DHS weighs major change to H-1B foreign tech worker visa program

An article published on McClatchy DC | McClatchyDC.com reported a rumored change to the H-1B visa program, specifically related to American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21). Both AC21 Sections 104 and 106 have been passed into law by Congress. Per AC21, an H-1B nonimmigrant may extend status beyond the six-year limit under the following circumstances: AC21 106(a). Extensions … [Read more...]

Presidential Executive Order: “Buy American and Hire American”

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the “Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American.”  The phrase, “Hire American,” generally refers to the body of law and policy concerning how our immigration, visa, and guest worker programs are operated to ensure proper protections for American workers. The Executive Order calls for enforcing the guest worker programs (H-2A … [Read more...]

Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have introduced the bipartisan Conrad State 30 & Physician Access Act.  The legislation has been endorsed by major health organizations.    The State 30 waiver program is a nation-wide physician workforce development program that empowers state departments of public health to place U.S. trained physicians in … [Read more...]

Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Orders

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13780, entitled "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States." Section 2(c) of the executive order includes a revised entry ban on nationals of 6 countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). The new executive order set a 90-day entry bar on certain nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and … [Read more...]

Immigration Executive Order

President Trump is scheduled to sign a number of Executive Orders today and tomorrow relating to US immigration and visas. At this point, the official text of the orders has not yet been released. One of the orders prohibits the issuance of some or all visas (and entry to US) to citizens of the following countries for at least 30 days from the date the order is … [Read more...]

PERM Modernization Rule Withdrawn

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has posted an FAQ on its website confirming that it has withdrawn from OMB (Office of Management and Budget) review the PERM modernization rule and the proposed Schedule A ReThe Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has posted an FAQ on its website confirming that it has withdrawn from OMB (Office of Management and Budget) review the PERM … [Read more...]

First-Time Third-Country H-1B Applicants May Apply in Vancouver

The U.S. Consulate General at Vancouver, B.C., Canada has confirmed that it will accept applications filed by third-country nationals applying for their first H-1B visa, even if the application is based on a university degree issued outside the United States or Canada.  Previously, these applicants were discouraged from applying at the post. Applicants should regularly monitor the appointment … [Read more...]

USCIS Proposes Fee Hikes

On May 4, 2016, USCIS published a proposed rule that would raise filing fees for most USCIS applications and petitions, if finalized as proposed. Public comment on the proposal is due on or before July 5, 2016. As this is a proposed rule, fee changes will not be final until USCIS receives and analyzes public comment, and publishes a future final rule with an effective date in the Federal Register. … [Read more...]

Retention of EB–1, EB–2, and EB–3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Workers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to amend its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The proposed amendments would provide various benefits to participants in those programs, including: Improved processes for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and nonimmigrant workers, greater stability and job flexibility … [Read more...]

H. R. 3370 Conrad State 30 Program Permanent Reauthorization

The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced a bill to reauthorize the Conrad 30 Program. The Conrad 30 provision found in H.R. 3370 seeks to permanently reauthorize the Conrad State 30 Program, which is set to sunset on September 30, 2015. If the Conrad State 30 Program is not reauthorized by September 30, 2015 and does sunset, it does not mean that the Conrad State 30 Program will … [Read more...]