Immigration and Firm News

Together with my colleague, business attorney Dirk Bartram of HenkeBartram PLLC, we will be hosting a webinar on October 5, 2016 at 10:30 am PST about employer I-9 obligations, potential penalties, audits and more.  The webinar is free. Register here. We will discuss workplace compliance issues around: Paperwork requirements (Form I-9), violations and penalties "Knowingly hiring unauthorized worker" violations and penalties E-Verify and IMAGE - whether to use or … [Read more...]

I am pleased to announce my participation in the newly released virtual round table,  Immigration Law - the Americas 2016 produced by Corporate Live Wire.  (The previous link may require a login that is free.) This is the second time I have participated in these round tables.  The round table involves a number of immigration lawyers from different jurisdictions discussing Q&As about immigration trends in the US and the Americas such as: Impact of globalization on immigration … [Read more...]

Today, USCIS announced that it agreed with the Ombudsman’s recommendation to implement a parole policy for U visa petitioners and qualifying family members who live abroad. Parole is neither a visa nor a green card but a legal fiction type of interim status.  The U visa – available to individuals who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of a qualifying crime and who meet certain other criteria – are capped at 10,000 per fiscal year. When the cap is exceeded, U … [Read more...]

On August 31, USCIS will announce a forthcoming proposed regulation at 8 CFR 212.19 creating a new benefit called “International Entrepreneur” or “significant public benefit parole for entrepreneurs.” I am really excited about this proposal in part because in my many years of immigration practice, this is the first new major business immigration benefit in ages, maybe decades. There are a lot of immigrant entrepreneurs who fall between the cracks of our existing business immigration categories … [Read more...]

Some great news for certain applicants seeking immigrant visas (permanent residence) at US consulates abroad who need waivers of inadmissibility for unlawful presence in the USA! Beginning August 29, 2016, more potential applicants will become eligible to file family unity provisional waivers (Form I-601A) for unlawful presence.  It is important to note that provisional waivers are merely a procedural remedy as to time and place for filing the waiver application and is not a statutory change … [Read more...]

I am pleased and honored to announce that I will be speaking at the national Annual American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference next week in Las Vegas. This conference regularly attracts thousands of immigration practitioners from around the country. I will be joining two colleagues, Robert Divine and David Grunblatt, on a panel about "Complex Visa Issues for Entrepreneurs."  We will discuss attempts by USCIS to (supposedly) enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs within the confines of … [Read more...]

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act against US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) demanding information about how the H-1B lottery is conducted. Every year, USCIS receives far more petitions than are allowed under the annual 85,000 cap, but the system for conducting the lottery to select those lucky 85,000 applicants remains a mystery. Looking for transparency, AILA wants to see how cap-subject petitions are … [Read more...]

Today, 5/4/16, USCIS issued a proposed notice of application fee increases in the Federal Register. The notice will have a 60-day comment period and then review and issuance of a final rule some time thereafter. The average proposed fee increase is 21%. That's an average, as in some applications are going up less and others are going up more - way more. If you have been holding back filing an application for fee reasons, you might consider filing sooner rather than later.   Here are a … [Read more...]

On May 10, 2016 a new final DHS regulation will go into effect for foreign students with or desiring  STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT).  The new rule, issued March 11, 2016, includes a combination of new benefits as well as restrictions and clarifications for U.S. college graduates. In addition, ICE, the agency that monitors foreign students, has released a new STEM-OPT website hub. Unfortunately, the new rule stifles opportunities for entrepreneurial self-starters creating their own … [Read more...]

I am honored to be speaking about EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) cases at the annual American Immigration Lawyers Association Northwest CLE.  This annual event put on by the Washington and Oregon AILA Chapters will be held at Seattle University on March 17 and 18.  Along with my colleagues, Amy Royalty and Ursula Owen, we will be discussing the crème de la creme employment based categories: EB-1-1 extraordinary ability workers, EB-1-1 outstanding researchers and professors, EB-1-3 … [Read more...]