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USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Today for ALL H-1B Petitions

March 12, 2019 | Alert | By Barbara Chin

This alert covers the USCIS announcement that it is resuming Premium Processing on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 for all H-1B petitions.
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The Thrill of a Visa, the Agony of Denial: Visa Challenges for the Esports Athlete

February 22, 2019 | Advisory | By Maryanne Kline, Elizabeth C. Egan

This article considers the use of P-1 athlete visas as a viable option for international esports competitors.
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USCIS Announces More H-1Bs Eligible for Premium Processing

February 19, 2019 | Alert | By William Coffman

Read about the USCIS’s plan to resume premium processing eligibility for additional H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018, starting on Tuesday, February 19.
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USCIS Announces Final Rule to Amend the H-1B Visa Lottery Process

January 30, 2019 | Alert | By Carole L. Rowlinson

Read about the USCIS Final Rule to Amend the H-1B Visa Lottery Process, which will enable advanced degree holders to enter the initial regular cap lottery for 65,000 visas.
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When Must an Employer Amend an Approved L-1 Visa Petition?

January 22, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

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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Potential Government Shutdown and Impact on Immigration Processes

December 21, 2018 | Alert | By Susan Cohen

Read about the impact of a potential government shutdown on immigration processes, including on Labor Condition Applications and PERM Labor Certification Applications.
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USCIS Proposes Changes to H-1B Visa Lottery Process

December 3, 2018 | Alert | By Kevin McNamara

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing amendments that would alter the process for the filing and selection of H-1B visa petitions that are subject to the annual numerical “cap”.
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Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda Signals Immigration Priorities for Federal Agencies

November 15, 2018 | Blog | By William Coffman, Molly O’Malley

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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United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Announced

October 3, 2018 | Alert | By Sarah Kommineni

Late Sunday night it was announced that Canada had reached an agreement with the United States and Mexico to remain in a North American trade pact. The deal came just hours before the U.S.-imposed deadline of midnight on September 30. The new agreement will be named the USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), which was formerly referred to as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
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DV-2020 Diversity Visa Registration to Open

October 2, 2018 | Advisory | By Sarah Kommineni

The US Department of State announced instructions for the DV-2020 (Diversity Visa 2020) program. The release of the instructions is somewhat unexpected, as last November President Trump announced that he intended to eliminate the program.

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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.
Viewpoint
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.
Viewpoint
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.
Viewpoint
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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The Trump Administration has made immigration enforcement and the restriction of immigration to the United States a high priority.

Be Prepared: DHS Site Visits on the Rise

August 31, 2018 | Blog | By Angel Feng

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.
On August 31, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final rule increasing the premium processing filing fee for all eligible applications postmarked on or after October 1, 2018. USCIS’s stated reason is that the fee increase is consistent with inflation as the premium processing fee was last adjusted in 2010.

The new premium processing fee represents an increase of almost 15% and changes the filing fee from $1,225.00 to $1,410.00. Individuals with specific questions are encouraged to consult with their Mintz Levin immigration attorney to fully assess how his or her immigration situation may be affected by this new rule.
This afternoon, USCIS announced that it is extending the temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions. In addition, starting September 11, 2018, USCIS will expand the suspension to include additional types of H-1B petitions. The suspension is expected to last until February 19, 2019.

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.
The tilt in this Administration towards harsh immigration measures is well known because of high profile moves like the travel bans and the separation and incarceration of parents and young children from Central America who have sought safety in the U.S.
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