Recent Publications - Henry M. Mascia

The One Thing Employers Need to Know for This H-1B Season
February 22, 2018 | Henry M. Mascia | Employment & Labor | Corporate
The H-1B visa program has come under intense public scrutiny over the last year. In response to perceived abuses in the H-1B program, President Trump issued the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, which directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to only the most-skilled …
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Visa-Renewal Policy About-Face Creates Uncertainty
October 30, 2017 | Henry M. Mascia | Corporate
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed its policy on visa renewals. USCIS will no longer defer to prior visa approvals and will instead treat each renewal application as if it were an initial application. This represents a major turnaround to an immigration policy that had been in place for 13 years. Since 2004, …
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Trump Administration to Increase Worksite Enforcement of Immigration Laws
October 18, 2017 | Henry M. Mascia | Corporate
Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan confirmed what most immigration experts predicted – the Trump administration will intensify worksite enforcement of immigration laws. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation, Acting Director Homan stated that the agency would increase the amount of time spent on “worksite enforcement” by “four or five times” this year. ICE …
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What the DACA Rescission Means for Employers
September 7, 2017 | Henry M. Mascia | Corporate
The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known by the acronym “DACA.” The administration has, in effect, delayed the termination of DACA to allow Congress to pass legislation providing legal status to DACA recipients. Employers should know the implications for their obligations to verify work …
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Trump Administration Issues New Form I-9
July 17, 2017 | Henry M. Mascia | Corporate
Today the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Issued a new version of the Form I-9, which employers must use to document their efforts to verify the identity and employment eligibility of its employees. The new version of the Form I-9 can be found here Employers must begin using the new version of the …
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What Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order Means for Your Business
April 20, 2017 | Appeals | Commercial Litigation | Corporate
On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Buy American and Hire American.” The Order states that the Executive Branch’s official policy is “to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad,” in an effort “to create higher wages and employment rates for workers …
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Trump’s Travel Ban: What It Means for Businesses
January 31, 2017 | Corporate
On January 27, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that temporarily restricts visitors from seven countries deemed to harbor terrorists. The order suspends for 90 days the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States by foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.  The Department of Homeland Security …
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E-Visas Help Foreign Brands Build U.S. Business
January 24, 2017 | Corporate
The combination of globalization and the trend toward clean living has revolutionized the natural products industry, creating opportunities and presenting challenges. Opportunities include the availability of products and human capital from around the world. Bringing those resources into the United States, however, presents challenges. Companies that meet those challenges will have a competitive advantage. NatureCare, …
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An Employer’s Guide to Immigration Policy in a Trump Administration
December 5, 2016 | Corporate
After months of uncertainty during the campaign season, employers finally know that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. The Trump administration, which takes power on January 20, 2017, will likely bring fundamental changes to immigration law and policy.  Although many of the details remain uncertain, employers can take action now …
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Language Immersion Programs Qualify as a Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Program
November 2, 2016 | Corporate
United States immigration laws permit a foreign national to enter and work in the United States in an international cultural exchange program that is approved by the Department of Homeland Security.  If the foreign national and the program qualify, the foreign national will be classified as a Q-1 cultural exchange visitor. To qualify for the …
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So You’re Hiring Your First Employee…
October 4, 2016 | Corporate
As an entrepreneur starting your own business, you have a lot to think about.  Hiring your first employee is no exception.  Federal law requires employers to verify every employee’s identity and work authorization by completing and retaining an Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for each employee.  This obligation can present challenges to an employer hiring …
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L-1 Visa to Open a New Office in the United States
September 6, 2016 | Corporate
The L-1 visa permits employees working abroad to enter the United States and work as a manager, executive, or worker in a specialized knowledge capacity.  Many United States companies petition for L-1 visas so that high-level executives can transfer from a foreign office to an existing U.S. office, but employees may also be eligible for …
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Companies with H-1B and L-1 Employees Are Subject to On-Site Audit — Are You Prepared?
August 8, 2016 | Corporate | Commercial Litigation | Appeals
When an employer sponsors an employee for an H-1B or L-1 visa, the employer agrees to comply with on-site compliance reviews.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which conducts such on-site compliance reviews through the Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) directorate, will often visit an employer unannounced and will not typically reschedule …
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August 8 is the Deadline for 7-month STEM OPT Extension
August 4, 2016 | Corporate
An F-1 Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the United States to study full time at an academic institution.  Students on an F-1 Visa can participate in an Optional Practical Training (OPT) while they are still attending school (pre-completion OPT) or after they graduate (post-completion OPT), or both. A student on a F-1 Visa is …
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Permissible Questions to Ask about Job Applicant’s Immigration Status
July 7, 2016 | Appeals | Commercial Litigation | Corporate
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices (“OSC”) at the U.S. Department of Justice recently issued Technical Assistance Letter (“TAL”) regarding employer compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”).  The OSC concluded that an employer does not violate anti-discrimination laws by 1) refusing to hire all applicants …
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L-1 Visa for Intracompany Transferees
June 2, 2016 | Appeals | Commercial Litigation | Corporate
An L-1 visa permits multinational companies to transfer qualifying employees from their foreign office to their United States office or to the office of its parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in the United States.  L-1 visas allow multinational companies to facilitate their expansion and to help establish an office in the United States. L-1 visas …
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O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
May 2, 2016 | Appeals | Commercial Litigation | Corporate
A foreign national with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics can obtain an O-1 visa to enter the United States and work in their field of expertise.  Due to the annual numerical cap set by Congress on the number of workers that can obtain an H-1B visa for workers in specialty …
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New Guidance on Standards for Job Portability
April 4, 2016 | Corporate
In a new policy memorandum, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently clarified the agency’s interpretation of the phrase “same or similar” occupation for purposes of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 240(j).  Under INA § 240(j), foreign nationals with an approved I-140 can only change jobs if (1) he or she has …
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New Rules Proposed for Optional Practical Training
February 26, 2016 | Corporate
An F-1 Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the United States to study full time at an academic institution.  Qualifying academic institutions include an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, or elementary school. Students on an F-1 Visa can participate in an Optional Practical Training (OPT) while they are still attending school (pre-completion …
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