From my Desk

SB4: Caution Texas Residents and Visitors!

The Texas Government signed an immigration bill into law known as S.B.4 (Senate Bill 4) which goes into effect on September 1, 2017. The local law enforcement agencies are allowed to question the immigration status of people they legally detain or arrest. The agencies can be held liable for civil action, be fined or removed from the office if...

An update on the legal challenge to the STEM OPT rule:

On April 19, 2017, US District Court of Columbia dismissed legal challenge filed by Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (Washtech) against US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2016cv1170-32). The plaintiff challenged the DHS’s final rule to improve and expand training opportunities for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees (81 FR  13040, 3/11/16) (http://www.ahluwalialaw.com/stem-opt-for-3-years/). US District Judge Reggie...

Executive order – Buy American and Hire American:

Today, on April 18, 2017, President Trump signed another executive order (EO), Buy American and Hire American. It directs to support domestic products and bring jobs back to the US. We begin with the hire American part of the order. The EO defines “petition beneficiaries” as aliens petitioned for by employers to become nonimmigrant visa holders with temporary work authorization...

H-1B CAP random selection process for FY 2018 complete:

USCIS received about 199,000 H-1B CAP petitions for FY 2018.  On April 7, USCIS announced that it has received sufficient number of petitions to meet congressionally mandated general and master’s CAP petitions. On April 11, it used lottery or random selection process to select 65,000 general- category and 20,000 master’s category CAP. The agency first selects the advanced degree...

Know your rights if ICE agents come to your home/work place/in public

US Constitution has provided certain rights to all people living in the United States including undocumented immigrants. If you are an undocumented immigrant and an immigration officer comes to your home, work place or stops you on the street, please know your following rights. If US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents come to your home, following are some of...

Expect Computer Programmer to produce RFEs, says USCIS!

USCIS released a policy memorandum on March 31, 2017, Recession of the December 22, 2000 “Guidance Memo on H-1B computer related positions” to clarify its approach on computer programmer position and whether it qualifies as a specialty occupation, with an immediate effect. Terry Way Memo now obsolete:  The Nebraska Service Center (NSC) was following memorandum entitled “Guidance memo on H-1B...

USCIS puts employers who seek and hire H-1B workers on alert and notice!

Starting today, April 3, 2017, USCIS has started accepting the H-1B CAP petitions for the FY 2018 to recruit highly skilled foreign nationals under STEM and other categories. And today, it also issued cautionary note to deter and detect visa fraud and abuse.  USCIS will be making random and unannounced nationwide visits to H-1B petitioners and the worksite of...

Department of State directives on visa scrutiny

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson directed all US diplomatic and consular posts worldwide for an immediate implementation of heightened scrutiny of visa applications. This is in compliance with the President’s extreme vetting agenda. The consulates are ordered to develop criteria for identifying population groups warranting tougher visa screening. If a consular officer determines that the visa applicant may have...

Update on Premium Processing of H-1B Petitions

As announced earlier this month, USCIS will be suspending Premium Processing requests on all H-1B petitions received on and after April 3, 2017. Hence, USCIS is currently experiencing a high volume of applications. Nebraska Service Center (NSC) has advised that due to large volume of H-1B petitions and concurrently filed H-4 (I-539) and EAD (I-765) applications, there may be...

HSI visiting IT Companies

The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) are randomly contacting IT consulting companies for an investigation purpose. It is pilot project of the ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Washington DC & Virginia and Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force. In past two weeks, the team visited IT companies located in Northern Virginia that have filed H-1B petitions and provided them with H-1B...

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