• 13Oct
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Client Alert: Important Information Related to H-1B and Diversity Visa Programs

    Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on October 3, 2017 for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.

    H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

     

  • 10Oct
    Consular Processing Updates Comments Off on Government of Turkey Suspension of Visas to U.S. Citizens on October 8, 2017 – A Message to U.S. Citizens

    The government of Turkey announced the immediate suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens, effective October 8, 2017.  According to the government’s announcement, this includes the issuance of physical “sticker” visas at border posts, and the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa).  U.S. citizens planning travel to Turkey, and who have questions regarding this regulation should contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of Turkey, or the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the Consulate General in Istanbul, the Consulate in Adana and the Consular Agency in Izmir remain open, and continue to provide services to U.S. citizens in Turkey.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 03Oct
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on Premium Processing Now Available for All Petitioners Seeking H-1B Visas

    USCIS LogoWASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions.

    H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application.

    In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, USCIS had previously resumed premium processing for H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and certain H-1B petitions that are not subject to the cap.

    For more information on how the H-1B visa program is being used, visit the Buy American, Hire American: Putting American Workers First page. This page provides data and information about the hiring practices of employers who use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 03Oct
    USCIS News Comments Off on New USCIS Form to Obtain Simultaneous Work Authorization Document and Social Security Number

    USCIS LogoWASHINGTON – Based on a new information-sharing partnership between U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), foreign nationals in certain categories or classifications can now apply for work authorization and a social security number using a single form – the updated Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

    To lawfully work in the United States, foreign workers in some categories and classifications need both an employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS, and a Social Security number (SSN) from the SSA. Previously, applicants needed to submit a Form I-765 to USCIS for an EAD, and then submit additional paperwork in-person at their local Social Security office to obtain an SSN. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 25Sep
    Department of State Comments Off on New Presidential Proclamation on Visas

    Yesterday, September 24, 2017, the Trump Administration announced enhanced national security measures aimed at creating a minimum set of requirements for international cooperation to support visa and immigration vetting and adjudications for individuals seeking entry to the United States.  The announcement, effective immediately, is described by the White House as “a critical step toward establishing an immigration system that protects Americans’ safety and security in an era of dangerous terrorism and transnational crime.”  Countries that do not currently meet these new minimum requirements include Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia.

    Additional information, including details on the phased implementation, is available from the U.S. State Department (DOS) web site which provides an overview of the various travel restrictions for nationals of the eight countries outlined in the September 24 Presidential Proclamation.  See DOS link.

  • 21Sep
    USCIS News Comments Off on ALERT: How Changes to DACA Impact Your Employees

    Tony and Scott and captionOn September 5, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be phased out in six (6) months if Congress fails to act on its own to pass immigration legislation. As initially designed, the DACA program provided administrative relief from removal/deportation to eligible immigrant youth (also known as Dreamers) who entered the United States when they were children. As part of the DACA petitioning process, an applicant was required to demonstrate, inter alia, that he/she had entered the U.S. as a child, that he/she met the education requirement (completed school or attending school) and had no arrests or criminal record of any significance. Approved DACA applicants were granted a temporary employment authorization document (EAD), typically valid for a period of two years, which EAD allowed them to work legally in the United States. Such document is also a stepping stone to obtaining a valid driver’s license, a social security number, and, ultimately, seeking college and graduate-level education. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 19Sep
    H-1B Visa News Comments Off on USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Some Categories of Applicants Seeking H-1B Visas

    USCIS LogoU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year year (FY) 2018 cap. The FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000 visas. Premium processing has also resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher educational degree.

    H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, academic research, and accounting. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If the 15- calendar day processing time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. This service is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions, since USCIS received enough petitions in April to meet the FY 2018 cap. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 12Sep
    Immigration Reform Comments Off on All attorneys should consider how changes to DACA might touch their clients

    On Tuesday, September 5, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be phased out in six months if Congress fails to act on its own to pass immigration legislation. As initially designed, the DACA program provided administrative relief from removal/deportation to eligible immigrant youth who entered the United States when they were children (also known as Dreamers). As part of the DACA petitioning process, an applicant was required to demonstrate, inter alia, that he/she had entered the U.S. as a child, that he/she met the education requirement (completed school or attending school) and had no arrests or criminal record of any significance. Approved DACA applicants were granted  a temporary employment authorization document, typically valid for a period of two years, which allowed them to work legally in the United States, such document is also a stepping stone to obtaining a valid driver’s license, a social security number, and, ultimately, seeking college and graduate-level education. Continue reading:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 07Sep
    Immigration Reform Comments Off on Fact Sheet: Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

    USCIS LogoOn June 15, 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children,” creating a non-congressionally authorized administrative program that permitted certain individuals who came to the United States as juveniles and meet several criteria—including lacking any current lawful immigration status—to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and eligibility for work authorization.  This program became known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

    The Obama administration chose to deploy DACA by Executive Branch memorandum—despite the fact that Congress affirmatively rejected such a program in the normal legislative process on multiple occasions. The constitutionality of this action has been widely questioned since its inception. Read more:

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 31Aug
    USCIS News Comments Off on A Pending I-131 Application for Advance Parole Could Be Denied if You Travel Outside the U.S.

    A number of Immigration lawyers have reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently started denying I-131 Application for Advance Parole if the applicant had traveled outside of the U.S. while the application was pending.

    When an individual applies for a green card in the U.S., they can also file for advance parole. Advance parole is travel authorization. Because some nonimmigrant visa categories require a “non-immigrant” intent, once an individual applies for the green card – and demonstrates an “immigrant” intent – their existing visa is no longer valid. As a result, if an individual whose visa is no longer valid needs to depart the U.S. while their green card application is pending – they can apply for permission to reenter or be “paroled” into the U.S. after their trip – in advance.

    Not all green card applicants require such permission to travel, because they have “immigrant” visas or a visa that allows for “dual intent.” As such, these individuals may apply for advance parole as a back-up. It has long been USCIS practice that I-131 applications for applicants with a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L or V visa would continue to be processed regardless of whether the individual had traveled internationally or were out of the U.S. at the time of adjudication.

    Now, USCIS, citing the I-131 Form instructions, “[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned” is denying these applications.

    If you have any questions in connection with the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

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