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The following opinion piece by Susan Cohen appeared in the December 20, 2013 issue of VentureBeat and is reprinted here with permission. The U.S. market is a magnet for foreign entrepreneurs.
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We applaud Microsoft Corporation and the numerous parties, including the American Immigration Council and the Chamber of Commerce, who filed amicus briefs last week in a consolidated Board of Alien Labor Certification (BALCA) case involving PERM labor certifications filed by Microsoft Corporation on behalf of several of its employees.
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Those who closely follow the world of U.S. immigration adjudication trends are painfully aware of the hostile attitude exhibited both by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators and consular officials at U.S. consulates abroad towards L-1B “intracompany transferee” visa petitions.
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On October 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of State will begin accepting requests to register for the 2015 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2015), also known as the Green Card Lottery.
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In its first decision regarding same-sex immigration benefits since the June 26, 2013, Supreme Court decision United States v. Windsor, which held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) has reversed the denial of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative filed by Serge Polajenko
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Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, same-sex couples who are married have equal access to immigration benefits. We expect government agencies to implement the Windsor decision swiftly.
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Mintz Levin has published a brief Client Alert today on the Supreme Court's decision holding that DOMA is unconstitutional. We are waiting to see how various federal agencies implement this important decision.
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Susan Cohen and Bill Weld recently authored an editorial on the need for bipartisan action on immigration reform. The editorial appeared in the April 20, 2013 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe.
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H-1B Cap Hit for Fiscal Year 2014

April 8, 2013 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On April 5, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received more than enough H-1B petitions to meet the numerical limit for fiscal year 2014 cap-subject H-1B visas, which includes both the 65,000 general H-1B cap petitions as well as the 20,000 “U.S. Masters” H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. advanced degrees.
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Important Changes to Form I-94

March 29, 2013 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On March 27, 2013 the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published an interim rule in the Federal Register that changes the definition of Form I-94 (aka “I-94 card”) in order to allow an I-94 to be issued in electronic format, as well as in its current paper version.
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today published a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. All employers in the U.S. are required to complete Form I-9 on behalf of every employee hired in the U.S.
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The first two months of 2013 have seen a flurry of activity relating to immigration reform. President Obama is pushing for comprehensive reform as are powerful factions within both the Senate and the House.
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Mintz Files FOIA Request for DOL Prevailing Wage Data

December 28, 2012 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On December 7, 2012, Mintz filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) with the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). The request seeks disclosure of all documentation relating to prevailing wages, statistical methodologies and related internal communications in connection with the agency’s administration of the Foreign Labor Certification Program.
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Strategic Guidance for Blanket L-1 Visa Holders

December 2, 2012 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

With holiday travel rapidly approaching, we encourage our clients to closely note the recent guidance the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued for L-1 visa applicants.
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Visa Services Limited in Tel Aviv in December 2012

December 2, 2012 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

The following notice has appeared on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. See http://israel.usembassy.gov/visas.html for the latest information. We strongly encourage our clients applying for visas in Tel Aviv to plan carefully given the limited number of appointments available in the coming month.
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USCIS Releases Fraud Analysis Framework for H-1 and L-1 Visas

November 26, 2012 | Blog | By Douglas Hauer

On November 9, 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released four documents regarding the agency’s internal fraud review process in connection with the adjudication of H-1B and L-1 petitions.
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There are new developments at the U.S. consular posts in Poland. Beginning August 16, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and U.S. Consulate General in Krakow will introduce new services for visa applicants.
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On Tuesday, August 14th Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch visited Boston to tout the economic benefits to the United States of a liberal immigration policy focused on entrepreneurship and job creation.
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A recent Wall Street Journal article appeared about J-1 interns and trainees who had been placed at Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort for what appeared to be bona fide internships in hotel and restaurant management.
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In the past hours, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (“ECA”) has granted additional Forms DS-2019 to a few J-1 sponsors wishing to expand their programs for trainees and interns. This is welcome news.
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