Posts from June 2019.
Time 3 Minute Read

Since March 2019, all applicants who file Form I-539 Application To Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status have been required to appear for biometrics appointments so that US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) can compare their biometric data against their identity documents and forward the data to the FBI for security screenings.

Why Is USCIS Taking Fingerprints from Applicants for Temporary Status?  According to USCIS, this new biometric requirement is to aid in identifying threats to public safety and national security, and to protect the integrity of the immigration ...

Time 3 Minute Read

While TSA pre-check may get you through US security faster, expediting departure, there are also benefits available on the other end of the trip through a variety of other programs that expedite international arrival processes.

Collectively known as Trusted Traveler Programs, most of these programs feature:

  • Fast-track lanes and streamlined entry processes
  • Facial recognition software and other technologies used to screen passengers
  • Eligibility limited to a specific list of nationalities that vary by program
  • A pre-approval process that includes a background check and ...
Time 3 Minute Read

In October 2017, the Department of Homeland Security implemented Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry,” by requiring all applicants sponsored for green cards by their employers to be interviewed in person at a US Citizenship & Immigration Services office.  The first batch of interviews were scheduled quickly, but over the last year, wait times have skyrocketed, now reaching 1 to 2 years in large metro areas.  Waits for family-based applicants (who have always been interviewed) have steadily climbed also, as a result of the growing ...

Time 4 Minute Read

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has broad authority to investigate and enforce Form I-9 compliance, but employers have rights and responsibilities, too.  Understanding these rights and responsibilities is critical to surviving an ICE worksite enforcement investigation.

Employers cannot hire workers who are unauthorized to work in the United States and must verify the identity and employment eligibility of employees through the Form I-9 verification process.  Forms I-9 must be retained for three years after hiring or one year after the employee’s last day of ...

Time 1 Minute Read

The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process. The complete visa bulletin can be found here.

Below is a summary of the July Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month.

  • China: After four months of non-activity, EB-1 leaps forward more than ten weeks to May 8, 2017; EB-2 advances three months to November 1, 2016; and EB-3 jumps ahead three and a half months to January 1, 2016
  • India: EB-1 freezes at January 1, 2015; EB-2 creeps ...
Time 3 Minute Read

With H-1B Cap premium processing winding down, employers will soon start to get back petitions that were not selected in the lottery. Employees who have other statuses, such as F-1 OPT or L-1, can just keep working and their employers can try again next year. For others, however, if the FY2020 cap was their only option until FY2021, employers may need to make other plans. Before you part ways with a stellar nonimmigrant employee, give a thought to global options.

Return Home: Having your employee work remotely from their home country is the easiest option from an immigration perspective ...

Time 2 Minute Read

Applicants for US visitor, student, and work-related nonimmigrant visas, as well as family-based and employment-based immigrant visas (“green cards”), now have to provide information about the social media platforms used over the preceding 5-year period.  The updated visa application forms seek information about the most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.  Applicants also have the opportunity to provide information about social media platforms not listed in the drop-down menus.  For each platform, applicants must ...

Time 3 Minute Read

Now that the Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B cap season is over, it is a good time for an internal review and update of public access files (PAFs).

What is a Public Access File?

U.S. employers who sponsor H-1B employees must make certain records available, on request, to government auditors, members of the public, and the H-1B employee.  The PAF must establish that the employer is paying the higher of: (a) the prevailing wage; or (b) the actual wage paid to other employees in similar positions who have similar qualifications.

Why does PAF compliance matter?

Failure to comply with PAF requirements, if ...


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