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Archive by Year: 2015

Proposed Rules Extend STEM OPT to 24 Months

Posted October 18, 2015H-1B, Immigration Reform
Earlier this year a Federal court invalidated STEM OPT rules, finding that the STEM OPT provisions had not been implemented correctly. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed changes to its regulations that would strengthen and enhance the process for foreign students with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees from a U.S. college or university to get practical training experience in the United States. The enhancement of this regulation was announced as a part of President Obama’s November Executive Actions.   

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USCIS Revises Guidelines on Date of Filing for I-485 Petitions

Posted October 14, 2015Articles, Green Card, Immigration Reform, Visa Bulletin
The Visa Bulletin will now have two different charts because of the revised procedures. DOS will post two charts per visa preference category in the DOS Visa Bulletin. The charts are: Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply). When USCIS determines there are immigrant visas available for the filing of additional adjustment of status applications, the Dates for Filing Applications chart may be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS.  Otherwise, the Application Final Action Dates chart must be used to determine when to file an adjustment of status application with USCIS. USCIS will determine which chart is effective for the following month approximately one week after DOS publishes and we will post that chart on this page.  USCIS will publish this information online. In coordination with the DOS, USCIS will monitor visa numbers each month and post the relevant chart on this page under When to File.

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New H-1B Cap Employees Begin Working October 1st

Posted September 25, 2015Matthew MeltzerH-1B
On October 1st, employees sponsored in the H-1B cap, who have received an approval, can begin working in H-1B status.Employees inside the US who received an approval of change of status will automatically switch to H-1B status on October 1st. The first time these employees leave the US they must get new H-1B visa stamps at their local US consulates to re-enter the US.Employees  outside the US must get a US visa stamp at their local US consulates in order to enter the US. In order to get a visa stamp, employees must complete Form DS-160 and schedule a consular appointment. Employees should also take the following documents: Passport I-797 approval notice (original is preferable) Copy of H-1B Petition and any RFE responses If you would like assistance in applying for a visa stamp for an employee, we offer a service to file such applications.Please note that Canadian citizens do not need to visit a consulate, they only need to cross the border with the documents referenced above.

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USCIS and Department of State Revising Visa Bulletin and I-485 Application Processes

Posted September 9, 2015Articles, Green Card, Immigration Reform
Today, the USCIS announced that it is changing its policy for when I-485 adjustment of status applications may be submitted. The changes will take effect This change is part of President Obama's executive reforms. Forthcoming reforms to the State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin are expected to allow eligible employer-sponsored foreign nationals to submit an application for adjustment of status to permanent residence before an immigrant visa becomes available.

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USCIS Reviewing H-1B End Client Documentation More Closely

Posted August 21, 2015Matthew MeltzerArticles, H-1B

The USCIS has been reviewing H-1B petitions where the foreign national employee is placed at a client site more and more strictly and intensively over the last several years. In 2015 we have observed the USCIS take an even stricter review of petitions that require the foreign national employee to work at a client site. Below are trends we are observing and guidance for preparing successful H-1B petitions.

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