Category Archives: Immigration

Reminder: USCIS Fee Increase Effective December 23, 2016

Any employer anticipating submission of an immigration application or petition should consider filing prior to December 23, 2016, to avoid higher USCIS filing fees. On October 24, 2016, USCIS announced a final rule that adjusts the required fees for most immigration applications and petitions. This will be the first increase in six years and, according …

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USCIS Publishes Final Rule for Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Non-Immigrant VISA Programs

USCIS has published a final rule to modernize and improve several aspects of certain employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs and to better enable U.S. employers to hire and retain certain foreign workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents. One of the provisions in …

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USCIS to Increase Fees for Key Immigration Filings

Effective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will substantially increase fees for numerous immigration filings. In a final rule published on October 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced the new fees, which represent a weighted average increase of 21%. The final rule also establishes a new fee for the …

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New Form I-9 Must Be Used By January 22, 2017

This week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new version of its Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form. All U.S. employers must begin using the new Form I-9 after January 22, 2017. Currently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducts over 3,000 I-9 employer audits annually, and immigration enforcement is anticipated to …

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Immigration Policy Choices Under the New Administration

Now that the election is over, focus turns to the U.S. immigration policy of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration over the next four years. Forecasts of this type are never easy with any new President; the task is even more difficult this year because immigration policy dialogue during the campaign focused so heavily on illegal …

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DHS to Issue New I-9 Form Following Recent Penalties

Just when employers were becoming more comfortable with the complex and lengthy Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification that was issued in 2013, the federal government has decided to turn up the heat. First, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice recently increased the penalties for I-9 violations. Second, DHS has announced that it …

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State Department Issues Cable on Extension of Three Visa Programs

On Oct. 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued an unclassified cable on the Continuing Resolution signed into law on Sept. 29, 2016 that extends several important immigration programs, including the Conrad State 30 Program, the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program (SR visa), and the EB-5 Regional Center program. The House and Senate …

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Labor Department Announces Procedural Changes to H-2B Visa Program

In an effort to further streamline the H-2B application process and make it less burdensome for employers, the Department of Labor has announced procedural changes to reduce the amount of documentation to demonstrate “temporary need.” To get approval to hire H-2B workers, an employer must establish that the need for H-2B workers is temporary in …

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Department of State Releases October 2016 Visa Bulletin

Employment-based China and India First Preference and Worldwide Second Preference cutoff dates become “current” once again. The US Department of State (DOS) has released its October 2016 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets out per-country priority date cutoffs that regulate immigrant visa availability and the flow of adjustment of status and consular immigrant visa application …

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Form I-924 Regional Center Practice Pointer: USCIS Now Wants All Fields Completed

One of the purposes of Form I-924 is to file an exemplar for a specific EB-5 investment project. In so doing, a Regional Center seeks a preliminary determination of EB-5 compliance for a project prior to the commencement of I-526 filings by individual investors so as to have greater assurance that investors will not encounter …

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