Groundbreaking Changes to the H-1B Lottery in 2021
January 7, 2021 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
Today, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that would drastically change the lottery system this year. Under the new rule, USCIS would give priority to applications offering the highest wages, rather than selecting applications on a random basis as it has historically done. USCIS acknowledges that the new rule will …
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Trump Administration Changes Student Visa Eligibility for the Fall Semester
July 7, 2020 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced changes to the student visa program for the fall semester for international students in F-1 or M-1 status. The new policy has three key features: Fully online programs: Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government will not issue visas or permit entry to F-1 and M-1 international students …
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How Will President Trump’s Immigration Ban 2.0 Affect You?
June 23, 2020 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order that bans certain nonimmigrants from entering the United States (the “Nonimmigrant Ban”) until December 31, 2020. The Nonimmigrant Ban comes on the heels of an April 2020 executive order preventing certain foreign nationals from receiving an immigrant visa (the “Immigrant Ban”). A summary of the …
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How Will Trump’s Immigration Ban Affect You?
April 23, 2020 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
After a teaser on Twitter and a verbal preview during a press conference, President Trump has signed an executive order preventing certain foreign nationals from receiving an immigrant visa for the next 60 days. The purpose of the order is protecting United States workers from competition from foreign workers. In reality, however, the order will …
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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Relaxes I-9 Requirements
March 20, 2020 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration | Employment & Labor
In response to the current public health crisis, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it will allow certain employers to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Under ordinary circumstances, employers must physically inspect the documents produced by employees to establish their identity and authorization …
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Special Procedures to Extend Your Stay Under Visa Waiver Program Due to Coronavirus
March 18, 2020 | Immigration
Many foreign nationals who were admitted into the United States through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) cannot leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the related travel restrictions announced by President Trump last week. To remain in the United States longer than authorized through the VWP requires obtaining special permission called “Satisfactory Departure”.  Requests for …
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Employers Must Consider Immigration Compliance When Responding to COVID-19
March 17, 2020 | Immigration | Employment & Labor | Corporate
The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented unprecedented challenges for employers who hire foreign nationals. Employers must take special care to ensure compliance with immigration laws during this crisis.  Here a few of the most common scenarios, with recommendations on how to address them. Working Remotely Now that social distancing has become the norm, many …
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Trump Administration Travel Restriction Explained
March 12, 2020 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
To slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Trump administration has temporarily suspended entry of foreign nationals in the European Union into the United States.  The full Presidential Proclamation can be found here. This decision comes on the heels of a similar travel restriction on foreign nationals who had been physically present in China …
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EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program to Undergo Changes
July 30, 2019 | Henry M. Mascia | Immigration
After 26 years, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS), published a new rule modernizing the Immigrant Investor Program with several changes. This is the first substantial revision to the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference or EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program since the program’s enactment in 1993. This …
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New Rules for Premium Visa Processing and H-1B Data Hub
March 20, 2019 | Henry M. Mascia | Employment & Labor | Immigration
On March 19, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced two major changes to the H-1B visa program. First, USCIS will allow a modified form of premium processing for H-1B visa petitions that are subject to the annual cap (“cap-subject H-1B petitions”). In the past two years, USCIS had suspended premium processing …
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