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Sep 25, 2020

Flexibility in Responding to USCIS Requests Extended

On September 11, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended the flexibilities in responding to various requests raised by the agency. The flexibility was originally announced on March 30 in response measure to the coronavirus pandemic. This measure will help applicants, petitioners, and requestors who must respond to the following: » Read More

Sep 18, 2020

DHS Expands Use of Biometric Data in Immigration

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced plans to expand the use of biometric data in determining family relationships for immigration purposes. A proposed rule with the new protocols for biometrics use is expected to be published soon. This rule is also said to allow more uses of new technology as they become available. » Read More

Aug 28, 2020

USCIS Halts Furlough of 70% of Workforce; Still Processing Times Likely To Increase

On August 25, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the anticipated temporary furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin on August 30, has been averted. The agency was able to avoid this due to a steady increase in the day-to-day inflow of revenue and receipts, along with unprecedented spending cuts. » Read More

Aug 10, 2020

Significant Fee Rise in Immigration Forms Affects Businesses and Immigrants

On July 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule with a significant rise in its fee schedule, affecting both individual immigrants and businesses. The new schedule has added new fees, establishing multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions, and limiting the number of beneficiaries for certain forms. » Read More

Jul 27, 2020

ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Until August 19, 2020

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an extension of flexibility in complying with the Form I-9 requirements. This was originally extended on March 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to extend this policy once again for an additional period of 30 days. » Read More

Jun 24, 2020

Arbitrary H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Denials Have Employers Thinking Federal Litigation Rather Than Administrative Review

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data between 2015 and 2019 show that denials of the H-1B Specialty Occupation Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions have quadrupled for both initial H-1B petitions and those seeking the continuation of employment with the same employer.

According to immigration policy analysts, including the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), this is a result of more restrictive Trump administration policies, specifically the 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. » Read More

Apr 22, 2020

USCIS Urges COVID-19 Testing and Treatment With ICE Updating Enforcement Policy to Reduce Fear of Arrest and Spread of Coronavirus

With testing for the COVID-19 pandemic expected to increase across the United States and a determination to test the entire U.S. population to determine COVID-19 immunity before a true reopening of the economy, the nearly 44.7 million immigrants lawfully in the United States and over 16 million undocumented immigrants living under the radar have expressed concerns as to their ability to seek testing and treatment, if at all. » Read More

Apr 20, 2020

DHS Temporarily Amends Certain H-2A Visa Requirements During COVID-19 National Emergency

On April 15, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), along with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced a temporary final rule changing certain H-2A visa requirements. This rule will enable U.S. agriculture employers to continue employing lawful-related employment. » Read More

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