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Apr 22, 2019

Are You an Immigrant Who (Legally) Smokes Weed? If So, You May Never Become a U.S. Citizen

On Friday, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its internal policies related to the adjudication of naturalization applications of lawful permanent residents who partake in the marijuana industry in states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which have enacted laws permitting “‘medical’ or ‘recreational’ use of marijuana.” According to USCIS, if you smoke weed, you may lack the good moral character to become a U.S. » Read More

Mar 13, 2019

Alert: USCIS to Begin Accepting H-1B CAP Petitions on April 1, 2019

Starting April 1, 2019, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B Quota-Based Visa Petitions for the 2020 Fiscal Year, for an employment start date of October 1, 2019.

USCIS’ regular H-1B visa cap limits annual H-1B approvals to 65,000 visas, with an additional 20,000 H1-B visas for individuals who earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. » Read More

Dec 26, 2018

Government Shutdown Impact on Immigration

Norris McLaughlin’s Immigration Group notes the impact of the partial government shutdown on the U.S. Immigration System as follows:

Form I-9 and E-Verify

E-Verify expired as a result of the government shutdown.  Employers will not have access to E-Verify to initiate new employee verifications, resolve non-confirmations, and verify employment authorization.  » Read More

Sep 20, 2018

Immigration Alert: USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a nearly 15% fee increase for its premium processing service.  The current $1,225 fee will increase to $1,410, effective October 1, 2018.

Premium processing is an optional service USCIS offers to employers that for an additional fee allows for 15-day processing of certain immigrant and non-immigrant employment-based visa petitions.  » Read More

Aug 10, 2018

The Weekly Round-Up: DACA to Be Reinstated and Large-Scale Employer Raids in the Midwest

Federal Judge Orders Government to Begin Accepting New DACA Applications

Late last week, United States District Judge John Bates, presiding in Washington, D.C., ruled that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must begin accepting all applications for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which had been suspended since 2017. » Read More

Jun 01, 2018

The Weekly Round-Up: Labor Shortages Persist Despite Low Unemployment and White House Plans to End Visa for Foreign Entrepreneurs

Agriculture and Construction Industries are Concerned About Labor Shortages

Despite lower unemployment across the country, agriculture and construction companies continue to face vacant positions, and are arguing for increased immigrant labor.  For example, in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, there is greater demand for construction work, but there are approximately 38,000 unfilled position in the industry.  » Read More

Mar 22, 2018

The Weekly Round-Up: Spending Bill Leaves Unanswered Questions on Immigration, Premium Processing Suspended for H-1B Visas, and ICE Director to Testify on Sanctuary City Issue

Proposed Budget Leaves Much Unanswered on Immigration

Congress released a proposed omnibus budget on Wednesday that addresses certain immigration issues but leaves many of the most important issues unaddressed.

What the Bill Does: In a compromise, the bill adds funding for an additional 328 Customs and Border Patrol Officers for border security, but at the same time, requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to reduce the number of immigrants in detention facilities.  » Read More

Mar 09, 2018

The Weekly Round-Up: Department of Justice Sues California Over “Sanctuary Cities,” USCIS Likely to Suspend Speedy Processing for Skilled Foreign Professionals, and Employees, Employers, and Congress Discuss Visas for Farm Workers

Justice Department Sues California

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against the State of California, as well as Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General of the State Xavier Becerra, asserting that California’s “sanctuary city” laws improperly interfere with federal immigration enforcement. » Read More

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