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Recent Blog Posts

Increased Wait Times for H-1B and L-1 Visas at U.S. Consular Posts in India

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reports that U.S. Consular Posts in India are currently experiencing extraordinary wait times for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interview appointments. At the time of this writing, the current wait times for all NIV categories other than B, F, and J are: Chennai – 75 days Hyderabad – 93 days Kolkata […]

Effective May 10, 2016, STEM OPT Work Permits Expanded

May 10, 2016 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has amended its F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the final rule allows such F–1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months […]

USCIS Falls Way Behind on Asylum Interview Scheduling

Until fairly recently, USCIS’s Asylum Office in Arlington, VA, which covers applications from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC, was scheduling interview within 3 months or so of filing.  However, due to a huge increase in applications from Central American and Middle East nationals, the Office has fallen behind by 3 years. According to USCIS’ […]

USCIS Reaches FY2017 H-1B Cap

On April 7th, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the […]

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum on “Same or Similar” Occupations and Job Portability

On March 18, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services finalized its policy on determining whether a new job is in the “same or similar” occupational classification with respect to job portability. The policy memorandum instructs USCIS employees on how to use the Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes and other evidence to determine if […]

H-1B Season is Here Again

On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B […]

Can Toddlers Be Their Own Lawyers in Immigration Court?

Is this ignorance, evil, or just a misstatement?  The Boston Globe reports a senior Justice Department official is arguing that 3- and 4-year-olds can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves in court, staking out an unconventional position in a growing debate over whether immigrant children facing deportation are entitled to taxpayer-funded attorneys. Jack H. Weil, […]

More Changes Coming to the Visa Waiver Program

February 18, 2016 DHS announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, by adding Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as countries of concern, and limiting VWP travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries since March 1, 2011. At this time, […]

Senators Introduce Bill to Provide Children in Immigration Proceedings a Lawyer

Every day children, some as young as toddlers, are sent into immigration courts all around the country. They can be asked to make their own immigration cases before a judge, often while a government attorney argues that they should be deported. This is because the government maintains there is no right to appointed counsel in […]

Eight Families Swept up in Immigration Raids Released, While 30 Other Mothers Issue Plea for Freedom

Two mothers from Honduras and six from El Salvador, along with their children, were finally released from family detention centers in the past several days. These families were among those swept up in immigration raids in early January after the Obama Administration claimed their legal avenues had been exhausted. When the families rounded up in […]

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