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...]

Matter of T-O-S-U-, Adopted Decision 2017-01 (AAO Jan. 4, 2017) for H-1B National or International Renown

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new policy memorandum on January 4, 2017, that designates as precedent Matter of T-O-S-U-, a 2015 decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The decision explains that physicians of national or international renown who are graduates of medical schools in foreign states are exempt from the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination … [Read more...]

Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

Effective January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. Specifically, the final rule provides various benefits to participants in those programs, including the following: (1) improved processes and increased certainty for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and … [Read more...]

H-1B Cap Reached for H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Cap Season

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap. USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing … [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...]

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

Beginning July 13, 2015, USCIS will resume accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, H-1B extension of stay petitions. Premium processing requests for Form I-129 H-1B extension of stay petitions received by USCIS before July 13, 2015 will be rejected. The USCIS previously announced on May 19, 2015, that premium … [Read more...]

Work Authorization for H-4 Dependents

A regulatory change effective May 26, 2015, will extend eligibility for work authorization to H-4 spouses of certain H-1B workers who have already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.  H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will be eligible to apply for an EAD under the new rule if their H-1B spouse: 1.  Is the principal beneficiary of an … [Read more...]

Premium Processing Temporarily Suspended for H-1B Extensions

Starting May 26, 2015, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015, to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses final rule. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to request premium processing for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of stay for an H-1B … [Read more...]

H-1B Changes to Worksite Locations

Pursuant to the recent precedent decision (April 9, 2015) in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015)), an employer is required to file an amended H-1B petition for changes in worksite or address.  In Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, the USCIS revoked the employer’s approved H-1B petition after it was found that the employer failed to file an amended H-1B petition in … [Read more...]