EIG Dispatch
Supreme Court to Consider Whether Green Card Holders may be Rendered Inadmissible
April 23, 2019

On April 22, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear the case of a permanent resident in the U.S. currently under removal proceedings following criminal convictions. In deciding this case, SCOTUS will determine whether U.S. Federal Immigration Laws allow for a permanent resident to ...

EIG Dispatch
Some U.S. Border Agents Refusing to Process Extensions for Canadians Employed in the U.S.
April 23, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Border Agents at some U.S. Ports of Entry along the Canadian border have begun directing Canadians seeking L-1 Visa renewals to instead submit to the lengthy process of filing an extension petition with USCIS. Under previous practice, highly skilled Canadian Citizens applying for ...

EIG Dispatch
Effective May 1, Israeli Nationals Eligible for E-2 Treaty Investor Visas
April 23, 2019

The U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that a treaty investor agreement has been signed between the United States and Israel, granting Israeli citizens the ability to apply for an E-2 visa at the U.S. Embassy Branch Office Tel Aviv. Additionally, certain Israeli nationals who are ...

Alerts
Recent Trump Administration Memo Targets Nations with High Rates of Visa Overstays
April 23, 2019

Update: President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Monday, April 22 that aims to force compliance from countries whose nationals consistently overstay valid travel and business visas. Per a 2018 report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the countries that fall into this category are mostly ...

EIG in the News
Erickson in the News: ‘They don’t like Canadians’: New border obstacle for high-skilled workers
April 12, 2019

Melia Russell | April 12, 2019 Some U.S. border agents have quietly begun refusing to process work visas for Canadians already working in the country, a change that is confounding immigration lawyers and could pose problems for big Silicon Valley employers that frequently move tech workers between Canada ...

Alerts
USCIS Announces Completion of H-1B Cap Random Selection Process & Reaches Advanced Degree Exemption Cap
April 11, 2019

Update: At 6:10 pm EST on April 11, 2019, the USCIS announced that they have completed the H-1B Cap random selection process and have also determined that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. Economic Reliance on H-1B Visa Program
April 10, 2019

The United States accounts for approximately 26% of the global volume of science and engineering research. Given the current record low unemployment rate below 4% in the US, research suggests that the US needs foreign highly-skilled workers to maintain our position as the world leading STEM ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Releases Data Regarding U.S. Employers Petitioning for H-1B Visas Since Fiscal Year 2009
April 10, 2019

USCIS launched the “H-1B Employer Data Hub” on April 1, 2019, which allows the public to search and view data on the H-1B program, including which U.S. employers are using the H-1B program and approval/denial rates on such petitions. The program was created by USCIS ...

Alerts
USCIS Announces H-1B FY2020 Cap Met
April 6, 2019

Update: At 5:37 pm EST, the USCIS announced that they have received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS will next determine if they have received a sufficient number of ...

EIG in the News
Erickson in the News: Changes to H-1B visa lottery create ‘stress’ for tech companies and employees
April 2, 2019

Paayal Zaveri | Aditi Roy Vraj Parikh started coding when he was 8 years old. He’s been coding ever since, with his passion for computer programming bringing him to the United States, where he received a master’s in computer science from Indiana University. After a stint at ...

EIG Dispatch
Increase in Immigration and Customs Enforcement Arrests of Undocumented Immigrants with No Criminal Record
March 26, 2019

Reports indicate an increase in the number of ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record. In recent months, less than 70% of undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE have a criminal record, compared to more than 80% arrested during the previous administration. Experts are concerned that ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS to Close its Overseas Offices
March 26, 2019

The Trump Administration is reportedly planning to close all 23 international USCIS offices, which currently handle family visa requests, international adoptions, and other tasks. The Director of USCIS announced in an internal email sent to USCIS staff that the agency is currently working to transfer these tasks ...

EIG Dispatch
Consulting and Outsourcing Firms Suing USCIS Over H-1B Program
March 26, 2019

Consulting and Outsourcing Businesses relying on H-1B Visa workers havefiled over 40 lawsuits against the federal government claiming that USCIS has been too aggressive with the rate at which they are issuing RFEs and denying H-1B visa applications. By filing such a high number of suits ...

EIG Dispatch
DOL Releases Guidance Levying New Employer Requirements for LCA Posting Practices
March 26, 2019

The Department of Labor released a Guidance on March 15, 2019 which may require H-1B employers to reevaluate posting practices to ensure compliance with the posting notice rule. The guidance specifically stresses the importance of ensuring that any affected employees, including those working through third-parties, have adequate ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Revises Terms of Introduction for Updated I-539 and New I-539A
March 12, 2019

USCIS has responded to stakeholder requests following the announcement of a revised I-539 and New I-539A application forms for Nonimmigrant dependents by revising the terms of the new forms’ introduction. Initially, USCIS announced that the Service would release the new forms on March 11 and ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Data Reveals Higher Rates of RFE and Denial in Recent H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions
March 12, 2019

USCIS released a report indicating that the first quarter of the 2019 Fiscal Year contained an increased number of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) issued for H-1B Visa Petitions. The data shows that USCIS issued RFEs for a record high of approximately 60% of all H-1B ...

EIG Dispatch
Research Indicates Immigrants Innovate at a High Rate
February 26, 2019

Researchers at George Mason University have found that tech companies owned by immigrants have “higher rates of innovation” compared to companies owned by U.S. nationals. Fifteen of the sixteen measures used in the study indicated greater rates of innovation among immigrant-founded firms. Pro-business groups note that despite ...

EIG Dispatch
DHS Has Submitted a Proposed Rule to Remove Employment Eligibility for H-4 Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders
February 26, 2019

Four years after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule extending employment eligibility to H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B Visa Holders who are applying for employer-sponsored Green Cards, DHS has submitted a proposed rule to the Executive Office of the President which would rescind the previous ...

EIG Dispatch
AILA Requests Delay to Mandatory Effective Date of Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A
February 26, 2019

As a follow up to our article published February 13, 2019 regarding the revised version of form I-539, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has sent a letter to L. Francis Cissna, the director or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that effective date of ...

EIG Dispatch
USCIS Issues New Guidance Regarding Spousal Petitions Involving Minors
February 26, 2019

USCIS has announced new guidance for officers adjudicating I-130 Petitions for Alien Relatives. Between FY 2007 and FY 2017, USCIS approved approximately 8,500 spousal petitions involving minors between the ages of 13 and 17. In an effort disincentivize child marriage in US immigration, USCIS has emphasized the need for ...

EIG Dispatch
Bill Aims to End Decades-Long Waits for Highly-Skilled Immigrants
February 26, 2019

A new bill, The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, has been introduced to address the wait time for immigrants to the United States. Under the current system, the number of immigrant visas that are granted to nationals of any one country cannot exceed 7% of ...

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk to Professor Ron Hira in an H-1B Debate
February 22, 2019

In this week's Immigration Nerds podcast, we talk to Ron Hira, a Howard University professor and co-author of “Reforming US High Skilled Guestworker Program” which was published in the Atlantic Council. Erickson Immigration Group attorneys Justin Parsons and Hiba Anver discuss the H-1B program with ...

Alerts
Premium Processing Resumes for More H-1B Cases
February 16, 2019

Update: Starting Tuesday, February 19, premium processing will again be available for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018.  This includes all change of employer petitions, amendments, and extensions filed through that date. imple extensions of H-1B status without changes in employment remain eligible for Premium ...

Feature
Immigration Nerds Talk with XXL about Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage and Deportation
February 14, 2019

Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage was apprehended by ICE earlier this month for overstaying his visa. Although he was released on bond this Wednesday, his permanent stay in America still lies in jeopardy potentially leaving behind his 3 American-born children, millions of dollars of revenue and ...

Alerts
UPDATE - AILA Finds that USCIS Processing Times are at “Crisis Levels”
February 14, 2019

As a result of AILA’s report on long-delayed USCIS processing times, 86 Members of Congress, led by Rep. Jesús Garcia (D-Ill.), have signed a letter addressed to the USCIS Director, Francis Cissna expressing their concerns over these delays and requesting insight into any contributing factors. Specifically, they are requesting ...

EIG Dispatch
Revised Form I-539 to be Published by USCIS
February 13, 2019

USCIS announced its plans to publish a revised version of Form I-539 on March 11, 2019. As of this date, USCIS will no longer accept any earlier version of Form I-539. There are notable changes to Form I-539 requirements, primarily affecting co-applicants. As part of USCIS’s ...

EIG Dispatch
Ice Operated Fake University to Target Immigration Fraud
February 13, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security designed an undercover operation to expose immigration fraud by creating the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The University, operated by DHS since 2017, accepted enrollments and tuition payments but offered no curriculum or classes. This operation serves as a reminder ...

EIG Dispatch
U.S. Employers See Success in Challenging Visa Denials
February 13, 2019

U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign nationals have seen success in settling lawsuits filed against USCIS challenging visa denials. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) created a litigation task force to assist business immigration attorneys and businesses in filing suit in response to the shift in treatment of ...

EIG Dispatch
Upcoming Changes to Processing of H and L Visa Applications in China
February 13, 2019

Effective March 1, 2019, the U.S. Consulates in the Chinese cities Chengdu and Shengyang will no longer accept H or L visa interviews. The U.S. Department of State announced that it will be reducing the number of interviewing posts from five to three. From this date forward, ...

EIG Dispatch
AILA Finds that USCIS Processing Times are at “Crisis Levels”
February 13, 2019

On January 30, 2019, The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a report which analyzed USCIS data on processing times from FY 2014 to FY 2018. The report finds that overall average case processing times have increased by 91% since FY 2014 and 46% over the last ...