USCIS Fee Hikes Effective April 1 – 4 Key Takeaways for Employers

On January 31, 2024, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a Final Rule to announce new filing fees for immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The rule is set to take effect on April 1, 2024. As a predominantly fee-funded agency, USCIS justifies the fee increase – the first since December 2016 – as essential …

A State-Based Cure – Interested Government Agency J-1 Waivers for Physicians

Originally published in Healthcare Michigan, Volume 41,  No. 1 Recently, the president of the American Medical Association, Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, stated in a national address that the physician shortage long-feared is here and that “It’s an urgent crisis…hitting every corner of this country—urban and rural—with the most direct impacting hitting families with high needs and limited means… …

Coming January 29: 20,000 H-1Bs for Visa Renewal – What You Need to Know!

As outlined in an earlier Immigration Insights & Issues blog post, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted a proposal to resume the renewal of limited visas in the U.S. after almost 20 years via a pilot program. Finally, on December 21, 2023, the requirements for the pilot program were announced by DOS. What are …

Round Two SB 4: Texas Follows Arizona in State Preemption Attempt of Federal Border Control

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 4 on December 18, placing Texas on the course to yet another state-federal preemption challenge regarding the enforcement of immigration law regarding illegal entry to the United States (US).  The bill’s provisions may go into force on or about March 5, 2024. The provision is in limited ways similar …

Trade Nafta (TN) Visa Holders Are NOT Free Agents – Spotting the Unauthorized Nonimmigrant for Form I-9 Compliance

Employers continue to face compliance challenges in determining whether a new hire is work authorized for Form I-9 purposes, given the dynamic changes in immigration policy and regulation.  For instance, this year alone, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted significant updates on the Form I-9 Central news page, including: The increase of the …

Major Nursing Shortages? Foreign National Nursing Intervention as a Plan of Care.

Originally published in Healthcare Michigan, Volume 40,  No. 11 The nursing profession’s vital signs are unstable and require an intervention. The single largest occupation of health care workers is Registered Nurses (RN). It is also the fifth largest profession nationally.[1] Yet the nursing profession is facing extreme shortages as the need for health care workers grows. Specifically, …

65,000 More Reasons to Get Ready: Essential H-2B Filing Strategies for FY2024

On November 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“D.H.S.”) with support of the Department of Labor (“D.O.L.”) announced that it expects to make available an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural visas for Fiscal Year (F.Y.) 2024. This increase is in addition to the existing mandated 66,000 H-2B visas that are allotted each F.Y.  …

H-1B Principals Pilot Program for Stateside Visa Reissuance – Early 2024

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), posted on October 17, 2023, the long-awaited proposal by the Department of State (DOS) to proceed with a pilot program to resume the renewal of nonimmigrant visas in the United States (US) for certain qualified non-citizens. It is expected that the program …

3 Tips for a Successful National Interest Waiver Petition for the STEM Worker

The U.S. immigration system poses significant hurdles for foreign nationals seeking employment within the United States. With few exceptions, employer sponsorship is generally required. For many, the sole avenue to obtain temporary work authorization is through the H-1B category, which is subject to an annual cap. Due to the restricted number of H-1Bs available each …