As we approach the filing deadline for FY 2018 H-1B cap petitions, there are a couple of updates of which you need to be aware.

First, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has just announced that starting April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. Continue Reading Two Immigration Law Updates: Premium Processing for H-1B Temporarily Suspended, and New <em>Handbook for Employers</em> Issued

Last month, we wrote about the new I-9 Form employers must use for all employees starting January 22, 2017.  Today, our Immigration attorneys issued an Advisory to offer some additional guidance and clarification for employers in transitioning from the old I-9 Form to this new Form, and addressing some questions that may come up related to the Form and the use of E-Verify to confirm an employee’s legal status to work in the United States.  This Advisory is based on some information just provided by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, and our Immigration experts wisely wanted to pass along the advice right away. Continue Reading Update on New I-9 Form and Important Advisory

Late last year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued its Final Rule amending certain regulations related to employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs.  USCIS’s effort is intended to benefit both U.S. employers and foreign workers participating in these programs by “streamlining the processes for employer sponsorship of nonimmigrant workers for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, increasing job portability and otherwise providing stability and flexibility for such workers, and providing additional transparency and consistency in the application of DHS policies and practices related to these programs.”  The changes contained in the Final Rule go into effect on January 17, 2017, so employers with foreign workers (or employers who are considering hiring foreign workers) need to understand the implications of these changes and be prepared. Continue Reading Important Changes for High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers – and Their Employers — Coming January 17, 2017

The most current version of the I-9 form is now available (www.uscis.gov) and employers must use only this version beginning on January 22, 2017.  Some of the key changes to the form include the following:

  • Section 1 – Now asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used”
  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator

Continue Reading The New I-9 Form Is Now Available

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced its new entrepreneur program in which it is hoping to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to enter the U.S. and start U.S. businesses. Historically, that required either:

(1) Taking advantage of an existing E-1 or E-2 treaty between the investor’s country of citizenship (or perhaps multiple citizenships) and the U.S. leaving out the great majority of countries in the world and therefore citizens of those countries; or

(2) Investing at least one million dollars in the EB-5 program (though it could be reduced to $500,000 in high unemployment or rural areas). Continue Reading A Business Immigration Practitioner’s Take on the New Entrepreneur Program and Recent Trends

Listen up, employers:  On August 1 — that’s two days ago! — the Department of Homeland Security increased the Form I-9 violation fines by approximately 96%.  Specifically, the range of fines for violations went from $110-$1,100 per Form I-9 to $216 -$2,156 per Form I-9.  This could be particularly problematic for larger companies, as an untrained staff person completing numerous I-9s incorrectly can lead to an exorbitant amount in fines.  On the other hand, smaller companies have less in volume but sometimes they can commit more substantive errors which can lead to fines on the higher-side of the range.  Both are bad results that your business should want to avoid. Continue Reading I-9 Violation Fines Increased!

If you work in Human Resources, you are surely familiar with the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (“Form I-9”), and depending on the size of your company’s workforce, you might complete new I-9s on a regular basis.  But have you ever gone back to do an internal audit of the already completed Forms I-9?  Do you know the most common mistakes found on I-9s? Continue Reading Conducting an Internal Audit of Your Company’s I-9 Forms

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) recently released the new Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13), as well as a revised Handbook for Employers (M-274).  The revised form is longer—two pages, rather than one—and includes additional instructions for completing the form.  It also includes new fields for e-mail address, phone number, and foreign passport numbers in Section 1 of the Form. Continue Reading New Form I-9 Released—Deadline of May 8, 2013