Posts in Nonimmigrant
Employers Should Continue to Use the July 17, 2017 Version of Form I-9 Until Further Notice from USCIS.

Although the most recent version of the  Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification expired on August 31, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has advised employers to continue to use the July 17, 2017, version of the Form I-9 until an updated version is released.  The revised version of Form I-9 is not expected to be significantly different from the current version. 

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New Rules for "Public Charge" Ground of Inadmissibility

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a final rule concerning the “public charge” grounds under the immigration statute for denying admission, extension of status, and permanent residence to foreign nationals. The rule will take effect after 60 days, on October 15, 2019, unless litigation prevents its implementation.

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USCIS Proposes Employer Registration Fee for Next Year’s H-1B Visa Lottery

USCIS’s fee proposal for employers to complete the online registration process for next year’s H-1B visa lottery has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”). The amount of the fee, which would be paid in addition to the filing, training, and anti-fraud fees for each H-1B petition, has not yet been announced. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register is anticipated in the coming days.

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Federal Court Upholds USCIS Denial of H-1B Petition for Quality Assurance Analyst

Earlier this week, a federal court in Washington, DC, upheld U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) denial of an H-1B petition for a Quality Assurance Analyst (“QA Analyst”), finding that the agency’s analysis of the regulations defining a “specialty occupation” was not contrary to law. This decision provides important insights into 1) how the degree requirement should be worded so that a position qualifies as a “specialty occupation”; 2) how to strengthen expert statements and job postings of similar positions; 3) the need for descriptions of job duties that communicate complexity while being comprehensible; and that 4) federal court litigation may not be the solution for overcoming H-1B denials because the standard of review for overturning these decisions is tough. Speaking from my own experience as a staff attorney at the Ninth Circuit for five years, the federal courts generally will defer to an agency’s decision unless the agency clearly failed to consider relevant evidence in the record or disregarded applicable case-law.

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President Trump Proposes Admission Bonds and Other Measures to Reduce Visa Overstays

President Trump’s newest immigration initiative targets foreign nationals who overstay their visas with a focus on visitors who enter the United States on the B-1/B-2 visa and the Visa Waiver Program.  In a memo released on Monday, he has proposed reducing the amount of time foreign nationals are allowed to stay in the United States, requiring additional documentation, and imposing admission bonds that would be refunded upon departure from the U.S.  

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Premium Processing Will Be Available in “Two Phases” for H-1B Petitions Filed in the Upcoming Lottery

USCIS announced today that premium processing will be offered in a “two-phased approach” for H-1B petitions filed in this year’s lottery.  In the first phase, which will begin on April 1, 2019, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing for H-1B petitions filed with a request to change status.  In the second phase, which is expected to begin in June, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing for H-1B petitions that were filed with a request for consular notification.

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