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Author Archives: Morris Deutsch

STEM OPT Work Permits at Risk

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently struck down a rule, enacted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in April 2008 extending, for eligible science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students, the duration of optional practical training (OPT) by 17 months. However, the court stayed that action until February 12, 2016, […]

Update on State Department’s Visa System

June 29, 2015 The State Department has issued an alert that, as of June 26th, all visa-issuing embassies and consulates are back online. Consular staff worked over the weekend to clear backlogs which they anticipate will be done by early this week. On June 26, 2015, DOS updated their alert with the following language: All […]

Supreme Court Finds Possession of a Sock was not a Deportable Offense

Minor criminal convictions have had devastating immigration consequences for many immigrants in recent years. The Obama administration continues to deport hundreds of thousands of people per year, purportedly prioritizing the removal of high-risk criminal offenders. But in a recent case, Mellouli v. Lynch, the defendant had a Master’s degrees in applied mathematics and economics, but was […]

H-1B Employers Beware – Amendment Might Be Required When Work Address Changes

H-1B Employers and Employees:  Your immigration attorney has been saying to you for years, “inform me of any change in the employee’s work location – if you change it, then we need to file an H-1B amendment application.” Now in a precedent decision, the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office has revoked an H-1B approval, finding a […]

Update: USCIS Completes Data Entry for FY2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Update by USCIS: May 5, 2015 From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration ServicesSent: Monday, May 04, 2015 2:54 PMSubject: USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS […]

CNN Money – High-skilled visa applications hit record high

This year, 233,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, the most common visa for high-skilled foreign workers. That’s up significantly from 2014 (172,500 applications) and nearly double the applicants from two years ago (124,000). “I’m not surprised by how high the number is,” said immigration lawyer Tahmina Watson of Watson Immigration Law. “The world has changed and […]

Bloomberg: Getting a Visa Took Longer Than Building Instagram

In this Bloomberg article, read about how Instagram almost didn’t happen, and the U.S.’s convoluted immigration system would have been to blame.  Before Mike Krieger created the wildly popular photo-sharing app with business partner Kevin Systrom, he was living in Silicon Valley on a temporary work visa.  If not for some lucky breaks navigating the country’s […]

H-1B Delivery Problems at Vermont Service Center

In this firm’s Fall 2014 Newsletter, we discussed the situation with foreign professional workers applying for H-1B work visas.  There are only 85,000 of those visas available per year.  Recently each year, companies have used up all 85,000 visas during the first week they are available. The government then conducts a random lottery to pick the […]

Certain H-4 Visa Holders to Obtain Work Permits

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is extending 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. Eligible individuals include H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B workers who: Have an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for […]

“Public Access File” Requirement for H-1B Employers

In a procedure designed to “protect” American workers from the inappropriate hiring and treatment of foreign workers, H-1B employers are required to maintain a file, referred to as the “public access file.” It is to be made available for public inspection, most commonly by the US Department of Labor or US Citizenship and Immigration Services […]

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