H-1b Denials Increase

It is being widely reported that the number of H-1b denials has increased dramatically during the past 3 months as the Trump edict to limit legal immigration has taken root. Recently the New York Times ran a sobering op-ed piece on this subject.

International Students Impacted by the Trump Administration

The New York Times recently reported on the decline in the number of international students attending U.S. schools and the negative political atmosphere and the repeated attacks on legal immigrants by the current Administration, is clearly the primary cause. The immediate impact is to U.S. schools but, the longer term impact is to U.S. employers particularly in the STEM fields where there is already a severe shortage of qualified workers. As many report, the short sightedness of U.S. immigration policy is a boon to countries such as Canada, Australia, and others.

H-1b Dependent Bill Moves

The Issa sponsored bill HR 170 which changes the rules that dependent employers must follow in order to employ H-1b workers has passed out of Committee and will now go to the full House floor. We will be reviewing the full text and providing further updates as soon as possible. Although the prospects of any immigration legislation passing out of this Congress is dim, we are still carefully monitoring the movement of any legislation.

December Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the December Visa Bulletin and there was very little forward movement. Retrogression remains a major problem and with the anti-legal immigrant political climate impacting visa extensions, the prospect of remaining in a long queue with the uncertainty of maintaining legal status is expected to make many reconsider their life paths.

By |November 14th, 2017|Green Cards|0 Comments|

Cadence Moore Speaks at TechServe Annual

Cadence Moore, one of HLG’s senior attorneys was a speaker at the TechServe Alliance annual conference. She was part of a legal panel discussing current legal trends, potential legislation, and how the political climate is impacting IT and engineering staffing firms.

By |November 13th, 2017|Events|0 Comments|

The End of Deference

The USCIS has announced that it is ending its long standing policy of giving deference to a prior decision in the context of non-immigrant extension petitions filed without any changes. As international employers can attest, there has been no deference in the context of L-1 cases for many years. In the H-1b context, this means that a degree which met the H-1b standards 3 years ago may now not meet the standards. Instead of providing certainty to the immigration process, the USCIS now has the justification to call into question its own prior adjudicatory decisions and second guess itself. Ever wonder why the USCIS is imposing such policies that seem to have no basis in logic, deviate from basic legal principles, and change long-standing policies; look no further than the background of the Trump appointees. As but, one example, consider, Julie Kirchner, a key executive at the USCIS and former Executive Director of FAIR, an organization squarely in the corner of the anti-legal immigration advocates. When a governmental agency that is tasked with following the laws written by Congress and fairly adjudicating benefits has a clear objective to do otherwise, it should be no surprise that we see policies such as this.

November Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the November Visa Bulletin There were no surprises in either chart and no major movement in the Final Action Date chart. Both EB2 and EB3 for PRC moved forward a month. India EB2 moved ahead a little over a month but, India EB3 remained at the same date. The Philippines EB3 had the largest jump as it moved forward 6 weeks. All categories that were current in October remained current in November. The Dates for Filing Chart remained the same. Whether the USCIS will honor the Dates for Filing chart in November has yet to be announced.

By |October 19th, 2017|Green Cards|0 Comments|

White House Attacks Legal Immigration

Earlier this week the White House released it’s Immigration Principles and Policies, making it very clear that it intended to reduce legal immigration, eliminate employer sponsorship of visas and green cards, and drastically change the current immigration system. The WH has previously announced support for the RAISE Act which is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The system proposed by the WH eliminates wage protections for US workers and eliminates the labor market test designed to only allow legal immigration where there is a proven labor shortage. The short-sightedness of the WH approach is mind-boggling but, of course, the assumption being made is that the WH understands the ramifications of its principles and policies and we all know the old saying about assumptions.

Skills Gap

As the White House prepares to unveil its immigration policy and its call for a significant reduction in legal immigration, it is nice to be reminded of the role which legal immigration aids in bridging the skills gap experienced by U.S. employers.

Premium Processing returns for all H-1b petitions

Today, the USCIS has announced that the Premium Processing option is once again available for all H-1b petitions. The filing fee remains $1225.00. If you have a pending H-1b petition and would like to have your case converted to premium processing, please contact your assigned attorney or paralegal who can assist.