USCIS Implements Employment Authorization for Individuals Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong Residents

Eligible Hong Kong Residents May Apply for EADs and Travel Authorization U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued a Federal Register notice with information on how to apply for employment authorization for eligible Hong Kong residents covered under the president’s Aug. 5 memorandum directing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for 18 months, through Feb. 5, 2023. DED for Hong …

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USICS Announcement that Cap Reached for Remaining H-2B Visas for Returning Workers for FY 2021

As Aug. 13, 2021, the USCIS has received enough petitions for returning workers to reach the additional 22,000 H-2B visas made available under the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule. We will reject and return any cap-subject petitions for H-2B returning workers received after Aug. 13, together with any accompanying fees. As previously announced, we …

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Lawsuit Seeks to Prevent USCIS’s Potential Waste of Thousands of Employment-Based Visas

Each year, the US immigration system allocates  approximately 140,000 employment-based green cards that are distributed to applicants based on country of birth and other criteria. Despite the high demand for these green cards, the government often fails to issue all of the available green cards in a fiscal year. This failure is devastating because the …

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Employers May File H-2B Petitions for Returning Workers This Year

USCIS is announcing today that employers may file H-2B petitions for returning workers under the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule. Employers may take this action if they are likely to suffer irreparable harm without these additional workers. A petitioner must file a new Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, together with an approved …

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DACA Ruled Unlawful by Texas Judge

On July 16th, 2021, a federal court overseen by Judge Hanen in Texas ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program is unlawful because the Department of Homeland Security did not properly follow the mandated rule-making process as proscribed in the Administrative Procedures Act.   Other federal courts, however, had already determined that the …

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What is happening with the EB-5 immigrant investor program?

Since 1990, the EB-5 immigrant investor program has allowed foreign investors to receive permanent residence for their family members by allowing them to invest money in approved businesses, which must create at least 10 full-time jobs. The program had undergone several changes as announced in the so-called Modernization Rule under the Trump administration; however, due …

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Second Chance for Denied H-1B Petitions During Trump Administration?

During the Trump administration, many H-1B applications, including renewals of H-1B employment, were denied due to three policies which federal courts have found to violate the law.  The policies were embodied in several USCIS memoranda: “Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for adjudication of H-1B petitions, including Third-Party Site Placements (Reference AFM Chapter 31.3.(g)(16)) issued January 8, 2010“Contracts …

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Biden Administration Revokes Trump Era “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order

On January 25, 2021,  President Biden issued an executive order (“Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers”), which effectively revoked Trump’s Buy American and Hire American Executive Order (“BAHA”).  The revocation of BAHA may represent a shift in employment-based immigration policy in particular.  The BAHA order led to many restrictive immigration policies under the …

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Computer Programmers may now qualify again for H-1B visas

In its unrelenting assault on H-1B visas for IT professionals, the Trump administration turned back a long standing policy and denied thousands of H-1B petitions for computer programmer positions. The USCIS claimed these positions were no longer specialty occupations as defined by H-1B rules.  Many companies filed lawsuits to contest denials based on this policy …

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USCIS Extends Time to Respond to Requests for Evidence and Other Case Requests

On July 1, 2020, USCIS issued a new notice, adding to the notice issued May 1st, extending the period of time individuals can respond to certain requests. The notice states:USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency RequestsIn response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on …

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