LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
AAO on “Physician of National or International Renown" - Matter of T-O-S-U-, Adopted Decision 2017-01 (AAO Jan. 4, 2017)

USCIS, Jan. 4, 2017 - "This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of T-O-S-U- as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this adopted decision establishes policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees. USCIS personnel...

Is Trump’s Proposed Scrapping of the H-1B Lottery in Favor of the Highest Wage Such A Good Idea? - Cyrus D. Mehta and Sophia Genovese-Halvorson

Cyrus D. Mehta and Sophia Genovese-Halvorson, Jan. 17, 2017 - "Employers have already begun preparing for the upcoming H-1B visa lottery season. The annual H-1B cap is limited to 65,000 visas per year for applicants with bachelor’s degrees, and an additional 20,000 for those with master’s...

Expert: Draft Trump Executive Order Tightening H-1B Rules Sends Wrong Signal

Julie McCarthy, NPR, Feb. 14, 2017 - "Congress and the White House have targeted what is arguably the most coveted of U.S. visas: the H-1B. It's "a kind of temporary work visa that allows professionals from other countries to work in the United States for a designated U.S. employer,"...

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

USCIS, Mar. 3, 2017 - "Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for...

Is There A Hidden Agenda? Suspension of Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions - Cora-Ann Pestaina

Cora-Ann Pestaina, Mar. 8, 2017 - "In one move that we did not see coming, USCIS has announced that, starting April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend premium processing service for all H-1B petitions. Petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for...

Employer Not Always Obligated To Pay Return Transportation Cost Of Terminated H-1B Worker - Cyrus Mehta

Cyrus Mehta, Mar. 21, 2017 - "In Vinayagam v. Cronous Solutions, Inc ., ARB Case No. 15-045, ALJ Case No. 2013-LCA-029 (ARB Feb. 14, 2017) the Administrative Review Board held that an employer’s failure to pay return transportation costs home of a terminated H-1B employee was not fatal when...

USCIS Rolls Out H-1B Fraud/Abuse Reporting System

USCIS, Apr. 3, 2017 - "We have established an email address dedicated to receiving information about suspected H-1B fraud or abuse."

USCIS H-1B Memo on Computer-Related Positions (Mar. 31, 2017)

USCIS, Mar. 31, 2017 - "This policy memorandum (PM) supersedes and rescinds the December 22, 2000 memorandum titled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions” issued to Nebraska Service Center (NSC) employees by Terry Way."

Cyrus Mehta: New Developments In H-1B Cap Exemption, FY 2018

Cyrus Mehta, Apr. 3, 2017 - "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2018 cap on April 3, 2017. All cap-subject H-1B petitions filed before April 3, 2017, for the FY 2018 cap will be rejected. Congress...

USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Visa Cap

USCIS, Apr. 7, 2017 - "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s...

USCIS Premium Processing Suspension "Stupid...Reckless...Malfeasance"

Marcelo Rochabrun, ProPublica, Apr. 7, 2017 - "Lost amid the uproar over the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants is a change coming to the legal immigration system that’s expected to be costly for both U.S. companies and the government itself. Each year at...

Cyrus Mehta on the H-1B Cap Filing Aftermath: Evaluating the Fate of the Computer Programmer and the H-1B-Dependent Employer

Cyrus Mehta, Apr. 8, 2017 - "On March 31, 2017, on the eve of the FY 2018 H-1B Cap filing season , the USCIS issued a policy memorandum stating that computer programmer positions are not always “specialty occupations” that would render the occupation eligible under the H-1B visa. This...

Trump Seeks Tweak of H-1B Rules, Policies

White House, Apr. 17, 2017, Background Briefing on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order - "[T]his executive order will call for the strict enforcement of all laws governing entry into the United States of labor from abroad for the stated purpose of creating higher wages and higher employment...

Anticlimactic H-1B Executive Order

Despite detailed advance work here and here , the April 18, 2017 Executive Order ("Buy American and Hire American") is very light on substance regarding H-1B visas: "Sec. 5. Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to "Hire American." (a) In order to advance...

Expert: Trump H-1B Executive Order an "Overly Simple Solution to a Complex Problem"

L.A. Times, Apr. 20, 2017 - "The order that Trump signed would not make immediate changes in the program, but would set up a longer-term review of how it works. ... Critics noted, however, that Trump was not cutting back on other guest-worker visa categories, such as the H-2B program for low-skilled...

Official FR Version of "Hire American" EO, with Anticlimactic H-1B Suggestions

Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 76 / Friday, April 21, 2017 - "Sec. 5. Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to ‘‘Hire American.’’ (a) In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b)of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General...

Expert: H-1B Visas Create American Jobs

The Morning Call, Apr. 24, 2017 - "The U.S. caps the number of [H-1B] visas it awards to employers at 65,000, with another 20,000 reserved for foreign professionals who graduate from U.S. colleges with a master's degree or doctorate. The three-year visas can be extended for up to six years....

Hazards of Various Forms of Leave At the Point of Termination of H-1B Employment

Michelle S. Velasco, May 16, 2017 - "In most cases, termination of H-1B employment by either the at-will employer or employee is fairly straightforward. Once termination takes place, the employer in most cases is required to offer to pay the reasonable costs of the H-1B worker’s return transportation...

USCIS Letter Outlines Proposed H-1B Reforms, Enforcement Efforts

Read the May 24, 2017 McCament letter here .

New AAO Adopted Decision and USCIS Policy Memo: Matter of A-T- Inc, Adopted Decision 2017-04 (AAO May 23, 2017)

Matter of A-T- Inc, Adopted Decision 2017-04 (AAO May 23, 2017) - Matter of A-T- Inc clarifies that, in order to qualify for an H-1B numerical cap exemption based upon a master’s or higher degree, the conferring institution must have qualified as a “United States institution of higher education”...

Expert: H-1B Compliance Reviews, Site Visits Likely to Increase

Laura D. Francis, Bloomberg BNA, June 1, 2017 - "The USCIS will continue the increased site visits to see that employers comply with H-1B rules, Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School , told Bloomberg BNA May 31. Unannounced site visits also are part of...

Surprising Findings in New H-1B Visa Numbers

Stuart Anderson, National Foundation for American Policy, June 5, 2017 - "The top 7 Indian-based companies received only 9,356 new H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2016, a surprising drop of 37 percent between FY 2015 and FY 2016, based on an analysis of government data obtained by the...

DOL to Ramp Up Fraud Probes of H Visa Programs

Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters, June 6, 2017 - "The U.S. Labor Department said on Tuesday it is stepping up efforts to root out potential fraud in its visa programs for foreign workers, a move that will include increases in both civil investigations as well as criminal referrals. The announcement by Labor...

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

USCIS, July 24, 2017 - " U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap”...

H-1B Entry Level Wage Blues - Cyrus Mehta

Cyrus Mehta, July 31, 2017 - "Those who filed under the FY 2018 H-1B visa lottery and were selected must have been pleased. As premium processing was eliminated, the approvals have just started coming in this summer. Cases that are not readily approved receive Requests for Evidence (RFE). Many of...