On the morning of February 14, 2024, several clients reached out after encountering issues with the photo matching tool in E-Verify. They reported discrepancies where the photos transmitted by E-Verify did not align with the photos on the employees’ documents. It became increasingly clear that E-Verify was not rendering the correct photos from the

By: Jason Burritt, Steven Brouillard, Valerie Salcido, and Victoria Ma

Seyfarth Synopsis:  Effective April 1, USCIS will implement significant filing fee increases, in particular for petition and applications related to employment-based benefits.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2024, to adjust

By: Jake Campbell, Weija (Victoria) Ma, and Jason Burritt

Seyfarth Synopsis: The below summarizes recent legal updates that impact U.S. immigration:

1. Government Shutdown Avoided – For Now

On September 30, 2023, Congress passed a stopgap bill to keep the government running for another 45 days. For more information on potential impacts if the government were to shutdown, please see our legal alert–Potential Government Shutdown: Immigration Consequences for Employers and their Foreign Employeeshere.Continue Reading October 2023 U.S. Immigration Alert

By: Weijia (Victoria) Ma, Jake Campbell, Michelle Gergerian

Seyfarth Synopsis: The below summarizes recent legal updates that impact U.S. immigration:

1. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Launched Online Appointment Request Form

On August 21, USCIS launched a new online form for individuals to request in-person appointments at their local field offices. Instead of calling the USCIS Contact Center, individuals can use the online appointment request form to request an in-person appointment at a field office for ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole, and more. However, it is important to note that the requested date and time cannot be guaranteed. USCIS will review the online appointment request form and schedule the individual for an in-person appointment date based on the local field office’s availability.Continue Reading September 2023 U.S. Immigration Alert

By: Steven Brouillard and Jake Campbell

Seyfarth Synopsis: Starting January 25, 2023, USCIS will adjudicate I-539 and I-765 applications for H-4 and L-2 dependents when those applications are filed concurrently with the I-129 petition.  The bundling of those applications applies to both regular and premium processed H-1B or L-1 petitions.

USCIS will return to its

By Steven R. Brouillard and Victoria Ma

Seyfarth Synopsis: On January 12, 2023, USCIS announced the final phase of premium processing expansion for EB-1 Multinational Executive and Manager and EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) Form I-140 Petitions, as well as steps to expand premium processing for certain I-765 and I-539 applications.

Background:

On March 30

On January 4, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule to increase fees for most immigration benefit requests. If implemented, employers will pay significantly more for most nonimmigrant and immigrant filings. The fee increases projects to boost revenues by over $4.5 billion providing USCIS with the much-needed resources the

By: Dawn Lurie, Matthew Parker* and Amber Stokes*

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) continues to deal with their backlogs, they have announced that, effective September 26, 2022, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of expired Forms I-551, Permanent Resident Card ( or “PRC”), commonly known as a Green Cards, for lawful permanent

By: Angelo A. Paparelli  [1]

Seyfarth Summary: In 2004, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – an agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – created its Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate.  Since then, FDNS’s immigration officers have frequently appeared, without prior notice, at the business premises of employers that have petitioned USCIS to authorize the employment of noncitizens on U.S. work visas.  USCIS and FDNS describe these encounters as mere “site visit” intended to confirm the facts stated in employment-based nonimmigrant visa petitions.  As part of its “site visit” program, FDNS typically asks for voluminous documentary records, and demands physical access beyond the employer’s front desk in order to photograph the worksite.

This blog post challenges FDNS site visits as unlawful investigative activities that are conducted in violation of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA).  The HSA contains an express prohibition limiting the legal authority of USCIS solely to the “adjudication” of requests for immigration benefits,  such as work and travel permission, lawful permanent residency and naturalization.  Investigative activities and intelligence gathering under the HSA, the blog post explains, may only be conducted by two other DHS component agencies –  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The blog post therefore offers guidance to employers on practical strategies to consider when FDNS knocks at the door.

Continue Reading Challenging Unlawful Demands and Site Visits of USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS)