Earlier this year, on January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule establishing a parole program for international entrepreneurs seeking to improve the ability of certain startup founders to remain in the United States legally in order to grow their companies and help create new jobs for U.S. workers.

On July 11, 2017, less than a week before the final rule was set to take effect, DHS delayed the implementation of the rule, foreshadowing that it would seek to rescind the rule altogether pursuant to an Executive Order (EO) signed by the President on January 25, 2017. To counter the rule’s delay and ultimate rescission, entrepreneurs, startup companies, and a trade association joined together to challenge this action by DHS by filing a lawsuit in federal court. Continue Reading New Lawsuit Seeks to Challenge Postponement/Rescission of International Entrepreneur Parole Program

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would be eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (commonly known as “DACA”). The DACA program allowed for certain aliens who came to the United States as children to obtain work permits and a temporary reprieve from removal for renewable periods of two (2) years at a time. The announcement laid out the specifics of the administration’s planned wind-down of the program, including:

  • As of September 5, 2017 no new initial DACA applications will be processed or adjudicated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • USCIS will receive and adjudicate certain DACA renewal applications up until October 5, 2017. In order to qualify to apply for a DACA renewal, however, one’s current DACA status must expire no later than March 5, 2018 (the end of the six month wind-down period for the program). USCIS will reject all DACA renewal applications that do not fit these narrow parameters. Continue Reading Trump Administration Rescinds DACA – What Comes Next For Those Affected?

Today’s Hartford Business Journal has an article about visa delay uncertainties with the International Entrepreneur Parole Program, which features our own Dana Bucin. Dana is the Editor of “Immigration Law Insights”, as well as the Chair of Murtha Cullina’s Immigration Practice.

Click here to read the article.

 

Coming to the United States in order to attend an educational institution is oftentimes the first step foreign individuals will take on their long journey to fulfilling their American Dream. For example, a foreign student may enroll in a U.S. university, graduate, get a job here and be on their way toward permanent residence and, potentially, full-fledged citizenship. Foreign students are also attractive to universities due to the fact that they will usually have to pay their tuition in full as they generally do not qualify for public student aid assistance or in-state tuition discounts. Continue Reading New Immigration Policies Lead to Decline in Foreign Student Applications at U.S. Universities

In the United States, healthcare and immigration law often intersect to create a complicated regulatory and statutory system that governs the admission and employment authorization of foreign medical professionals seeking to work here. Some medical professionals are given preference under our immigration laws (such as physicians, nurses, and physical therapists), while others are forced to navigate our antiquated immigration system. However, even with the differing levels of treatment under the law, there are still numerous options available for most medical professionals seeking employment opportunities in the United States, with or without sponsorship from a United States employer.

Continue Reading U.S. Immigration Options for Foreign Medical Professionals and Healthcare Workers

Last week, USCIS announced that beginning on April 3rd, 2017, they will no longer be accepting H-1B petitions filed under the premium processing service. This service allowed for petitioners to pay an extra fee in order to guarantee the adjudication of their case within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt. The fact that USCIS will suspend premium processing for H-1B cases on April 3rd means that no cap-subject cases filed this year will be eligible for premium processing (April 3rd is the first day USCIS will accept such cases). USCIS has stated, however, that H-1B cases will be eligible for expedited processing in accordance with their standard “expedite criteria” available on their website.

Continue Reading USCIS to Suspend Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Cases

On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This order, which took effect upon signing, halted all refugee admissions for 120 days, permanently suspended refugee admissions from Syria, and temporarily barred entry for 90 days of nationals from seven Middle Eastern and North African nations. As these orders were implemented, chaos broke out at the nation’s airports and ports-of-entry causing myriads of foreign nationals to either be subject to enhanced questioning, detainment, or even deportation from the United States. Several lawsuits were quickly filed that affected the order, but as of the date of this writing the vast majority of the substance of the President’s decree remains in effect. Continue Reading Trump’s Executive Order on the Travel Ban

On April 1 of each year in recent memory more than 200,000 employers vie for the coveted 85,000 H-1B visas for their foreign professional employees. This year USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to annual numerical restrictions on Monday, April 3, 2017 (April 1st falls on a Saturday this year) for the 2018 fiscal year. Since the number of petitions USCIS is allowed to accept by law (known colloquially as the “cap”) will almost certainly be exceeded by the April 7th deadline, USCIS will thereafter conduct a random lottery process in order to determine whose petitions will be accepted and whose petitions will be rejected. Those with U.S. advanced degrees (masters or above) get better odds in the lottery drawing.

Proper and timely H-1B preparation is paramount to success as there are required steps that need to be taken (for example, the filing of an LCA with the Department of Labor) prior to filing the actual petition with USCIS. LCAs are usually reviewed and certified by the Department of Labor within seven (7) days, but such timelines cannot be trusted during the peak of the H-1B season. Continue Reading H-1B Cap Season Has Officially Begun