Category Archives: Immigration

Seismic Business Immigration Policy Shift in the Works for 2018

New changes to H-1B Lottery; H-4 EADs on the chopping block; AC 21 H-1B extensions in trouble; and how to plan for it all
Changes to the H-1B Program and the H-1B Visa Lottery

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to revise the lottery process for the upcoming fiscal year. The announcement may come as early as next month. It proposes a pre-registration system for cap-subject H-1B visa applicants.… More

2017 Immigration Policy Roundup

This year saw significant changes to immigration policy in the United States. Here is a brief roundup of recent developments that companies should continue to monitor in 2018.

The Travel Ban
BACKGROUND

President Trump issued the third revision of his travel ban entitled “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” on September 24,… More

The Fate of the International Entrepreneur Rule Remains Uncertain, But There May Be Hope

The Obama-era International Entrepreneur Rule (“IE Rule”), which had been scheduled to go into effect on July 17, 2017, would allow qualifying foreign entrepreneurs to come to the US to establish, oversee, and grow their businesses. To be eligible, applicants would have to demonstrate:

  • At least a 10 percent ownership in the business and a central role in its operations; and
  • That the company has received a “significant investment” of $250,000 or more from qualified US investors or significant grants from government entities,…
  • More

Supreme Court Stays Injunction Blocking President Trump’s Third Travel Ban

President Trump issued the third revision of his travel ban entitled “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” on September 24, 2017. This proclamation suspends entry into the United States under most circumstances for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, and North Korea. It also suspends entry into the United States for certain officials of the Venezuelan government and their immediate family members.… More

Protect and Grow American Jobs Act: New H-1B Bill Targeted at Dependent Employers

On November 15, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee approved The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act (H.R. 170), which primarily affects “H-1B dependent” employers. The bill revises the definition of a dependent H-1B employer to include all employers which have a workforce that is more than 20% percent H-1B employees (an improvement over the current 15% test). However, if a company qualifies as an H-1B dependent employer,… More

All Signs Point to an Increase in Worksite Enforcement in 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan recently announced that ICE would increase worksite audits by “four or five times” in the next year. This comes after a January Executive order and a more recent statement by ICE announcing plans to hire 10,000 new worksite enforcement officers. Worksite inspections involve auditing of the employer’s Form I-9 records and other related investigations. Acting Director Homan also indicated that worksite investigations will involve the arrest and removal of any employees who do not have valid work authorization.… More

What Employers Need to Know About Employment-Based Green Card Interviews

Based on President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” USCIS has implemented a new policy to interview all employment-based adjustment of status applicants where the application was filed after March 6, 2017. For applications filed prior to that date, USCIS appears to be randomly selecting some applications for an interview.

USCIS Service Centers will continue to adjudicate the underlying I-140 Petition.… More

USCIS Reverses Policy on Temporary Visa Extensions

On Monday, October 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reversed a long-standing policy regarding non-immigrant extension petitions. Historically, as memorialized in an April 23, 2004 USCIS policy guidance, USCIS officers adjudicating a non-immigrant H-1B, L-1, TN-1, or O-1 visa petitions were instructed to give deference to the findings of a previously approved petition, as long as the key elements underlying the petition were unchanged and there was no evidence of a material error or fraud related to the prior determination.… More

President Trump Issues a New Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued the third version of his travel ban entitled “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats.” This order suspends entry into the United States under most circumstances for nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, and North Korea. It also suspends entry into the United States for certain officials of the Venezuelan government and their immediate family members.… More

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Cap Subject H-1B Petitions

As of Tuesday, September 19, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed accepting requests for premium processing for cap subject petitions. The process is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions, since USCIS received enough petitions in April to meet the FY 2018 cap. Premium processing of H1B visas was suspended in April to handle the huge rush of new petitions. However,… More

President Trump Rescinds the DACA (“Dreamer”) Program

On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that had been in place since June 15, 2012. The Trump Administration states it will delay enforcement of this decision for six months, allowing Congress a window of opportunity to pass legislation to protect undocumented immigrants who are currently covered by the program.… More

USCIS Announces Expanded In-Person Interview Requirement

US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that beginning October 1, 2017, it will require far more people to appear at its offices for in-person interviews – a change that could potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people applying for permanent residence status.

Specifically, USCIS will be phasing in interviews for all employment-based green card applicants as well as asylees and refugees who are petitioning for a spouse or child to join them in the United States.… More

Supreme Court Narrows, But Declines to Stay, Injunctions Blocking Travel Ban Executive Order

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court entered an order that narrowed, but declined to stay, two preliminary injunctions prohibiting enforcement of various provisions of President Trump’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (the “EO-2”). Nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can continue to enter the U.S.… More

Border Searches of Your Electronic Devices — What Rights Do You Have?

The United States government has reported that border searches of electronic devices in the U.S. increased from 4,764 in 2015 to 23,877 in 2016. Because electronic devices have immense data storage capacity and can hold confidential information, trade secrets and data otherwise protected by attorney-client privilege, these searches have raised alarm for individuals, and the companies that employ them, when traveling. Adding social media and cloud storage into the mix,… More

Federal Courts Block New Travel Ban Executive Order

On March 15, 2017, federal courts in Maryland, Hawaii and Washington heard arguments on motions to preliminarily enjoin the New Executive Order (“New EO”), which was issued by President Trump on March 6, 2017. Judge Derrick K. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii was the first to issue such an order (as described below), which essentially prevents implementation of the New EO’s travel and refugee restrictions.… More

President Trump Issues New Travel Ban Executive Order

On March 6, 2017, President Trump issued a new Executive Order entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (the “New EO”). The New EO expressly “revok[es]” and “replac[es]” the President’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order of the same name (the “Original EO”). As described below, the New EO effectively bans the issuance of new visas to nationals of six countries for at least 90 days.… More

USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for ALL H-1B Petitions

Late Friday, March 3, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it was indefinitely suspending premium processing for ALL H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. This suspension would mean that no FY 2018 cap-subject H-1B petitions could be filed under premium processing.  The same exclusion would apply to H-1B extension petitions, H-1B Change of Employer amendment/extension petitions, and H-1B Cap exempt petitions filed on or after April 3.… More

Another Executive Order on Immigration Expected

Within the next week, President Trump is expected to issue another Executive Order (“EO”) concerning high-skilled workers and foreign students, most likely to be titled “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Workers Visa Programs.” Unlike the EO that was signed last Friday, which imposed an immediate travel ban on foreign nationals from seven countries, it appears that this new EO is not expected to immediately terminate any individual’s work authorization or visa status,… More

Travel Alert Under President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” relating to visa issuance, screening procedures, and refugees coming to the U.S. The implementation of this Order in the first 48 hours caused confusion at airports across the country. It was understood that Section 3 of the Order “suspends” for 90 days the admission of both permanent resident green card holders and nonimmigrant temporary visa holders (H-1B,… More

Watch: Labor & Employment Webinar

The past year has been busy in the labor and employment law field. Foley Hoag recently presented a webinar detailing the latest legal developments.

Watch the recording:

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Topics discussed include:

  • Upcoming changes to the overtime regulations
  • The expansion of the “joint employer” doctrine
  • The increasingly aggressive EEOC
  • Legislative initiatives to change non-compete law
  • Pay equity laws
  • Current issues in immigration laws

Speakers: