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Increased Challenges for the H-1B

November 25, 2019 | Blog | By Barbara Chin

Anyone who works in legal or HR and handles work authorizations for their employees will agree that hiring foreign nationals or international transfers has become much more difficult under the current administration and its interpretation of President Trump’s Hire America/Buy America (BAHA) Policy, which he issued by Executive Order in April 2017. The latest statistics issued by USCIS confirm the difficulty of processing H-1B Petitions over the past three years.
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Practice Hero Privacy Cybersecurity Mintz
In a historic decision on travelers’ rights to privacy at the U.S. border, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper in Boston ruled that suspicionless searches at U.S. ports of entry (airports and border crossings) of travelers’ electronic devices violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 
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Viewpoint General

DACA: Updates and Options for Dreamers

November 11, 2019 | Blog | By Lauren Watford

This November, the United States Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the case that will decide the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program, established through executive action, has offered a temporary reprieve from removal (deportation) to nearly 800,000 students and young professionals raised in the United States. While the program protects a generation categorically denied opportunity to gain legal status, it is very limited in scope. Remarkably, DACA does not confer any immigration status itself nor offer a separate pathway to any other status including permanent residency.
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Viewpoint General

USCIS Forms Expiring on October 15

October 10, 2019 | Blog | By John Quill

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that effective October 15, 2019, various forms will be updated to coincide with the recent issuance of a final rule on the public charge ground of admissibility (section INA 212(A)(4)) published by the Department of Homeland Security on August 14, 2019.
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Viewpoint General
Processing Delays Expected to Continue For All Trusted Traveler Program Applications
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Viewpoint
On August 9, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that over the course of the coming year it will shutter all but 7 of its 23 international offices. Offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nairobi, New Delhi, Guatemala City, Mexico City, and San Salvador will remain open. In March of this year, Trump administration officials had announced that the administration was planning to close all the international offices.  The recently-announced decision to keep some of them open is therefore a departure from the original plan.
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Viewpoint General

Visa Backlog Blues

July 12, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

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Viewpoint General
On June 10, 2019 the Department of Labor (DOL) will implement their new system for Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations (Form ETA-9141).  The DOL has developed the Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) System as part of their technology modernization initiative.  The current system, iCERT, is decades old and the DOL believes it is not keeping pace with customer demands.  The DOL will continue to accept Form ETA-9141 through the current system, iCERT, until 11:59 p.m. EST on June 9, 2019.  All new Applications for Prevailing Wage Determinations must be submitted through FLAG beginning on June 10th. 
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Viewpoint General
On June 1, 2019 the Department of State (DOS) announced that it would immediately begin requiring visa applicants to the United States to provide additional personal information on U.S. visa applications, including social media information, and all email addresses and phone numbers used over the prior five year period.  Up to 15 million visa applicants around the world could be affected by these new questions on the visa application forms. 
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Viewpoint General
There are two relevant questions that must always be answered in considering whether or not to file an amended petition: (1) what does the law strictly require? and (2) what is the risk to the organization of not filing the amended petition?
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Viewpoint General
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of State (DOS) released their fall 2018 Regulatory Agendas. Issued twice per year (fall and spring), this notice forecasts possible regulations that may be promulgated in the coming months.
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Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the fourth installment in the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
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Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the fourth installment in the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
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Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the third installment in the series.
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Viewpoint General
Employers who sponsor foreign nationals for (1) H-1B visas; (2) PERM-based permanent residence applications and (3) STEM OPT Extensions must ensure their records are in order and retain them for the required statutory time-periods.
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Viewpoint General
The Trump Administration has made immigration enforcement and the restriction of immigration to the United States a high priority.
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducts site visits at the offices of employers who petitioned or are petitioning for temporary work visas on behalf of their employees. These site visits are funded by the $500 “anti-fraud” fee that is a component of the filing fees for H-1B and L-1 petitions.
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Government enforcement activities at businesses have significantly increased this year. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already conducted 5,200 audits this year compared to 1,360 audits in all of 2017.
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