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It’s that time of year again. The Department of State will begin accepting requests to register for the 2016 Green Card Lottery. Online registration begins today, October 1, 2014 and will conclude on November 3.
Wage and hour lawsuits and governmental investigations targeting auto dealerships are on the rise.

6 Little Known Facts About H-1B Visas

September 11, 2014| Blog

It is almost October 1st, when thousands of new H-1B visas will become effective with the onset of the US government's 2015 fiscal year. In light of this, here are six little known but important facts about H-1B visas:
In recent days, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has published several proposed rules in the Federal Register, which, if adopted, will bring welcome and much needed regulatory changes. On May 12, 2014 DHS published a proposed rule to allow the spouses of certain H-1B temporary workers the right to work in the United States.
If you are an F-1 student with OPT employment eligibility and your H-1B filing has been accepted by USCIS, visa petitions will be adjudicated over the next few months, and approved petitions will have an October 1, 2014 start date. Whether you can travel and return to work before October 1 depends on your specific situation.
The Obama administration has proposed changes to regulations regarding spouses of people who are working under H-1B high-skilled employment visas. The changes, which will appear in the Federal Register later this week, are intended to attract people who work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the U.S..
Join two of our colleagues from the Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice for this free webinar on drafting restrictive covenants, to be held on May 28th. The panelists include Mintz Levin attorneys Bret Cohen and Mitch Danzig, and Jeff Lambert, the Chief Legal Officer of our client The Active Network.
In April 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) introduced electronic Forms I-94, enabling nonimmigrants entering the U.S. via air and sea to easily access their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records online. As of  May 1, 2014, this electronic system has been expanded to provide access to an individual’s full arrival and departure history for the past five years.
April 1st is rapidly approaching! Last week, we published an alert discussing why it is important to file your H-1B visa petitions and what the cap, or numerical limit on petitions, means for employers.
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.

The Deadline is Approaching!

January 10, 2014| Blog

The April 1, 2014 deadline for filing H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2015 will be here before you know it. We recently published an alert with more information on when you should file and H-1B caps.
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.
The government shutdown, in effect since October 1, 2013, has ended -- and immigration matters can now resume being processed. Read more about this and the impact of the shutdown in an alert published today.
We recently published an alert on the 2013 US Government Shutdown and how it will affect immigration services. The alert examines the three basic categories of immigration-related services: security, fee-paying, and non-fee paying.
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.
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.
USCIS has reported that there has been an increase in occurrences of petitioners and applicants for immigration benefits being called by scammers who claim to be the U.S. government. Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz Levin's Immigration Practice, describes this issue in her short article at:

Cap Gap Expiration Quickly Approaching

September 13, 2013| Blog

Today Mintz Levin published a brief client alert on the expiration of cap-subject H-1B petitions on October 1, 2013. We particularly discuss the impact of the expiration on recent F-1 graduates who are currently work authorized pursuant to the cap-gap regulations.
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
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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