USCIS Fee Rule Update: Avoiding Filing Rejections

The Final Rule published by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjusting certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees went into effect on April 1, 2024. This Final Rule included the first new Fee Schedule since 2016, and there were significant changes to the pre-existing Fee Schedule. On April 29, 2024, USCIS published a …

The Stealth I-94 Dilemma – Determining Work Authorization Validity

The I-94 record, which determines the validity of a nonimmigrant’s status, often presents challenges that are not expected by the foreign national or their employer.   Unfortunately, the failure to be aware of the validity period of the I-94 can cause all sorts of serious problems. For example, some of the consequences can be: The accrual …

Grab Your Shot: Supplemental H-2B Visas for Those Who Missed the Lottery

Amid the ever-evolving landscape of business and workforce dynamics, the recent buzz around the H-2B visa lottery has sent ripples of anticipation and concern through companies reliant on foreign workers. As immigration and labor shortages continue to weave intricate challenges, the opportunity to secure additional H-2B visa numbers opens a new chapter of possibilities and …

Introducing USCIS’s New Online Organizational Account

In February 2024, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) launched its new online Organizational Account, which allows for the online filing of H-1B petitions and enhances collaboration between clients and legal representatives. The Organizational Account automatically upgraded the legacy USCIS account, and pre-existing users will see their new Organizational Account the first time they …

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 …

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 …

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.  …

New Public Charge Questions Add More Challenges for Adjustment of Status Applicants

On December 9, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the release of a new version (12/23/22) of Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, in connection with a new regulation addressing the public charge ground of inadmissibility, which would take effect on December 23, 2022. When must the new Form …

DHS PUBLISHES NEW FINAL RULE ENDING TRUMP-ERA PUBLIC CHARGE RESTRICTIONS

On September 9, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a lengthy Final Rule concerning the implementation of the public charge ground of inadmissibility[1] after several years of federal court litigation. This Final Rule will be effective on December 23, 2022, and apply to applications postmarked (or electronically submitted) on or after that …

USCIS Makes COVID-19 Signature Policy Permanent

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS announced several “flexibilities” to facilitate immigration filings in the face of significant logistical challenges. One of those flexibilities was a much-needed suspension of the “wet ink” signature requirement for certain immigration forms. After sustained success and positive feedback on what was supposed to be a temporary rule, …