Immigration and Firm News

The Trump Administration has been very, very busy addressing business immigration in the last year. Three overriding themes are: 1) a slowdown in processing times in most categories and 2) increased Requests for Evidence (RFEs) in just about every immigration category and 3) a tightening of definitions by adjudication or policy memo.  Receiving an RFE doesn't necessarily mean a case will be denied, but there are more denials out there. Despite all the talk about needing "merit based" … [Read more...]

On August 6, 2014, the American Immigration Lawyers Association sent a letter to President Obama recommending administrative fixes or executive action to tweak the business immigration system in light of Congressional failure to pass an immigration reform bill. The list of recommended actions are within the realm of administrative law and existing statutes. Only Congress can change or amend statutes, including underlying visa categories, requirements and numbers. However, within the confines … [Read more...]

The H-1B cap situation is even worse than last year, which means employers are continuing to hire. USCIS announced today that it received 172,500 H-1B petitions for 85,000 available visas, compared to 124,000 last year. These were received at USCIS during the first week of April for the FY2015 filing season for specialty occupations with selected employees scheduled to begin work on October 1, 2014 (unless employees already have some underlying work authorization). Because the number of … [Read more...]

Here at the Seattle immigration Law Office of Bonnie Stern Wasser, we enjoy working with entrepreneurs. Whether owned by Americans who seek to hire global foreign talent, or foreign nationals seeking to open or expand a business in the U.S., it is important for entrepreneurs to understand the range of business immigration options and startup visas for employees, executives and investor entrepreneurs as well as the impact they have on the local and national economy. The Kauffman Foundation just … [Read more...]

A March 2014 report by the National Foundation for American Policy shows that USCIS has issued more denials and Requests for Evidence (RFE) in recent years for L-1B multinational specialized knowledge employees. The statistics contradict the outreach efforts former Director Mayorkas made to the business and entrepreneur community through the Entrepreneurs in Residence program, and an entrepreneur-focused new web portal called Entrepreneur Pathways. Granted, it is up to the U.S. Congress to … [Read more...]

It's that time of year again when human resources professionals should be finalizing offers for "specialty occupation" positions they plan (or hope) to fill with foreign nationals who need H-1B visas. The filing season for fiscal year 2015 will open up again on April 1, 2014 for jobs that can begin starting October 1, 2014, the start of the government's next fiscal year. Applications for H-1B workers who are subject to the annual cap will not be accepted before April 1; therefore, they need to … [Read more...]

On Tuesday, May 14, the Senate Judiciary Committee completed another round of markups to Title IV of the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill, S. 744. Besides additional enforcement provisions, the Senate tackled amendments to the proposed immigration law, particularly the various nonimmigrant work visa categories. The following is a short summary, the details of which can be found here with individual amendment text here. A number of Senator Hatch's proposed amendments to the H and L … [Read more...]

Lornet Turnbull has an article in today's Seattle Times entitled Foreign workers' spouses often stuck in limbo, in which she recounts the experiences of several H-4 visa holders who are the spouses of H-1B temporary professional workers. Ms. Turnbull captures the angst mixed status couples face in deciding whether to come to the US at all, and whether to stay and/or pursue permanent residence. Although H-1B visa holding spouses can work for specific employers in specific jobs, the dependent … [Read more...]

It's that time of year again when human resources professionals should be thinking about what positions they plan (or I should say, hope) to fill with foreign national workers in specialty occupations requiring H-1B visas. Now is the time to be extending those offers and preparing applications for filing. In the private sector, which is largely subject to the annual 65,000 visa cap on H-1B visas, the filing season will open up again on April 1, 2013 for jobs that can begin on or after October 1, … [Read more...]

In November 2012, USCIS created a new Entrepreneur Pathways portal purportedly to make it easier for foreign national entrepreneurs to navigate the immigration system. Previously in 2011, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced a new Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) initiative to promote better adjudications for entrepreneurs. EIR would also include training adjudicators about real world business scenarios including start up ventures, financing, hiring methods, and other features of the … [Read more...]