continue Reading
The Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October 2013. The family-based 2A category is no longer current and is now listed at September 2013 and the employment-based second preference category for China advanced to September 15, 2008. The employment-based second preference category for India remained at June 15, 2008.
September 6, 2013 Immigration Reform Marches On August has been a busy, productive month for immigration reform advocates. From the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic March on Washington, to Women’s Equality Day in Seattle, to town halls across the country, a broad coalition of Americans stood up in support of fixing our broken immigration… Continue Reading
USCIS has learned about new telephone scams targeting USCIS applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display false information on the recipient’s Caller ID, leading the individual to believe that the caller is a USCIS official. Be aware of these types of scams. The USCIS will never ask for any… Continue Reading
China recently implemented the “Exit-Entry Administration Law,” a new law that is intended to standardize the issuance of visas for foreigners, as well as related services and management. Scheduled to take effect on September 1st, the law emphasizes stricter enforcement over foreign visitors, and imposes harsher penalties for illegal employment. The regulation categorizes ordinary visas… Continue Reading
The DOS Visa Bulletin for September 2013 is now available. The employment-based second preference cut-off date for India has advanced to June 15, 2008. Here is the link: Visa Bulletin September 2013
The White House recently published comprehensive state-by-state reports detailing the specific benefits of passing new immigration legislation. The reports find that workers’ wages will increase, as well as new tax revenue to strengthen local industries. The reports find that the proposed legislation will reduce the federal budget deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next 20… Continue Reading
Thursday, August 1, 2013 Friends, America has always been a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants have kept our workforce vibrant, our businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economy. In addition to giving a significant boost to our national economy, commonsense immigration reform will also generate… Continue Reading
At a Racine, WI town hall meeting, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) announced the House’s pending plan to vote on important immigration legislation in the fall. Since the June passing of the Senate immigration bill, the House has been hard at work on this issue. According to Ryan, however, the highly anticipated vote… Continue Reading
USCIS has announced an E-Verify customer service enhancement that will inform employees about Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs), which result from discrepancies between the data employees provide during the I-9 employment verification process and DHS or Social Security Administration (SSA) records. The current system only allows the employers to receive notices of the mismatches, who are… Continue Reading
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will work together in a new collaborative relationship to combat unfair labor practices. The new partnership was established on July 8, 2013 when the Department of Justice issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two offices to allow both agencies to… Continue Reading
On June 27, the Senate passed its bipartisan immigration bill by a vote of 68-32. If enacted, the bill is estimated to increase the national net-population by 9.6 million people and reduce the federal deficit by $158 billion over the next ten years. Much of the criticism of the Senate bill pertains to border security,… Continue Reading
The DOS Visa Bulletin for August 2013 is now available. The family-based 2A category will be current in August for all nationalities, and the employment-based second preference cut-off date for India has advanced to January 1, 2008.
See Guidance issued at uscis.gov Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano: “After last week’s decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are… Continue Reading