By: Jacob Campbell & Mahsa Aliaskari

Recent processing time trends at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) are raising concerns for both Employers and F-1 visa holders relying on automatic extensions of work authorization while awaiting the processing of their F-1 STEM Employment Authorization Document (EAD) extension applications.

While USCIS published processing time data

By: Rania Abboud

For many highly skilled international workers, securing an H-1B visa in the United States can be elusive. With this year’s lottery results announced, employers find themselves exploring alternative strategies to retain invaluable talent. Among these strategies is the consideration of relocating talent to Canada, where a range of enticing options await.

Exploring

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: Nelli Shevchenko

The U.K. Home Office has updated the Employer’s Guidance on Right to Work Checks on 28 February 2023. The guidance contains important information about obligations and compliance processes for UK right to work applications made by UK-based employers. Changes include clarifications on eVisa and BRPs checks, use of ID Service Providers, and

By: Mia Batista, Steven R. Brouillard, and Victoria Ma

Seyfarth Synopsis: H-1B Registration is approaching! Employers should identify any current employees and employment candidates who may require H-1B visa sponsorship.

This Legal Update is intended to assist employers with understanding the general process of the H-1B electronic registration program and identifying any current

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: Angelo A. Paparelli  

“America is back, the trans-Atlantic alliance is back.” – So declared President Biden on February 23, 2021.  Apparently, however, Antony J. Blinken, the newly installed U.S. Secretary of State (DOS), didn’t get the memo.  On March 2, 2021, he “rescinded the previous national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10143 [relating] to the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland.” As DOS’s announcement of the rescission noted, PP 10143, issued on January 25, 2021, restricted the issuance of visas and U.S. entry to “certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty-traders and investors, professional athletes, and their dependents.”

NIEs for travelers from these Trans-Atlantic countries had been granted (at times with relative ease at some U.S. embassies and consular posts) based on previous State Department guidance. Under the prior guidance, executives, managers and specialists in the E-1 and E-2 (treaty traders and investors), H-1B (specialty occupation workers) and L-1 (intracompany transferees) visa categories, whose visit could be shown as likely to confer “substantial economic benefit” on the U.S., would often be approved. (For background, see this blog post (“Pursuing a National Interest Exception to the Presidential Entry Bans on Economic Grounds — Not A Fool’s Errand,” and slide deck, “Getting Your Key Employees Back to the U.S. under the National Interest Exceptions” to Presidential Proclamations ~ A Conversation about Eligibility and Process.”)
Continue Reading Why? Oh My! State Department Makes It Harder for Travelers from the Schengen Area, UK, and Ireland to Receive National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) under Pandemic-Based Visa and Entry Bans

By: Angelo A. Paparelli  

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars. 3d render

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, nonimmigrants traveling to the United States should expect no lifting of visa and entry bans as the Biden Administration comes to

By: Tieranny L. CutlerMichelle Gergerian, and Jason Burritt

Seyfarth Synopsis:  Previously scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, Proclamations 10052 and 10014 have been extended by President Trump until March 31, 2021. These visa bans will continue to restrict the issuance of certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, as well as travel to the United States by certain nonimmigrants, including those in H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 status.

The newly issued proclamation also provides the authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Labor to recommend any modifications as may be necessary within 15 days of December 31, 2020, and every 30 days thereafter while this proclamation is in effect.
Continue Reading President Trump Extends Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Ban

By Randy Johnson and Dawn Lurie

Seyfarth Synopsis: On July 10, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1044 – the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019,” on the Suspension Calendar[1] with a bipartisan vote of 365-65. The legislation, originally introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), would eliminate the existing “per-country cap” for employment-based immigrants while also increasing the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas.

The current employment-based system for immigrant visas (i.e. “green cards”) is based on “per-country caps” which set a cap, or quota, per-country at 7% of the total amount of employment-based green cards issued annually by the United States.[2] As one employer-based coalition put it, “[t]his means that India and China, which account for over 40% of the world’s population are allowed the same number of visas as Greenland, a country that accounts for 0.001% of the world’s population.”  For more information on the operation of the per-country caps, see the Congressional Research Service’s December 2018 analysis here.Continue Reading Houses Passes Bill Lifting “Per-Country Caps”