Tuesday, July 17, 2018

H-1B CAP Travel and Stamping Advisory

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr 


As H-1B Cap approvals start to trickle in, it is important for Petitioners and Beneficiaries to plan for the anticipated 10/1 start date. The following advisory is specifically for H-1B Cap cases that have been prepared for consular processing.

H-1B Approvals for Consular Processing

Once a Beneficiary’s case is approved, the next step is visa stamping at a local consulate in the Beneficiary’s home country.

We strongly advise Beneficiaries to promptly schedule a visa appointment with their local consulate after the receipt of an H-1B approval. This ensures that the Beneficiaries enter as close to the start date indicated on the form I-129 and approval notice.
Read more . . .

Friday, June 8, 2018

Rule Rescinding Work Authorization for Certain H-4 Visa Holders is in Final Review, Says DHS in Court Filing

In a court filing on May 22, 2018 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated a rule rescinding work authorization for certain H-4 visa holders was under final review and would soon be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

The DC District Court of Appeals had mandated DHS to issue a status update in May, under the terms of a February motion which granted an abeyance to the agency to issue its response to a lawsuit initiated by Save Jobs USA. While the DHS had stated it would issue a proposed rule in February 2018, the agency later determined that it needed more time to consider the economic implications of revoking the benefit.

Read more . . .

Monday, April 23, 2018

Members of Congress Fight to Save Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

By Kalpana Peddibhotla and Roujin Mozaffarimehr

Last month, 15 members of Congress from California signed a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging her to reconsider the agency’s proposal to revoke work authorization for certain H-4 visa holders.

Key signatories included Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat from Southern California who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, and Ro Khanna, all Democrats who represent the San Francisco Bay Area’s Silicon Valley, also signed the letter, along with Rep.

Read more . . .

Monday, March 5, 2018

DHS Delays Decision on Terminating Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

On February 28th, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a court filing in the Save Jobs USA lawsuit stating that it would not issue a new rule terminating work authorization for H-4 visa holders until June because it needed to review the economic impact of terminating the program.

DHS had been expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making – NPRM – in February, intending to revoke H-4 EADs. Currently, more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders – largely women from India whose spouses are on track to get legal permanent residency – have received work authorization since 2015.

An organization known as Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in 2016 against DHS, claiming that H-4 work authorization negatively impacts job opportunities for American workers.

An advocacy group, Save H4 EADS, surveyed more than 2,400 members, all of whom currently have work authorization.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

H-4 EAD in Jeopardy

Since May 2015, certain H- spouses of H-1B principals who have an approved I-140 have been able to apply for employment authorization pursuant to the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses rule. This rule has since been under attack through a legal challenge in the Courts. We have recently learned through a review of the Trump Administration’s Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda the DHS has tentatively scheduled the release of a proposed rule rescinding the H-4 EAD rule in February 2018.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

USCIS Expands In-Person Interview Requirements for Adjustment of Status Applications for Employment and Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

On August 28, 2017, The USCIS announced that in-person interviews will now be required for applicants with adjustment of status applications based on employment (I-140 petitions), as well as Refugee/asylee relative petitions (I-730 petitions). This new requirement will be phased in at the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2017.

This new requirement is being implemented to comply with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. The USCIS has confirmed in its

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Department of State Revises the Foreign Affair Manual to Provide Consular Officers Guidance in light of Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order.

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

As of August 2017, the Department of State (DOS) has updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which details the policies and procedures by which Consular Officers are to follow in the issuance of visas at appointments abroad. These revisions have been made based upon President Trump’s April 2017 Executive Order (EO) 13788, “Buy American and Hire American.” This EO posits targeted directives with the goal of “ensure[ing] the integrity of the Immigration System in order to ‘Hire American.”

Prior to the FAM revisions and the April 2017 EO, the Immigration Bar and non-immigrant visa (NIV) holders traveling abroad have been gathering anecdotal evidence of rigorous adjudications at the consulate.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Travelers Be Wary – International Travel on Pending I-131 Will be Deemed Abandonment

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

The USCIS has changed its policy with regard to international travel while a form I-131 Application for Advance Parole is pending. In the past, the USCIS routinely approved advance parole applications where applicants traveled abroad during the pending period using an existing unexpired advance parole document, or H, K, L, or V visa. The USCIS Service Center Operation Directorate (SCOPS) has confirmed that the current policy is that travelling internationally while the I-131 application is pending will result in the denial of that application.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a pending I-131 application, please do not travel internationally until the application is approved. This also includes renewal applications, as well as renewal applications that are pending where the applicant has a current advance parole card.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Executive Action: H-4 Employment Authorization

Our current laws do not allow the H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B holders to work in the U.S. This has resulted in a lost talent pool for the U.S., not to mention frustration by the H-4 dependents, and financial stress on families. Executive Action will finally extend employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses...
Read more . . .

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