Immigration Law | Law Firm Newswire

Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 7, 2019 – Several pros and cons exist surrounding the decision to file for a premium processing service or not. The premium processing service offers expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions or applications. For those petitions or applications, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guarantees a 15-calendar day processing, or it refunds the fee. If the fee is repaid, the case continues to receive expedited processing. For those wishing to learn more about the premium processing service, visit here. “For those who wish to file for the premium processing service, you need to […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 30, 2019 – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and 27 other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) opposing the discontinuation of a crucial immigration program for military families. The letter, dated July 30, 2019, called on Acting DHS Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan, Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and DOD Secretary Mark T. Esper to maintain the military Parole in Place (PIP) program to protect the undocumented spouses, children and parents of service members from deportation. […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 24, 2019 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reopen certain non-military medical deferred action cases that are pending as of August 7, 2019. The announcement came on September 2, 2019 after widespread public criticism in response to the agency’s sudden decision to end its adjudication of such requests. A host of organizations voiced strong opposition to the USCIS policy change and 127 members of Congress wrote a letter calling for the Trump administration to reinstate the program. USCIS said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would take over the responsibility of processing […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 12, 2019 – A federal judge in Boston issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from making civil immigration arrests of undocumented individuals who enter Massachusetts courthouses. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani delivered the ruling on June 20, 2019, in a lawsuit challenging an ICE directive that authorizes civil immigration arrests in state courthouses. According to the court order, the preliminary injunction stops ICE and the Department of Homeland Security from arresting immigrants who are visiting or leaving Massachusetts courthouses on “official business” as witnesses or defendants. The […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 6, 2019 – All U.S. work visas have an expiration date and those who hold one must depart the country on or before that date. If that does not happen, the visa holder may face serious consequences. If the work visa currently held by a foreign worker is about to expire, and the goal is to extend the length of time in the United States, the holder much file a request before the initially authorized stay runs out. Usually, it is best to extend a work visa at least 45 days before the authorized […]


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Ridgewood, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) August 3, 2019 – Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. – also known as “VISASERVE” – has relocated its Central New Jersey office to 907 Route 202 in Raritan, NJ 08869. This office is conveniently located near the Somerville Circle and it is also within walking distance (two blocks) from the NJ Transit Train Station-Raritan, providing direct access to Newark Penn Station. The convenient access to multiple major highways and public transportation nodes allows us to better serve our clients in Central New Jersey. Snehal Batra, Esq., will continue to serve as the Managing […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 5, 2019 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to shut all 23 of its international offices by 2020. The Trump Administration has scheduled several target dates for the closures starting June 30, 2019 for offices with minimal workloads. The agency’s international offices are located in 20 countries around the world. USCIS said there were plans to allocate the workload of the foreign stations to the U.S. State Department as well as other agencies to avoid interruptions in service. USCIS anticipate the closures will help maximize resources and free up millions of […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 14, 2019 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a guidance on April 19, 2019, advising lawful permanent residents that controlled substance use remains illegal under federal law and can negatively impact the outcome of a naturalization application. Violations of federal controlled substance laws, including for marijuana use or possession, are generally a basis for denying U.S. citizenship. The new USCIS policy alert reminds naturalization applicants that they could be found to lack good moral character for participating in marijuana-related activities including possession, cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing or distribution. The rule applies even when […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 11, 2019 – The stated intention of the current Administration is to cut back on family-based immigration and instead favor “merit-based” immigration. If such a system were to be put into place, it means the United States would give priority to high-skilled immigrants with degrees who speak fluent English, rather than choose immigrants with immediate relatives in the country. This kind of a merit-based system is similar in nature to how Canada allows immigrants in the country. The problem in the United States is that the proposed changes to the immigration system are relatively […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 21, 2019 – The government shutdown affected many areas of government, including the shuttering of immigration courts. Roughly 400 immigration judges were furloughed. The 35-day shutdown threw the status of thousands of immigrants into limbo because the courts had yet to decide whether they can stay in the country or be deported. As a result of the judges being furloughed, there are over 80,000 cases to be rescheduled to attempt to alleviate the backlog, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Furloughed immigration judges are only able to hear cases for […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2019 – On January 31, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule in the Federal Register announcing important changes to the annual H-1B cap selection process. Starting April 1, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct the advanced degree exemption and regular cap H-1B visa lotteries in reverse order. The new DHS rule also establishes an electronic pre-registration requirement for employers planning to file cap-subject H-1B petitions. “Conceptually, having a lottery to allocate available H-1B visa numbers before requiring petition submission makes sense and could […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 8, 2019 – Immigration courts remained closed across the United States and there were estimates of up to 100,000 canceled hearings due to an ongoing partial government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018. The situation resulted in delays for almost all federal civil cases and increased backlogs of immigration court cases. Many federal attorneys and judges were not working for the duration of the shutdown. Most immigration judges were furloughed on December 26, 2018. Only a quarter of the courts’ 400 judges were deemed “essential.” The majority of the several thousand cases that […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 1, 2019 – For many years there have been talk about changes coming to the H-1B lottery. Finally, something did happen on December 3, 2018. On December 3 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a notice and a comment period for a proposed rule to change the H-1B lottery. The lottery would now be merit based with a new electronic registration process. Petitioners would be required to first register with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once an employee is chosen, in the lottery, USCIS would then ask for the whole petition. […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 28, 2019 – When an H-1B visa application has been denied, there are not a lot of options open to deal with that situation. But, there are some worth trying. Being denied an H-1B visa is a disappointment to the recipient of such bad news. Furthermore, reading the denial may result in more questions than there are answers, particularly if all the requested documentation was correctly submitted. This is happening far more than people realize. “Officers are not reading petitions closely and are denying them with cut and paste stock answers. There is no […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 21, 2018 – On September 22, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a draft proposal that would make it more difficult for foreign nationals to gain entry into the United States either on a temporary or permanent basis if such persons are deemed likely to be reliant on public benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps. The Trump administration is aiming to tighten the “public charge” rule by presenting revised criteria for how the government evaluates the various types of federal assistance a non-immigrant or immigrant has used or is expected to […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 21, 2018 – The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) passed in October 21, 1998, and dealt with high-skilled labor immigration through the H-1B visa and helping improve the capabilities of the domestic workforce to reduce the need for foreign labor. The ACWIA was followed by the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC-21) passed in 2000 that virtually restructured the H-1B to permit more temporary workers without making changes to caps (and added more grace years before the cap became binding once again). The rule was published here: 81 FR 82398 […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 7, 2018 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning three potential changes to the H-1B visa lottery system. The planned changes could have significant impact on the way USCIS processes H-1B petitions and result in H-1B petitions for more highly educated beneficiaries winning the H-1B lottery in greater numbers. The three key changes are: a requirement for employers to pre-register prospective H-1B workers, a prioritization of petitions based on compensation and skill, and a switch in the order of the two-part H-1B lottery. The agency has yet to announce a formal proposal […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 27, 2018 – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice on September 28, 2018, announcing that foreign students previously employed under an F-1 cap-gap extension were no longer authorized to work in the United States as of October 1, 2018. As background, F-1 students who have Optional Practical Training (OPT), and for whom an H-1B employer has filed a FY2019 H-1B petition with an October 1, 2018, start date, and whose H-1B petition won the FY2019 H-1B lottery, and whose OPT expires before October 1, 2018, could continue working until October 1, […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 26, 2018 – For a considerable period of time U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), has been acting against legal immigration by considering President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” utterance to be policy. Since Trump’s utterance is not considered policy, the decision making process at USCIS has been left up to individual adjudicators and how they choose to adjudicate legal business immigration. As a result, the immigration and visa system is under pressure from the Trump administration. The pressure form the Trump administration is forcing the USCIS office to reinterpret the term “Specialty Occupation” […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 10, 2018 – A group of prominent U.S. business leaders have joined forces to express their concerns regarding the Trump administration’s recent changes to immigration policy and their potentially negative impact on economic growth. The group sent a joint letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on August 23, 2018 denouncing the current treatment of H-1B petitions for highly skilled foreign workers. Sixty CEOs signed the letter addressed to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen highlighting issues that are threatening to harm their company operations and create uncertainty for thousands of highly skilled […]


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