EIG Dispatch
UPDATE: USCIS to Close its Overseas Offices
August 14, 2019

In March 2019, USCIS announced its plan to close all of its overseas offices.However, on August 9, 2019, USCIS updated its plans and announced thatseven of the international offices will remain open. The field offices in Monterrey, Mexico and Seoul, South Korea will be the first ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Clarifies H-1B Degree Requirement
August 14, 2019

On August 6, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that USCIS acted arbitrarily, capriciously, and abused its discretion in denying an H-1B work visa to a Data Analyst on the grounds that Data Analysts do not require a bachelor’s degree in ...

Alerts
Trump Administration Introduces Final "Public Charge" Rule
August 12, 2019

On Monday, August 12, the Trump Administration said it would move forward with new regulations that would deny green cards and visas to immigrants who use or are expected to use a wide range of government benefits, including food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid. This ...

Alerts
USCIS to Allow for Public Reporting of Immigration Fraud
August 7, 2019

On Wednesday, August 7, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would introduce "a single, secure portal" for the public to report "credible and relevant claims of immigration benefit fraud." USCIS will accept additional public comment on the form beginning Thursday, August 8. Individuals will be ...

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk About the Week in Immigration
August 2, 2019

In this week's Immigration Nerds podcast, we're joined by Erickson Immigration Group senior attorney Storm Estep to discuss recent policy updates from the week of July 15 - July 24. Storm explains H.R. 1044 and the companion bill in the Senate, new asylum rules and ...

Alerts
DC and California Judges Weigh in on Trump Administration's Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications
July 25, 2019

As previously reported, on July 15, the Trump Administration published a new rule, Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications, which would require individuals who pass through a third party country seeking asylum in the U.S. to first apply for asylum in that third party country. The rule was met ...

Alerts
USCIS Annouces Significant Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
July 24, 2019

On Wednesday, July 24, USCIS announced significant changes that would be forthcoming for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. From USCIS, the new rule would include the following: Raising the minimum investment amounts from $1 million to $1.8 million, with an automatic adjustment for inflation every ...

Alerts
Congress Holds Hearing on USCIS Processing Delays
July 18, 2019

USCIS is the agency charged with administering and providing immigration benefits to foreign nationals.  Naturalization, green cards, work authorization, H-1B visas, asylum, family-based immigration, investment visas, cultural exchange programs, foreign doctors, NAFTA professionals, victims of crimes and domestic violence, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and many ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Issues Opinion that IT Job Ineligible for H-1B
July 17, 2019

On July 15, the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia issued an opinion in the case of Sagarwala vs. Cissna.  Usha Sagarwala, beneficiary of an H-1B petition filed by HSK Technologies, Inc., sued the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) after  USCIS denied the ...

EIG Dispatch
Trump Administration Moves to Limit Asylum Protections
July 17, 2019

On July 15, the Trump Administration published a new rule, Asylum Eligibility and Procedural Modifications, requiring individuals who pass through a third party country seeking to apply for asylum in the U.S. to apply for asylum in that third party country first. Under the new rules, ...

EIG Dispatch
H.R. 1044 Update: Bill Aims to End Decades-Long Waits for Highly-Skilled Immigrants
July 17, 2019

On July 10th, the House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which intends to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based green cards. The bill will now be considered by the Senate. If the bill is approved, the first-come, first-served system would give every immigrant ...

Alerts
August 2019 Visa Bulletin
July 16, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the August 2019 Visa Bulletin. Cut-off dates remain effective for the EB-1 categories with retrogression for all locations. The Department of State stated in Section D of the August visa bulletin that due to the increased volume of adjustment of status cases filed, it ...

US News
H-1B Pre-Registration Proposal Moves to Public Comment Period
July 3, 2019

Last fall, the federal government proposed a pre-registration plan that would change and, in theory, streamline the application process for the H-1B visa, of which 85,000 are allocated annually. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) announced in the federal register that the pre-registration plan was moving forward ...

US News
Trump Administration Issues Fines to Individuals in the U.S. Illegally
July 3, 2019

This week, NPR obtained government documents showing that the Trump administration has fined some immigrants who are in the United States illegally, after "failing to depart the U.S. as previously agreed." The Department of Homeland Security sent out notices to targeted individuals with fines up to ...

EIG Dispatch
Decrease in Processing Times for Naturalization and Green Card
July 2, 2019

On June 17, 2019, USCIS announced that it plans on decreasing processing times for Naturalization and Green Card processing. USCIS plans to distribute Naturalization and Green Card adjudication more evenly among the field offices to address issues caused by the disparate adjudication burden on different field offices ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Introduces First Digital FOIA System
July 2, 2019

On June 25, 2019, USCIS announced that it will expand its digital Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST) allowing FOIA requesters who have a USCIS online account to submit online requests for their own records. USCIS has indicated that “the FIRST system is the only system ...

EIG Dispatch
House Approves $4.5 Billion in Border Aid
July 2, 2019

The U.S.  House of Representatives passed a bill that will send 4.5 billion dollars in humanitarian aid to crisis-stricken migrants at the border. The aid will fund overcrowded shelter facilities to improve living conditions for women and children who are detained. It will also go toward U.S. ...

US News
Acting CBP Commissioner Resigns
June 27, 2019

On Tuesday, the Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders announced his resignation. His message to agency employees follows a dramatic increase in undocumented migrants crossing the southern border. His resignation is effective July 5. Sanders filled the acting role in the spring following other personnel ...

US News
USCIS Expands Digital FOIA
June 27, 2019

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced they would be expanding the digital Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST). The FIRST system allows users to submit and track FOIA requests and receive information digitally. This move is meant to improve efficiency. Individuals with ...

Alerts
Citizenship Question Blocked for Now, SCOTUS Says
June 27, 2019

On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court ruled against adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The majority stated, they "cannot ignore the disconnect between the decision made and the explanation given" by the Trump administration. The proposal to add the citizenship question, "Is this person ...

Global News
A Possible H-1B Cap in Response to Data Rules
June 26, 2019

In advance of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to New Delhi, there are reports of a possible cap on H-1B visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally. Such a restriction would directly impact Indian H-1B applicants to the United ...

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk About the 2020 Census
June 21, 2019

In this week's Immigration Nerds Podcast, we sit down with EIG attorney Jeremy Dumetz and talk about the hotly debated "citizenship" question the Trump administration is pushing for in the 2020 Census. Jeremy and EIG Media Producer Ian Gaines talk about the history of the ...

EIG Dispatch
Mitt Romney Introduces Bill to Make E-Verify Permanent, Still Optional
June 18, 2019

On Wednesday, June 12, Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) introduced a bill in the Senate that would make the E-Verify program permanent. E-Verify, the online tool that allows employers to input a new hire’s driver’s license and Social Security information to verify whether the person is eligible to ...

EIG Dispatch
Cyber-attack Hacks Thousands of Travelers’ Images at the Border
June 18, 2019

On May 31, the Customs and Border Protection agency was made aware that up to 100,000 images of travelers and license plates were hacked in a cyber attack. For security purposes, the agency collects and stores personal data of all travelers who cross the US border. Federal ...

EIG in the News
Erickson in the News: Mexicans have a special route to the US job market. Trade wars could close it off
June 17, 2019

Melia Russell | June 16, 2019   As a candidate, Donald Trump began his campaign by attacking Mexicans. Now, some here legally fear they’ll be collateral damage in his trade wars. For a quarter century, skilled Mexican citizens have been able to get three-year work permits under a ...

Alerts
July 2019 Visa Bulletin
June 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the July 2019 Visa Bulletin. Cut-off dates remain effective for the EB-1 categories with no movement forward in any of the categories. The Department of State stated in Section G of the July visa bulletin that due to the increased demand, the ...

Feature
The Challenging Climate for the H-1B Program
June 13, 2019

USCIS is currently being sued in two separate cases over their Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) process and policy. USCIS may revoke a petition if the terms of employment and the original petition differ, in cases of fraud, misrepresentation, or inaccurate information, in cases ...

Alerts
Kenneth Cuccinelli Named as Acting Director of USCIS
June 11, 2019

On Monday, June 10, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced that President Trump named Kenneth Cuccinelli II as Acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mr. Cuccinelli assumed the role on the same day. While Cuccinelli has been a strong ...

US News
Government Accountability Office to Investigate USCIS Processing Delays
June 10, 2019

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) processing delays have been steadily increasing for many years, but the backlog has reached new highs under the Trump Administration. Earlier this year, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a report on the USCIS long-delayed processing times. ...

Alerts
Premium Processing for Remaining FY2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions to Begin on June 10, 2019
June 7, 2019

Update: At 3:24 pm EST on June 7, 2019, the USCIS announced that premium processing for all remaining FY2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions will begin on June 10, 2019. This commences phase two of the two-phase approach offered by USCIS in an effort to best manage premium processing ...