» Immigration Law

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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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 26, 2018 – Under the current administration, most rules regarding immigration visas are changing. One of the areas affected by changes is the STEM optional practical training or STEM OPT. Be aware that the system is being revamped and what may have applied a year ago, may no longer apply. “It would be best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney about STEM OPT extensions,” said respected Houston immigration lawyer, Annie Banerjee. “There are a lot of changes going on, and relying on what you may have done a year ago is not a […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) September 24, 2018 – In a July 30, 2018, policy memorandum, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the implementation of its June 28, 2018, guidance for the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA) for removal proceedings is postponed until further notice. “In its June 28, 2018, Policy Guidance on the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs), USCIS has cast a wide net as to whom it must issue an NTA. An NTA is the first document to place a foreign national in removal proceedings. The new policy will trap those who made innocent errors on their […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 15, 2018 – The Vera Institute of Justice issued a report in June 2018 that said there is no evidence that prosecuting migrants for crossing the United States-Mexico border is an effective deterrent to illegal immigration. “The report challenges the superficial notion that criminal prosecution results in lower apprehensions as if the threat of prison time causes the reduction in the number of illegal entrants,” said Stewart Rabinowitz of the Dallas and Frisco law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “As the study shows, the predecessor to the Attorney General’s current program of criminally […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 6, 2018 – Even though the congressionally-mandated annual non-immigrant visa and the master’s exemption caps have been reached for FY 2019, USCIS continues to accept and process petitions exempt for the cap. Additionally, petitions that were filed for current H-1B employees, previously counted against the cap, but those who still have their cap number, are not to be counted toward the FY2019 H-1B cap. While the immigration system has always been cumbersome, attempts have been made to reform it. Recently, under the Trump administration, USCIS has released new rulings regarding H-1B visas. The current […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 26, 2018 – There have been many modifications made by the Trump administration to practices, regulations and policies in business immigration. Many of the changes are not completely understood yet, as it will take time before the wider ramifications become clear. Some of the initiatives that have been implemented that may affect H-1B visas include: ·US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announces that employment green card applicants are to have in-person interviews starting October 2017. However, according to existing policies, these interviews are usually waived. It is not clear how the existing policies will […]


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Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 12, 2018 – The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has proposed new rules under which all visa applicants seeking to enter the United States will be required to submit social media details. The proposal will affect around 14.7 million people who apply for immigrant and nonimmigrant U.S. visas each year. Under the new rules, visa applicants will be asked to provide all the social media handles they have used in the past five years, and to submit the email addresses and phone numbers they have used during that period. The mandatory social media data […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 6, 2018 – Custom Legal Marketing topped a field of over 6,000 entrants to receive a Platinum Hermes Award for design excellence for the new website of McCormack & Erlich, San Francisco employment lawyers. This is the second award Custom Legal Marketing has won for its work on the McCormack & Erlich website, Mcelawfirm.com. Earlier this year, CLM won a Muse Award for inspiring achievement in design and advertising. One highlight of the McCormack & Erlich website is a compelling, interactive presentation of workplace sexual harassment issues. The site walks the fist-time visitor […]


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Wilmington, DE (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2018 – Custom Legal Marketing, an Adviatech company, has opened a strategy center in Wilmington, Delaware, to help attorneys competitively market their firms in an effective and efficient manner. Wilmington, one of the most populous cities in the state, has enormous potential for attorney marketing. As the population continues to increase, competition for legal clients is also bound to get tougher. Custom Legal Marketing’s search engine marketing solutions can help lawyers compete in Wilmington and throughout the State of Delaware. Additionally, Custom Legal Marketing (CLM) offers attorneys a No Competition Guarantee which means […]


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Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2018 – The Trump administration has been vocal on immigration in the United States. With ever changing policies there is much to keep up with in immigration policy. Consider the case of close to 8,600 Vietnamese immigrants now subject to final orders of deportation. A large number of these individuals came to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. They became green card holders. Despite the fact that they hold green cards, they may face deportation or detention in the United States indefinitely. Although 7,821 of these immigrants […]


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