New H-4 EAD Rule

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finalized a regulatory change that will allow certain H-4 dependent spouses to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs). The new regulation was effective on May 26, 2015.   Please note that not all H-4 dependents will be eligible to apply for EADs. The EAD provides ...

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Change in Procedure for E-1/E-2 Visa Stamp applications at the U.S. Embassy/Consulates in Japan

Employees of E-visa registered companies who are working in Japan must apply for an E visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and attend an interview before they can receive an E visa stamp and be transferred to the U.S. The U.S. Embassy/Consulates used to require that E-visa registered companies submit an updated Form DS-156E once a yea...

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New L-1B Ltr Writing Guideline

With continuing increase in the number of Request for Further Evidence (“RFE”) and denials for L-1B petitions, the USCIS has finally issued a new memorandum hoping to clarify what type of evidence will satisfy the requirements for an L-1B Visa. More specifically, it recently issued the INS Office of Director Policy Memorandum “...

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STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) OPT (Optional Practical Training) Extension Proposed Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just released its proposed rule for extending optional practical training for international students working in the U.S. The proposed rule will give international students who study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects two extra years to stay and work in the U...

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Breaking News on L-1 BLANKET I-94 Validity Dates

The following is a summary taken from a memorandum issued by the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) and DOS (U.S. Department of State) Liaison Committee on October 8, 2015.   The U.S. Department of State Visa Office (VO) clarified its current policy relating to its endorsement of Forms I-129S for Nonimmigrant L-1 ...

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USCIS Visa statistics for L-1B visa

For the Fiscal year 2015, USCIS has received a total of 13,626 I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker for Intracompany Transferee with Specialized Knowledge (L-1B) petitions. Of the 13,626 petitions, approximately 76% (10,368) petitions were approved and approximately 25% were denied. Currently there are 2,116 L-1B petitions still ...

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Increase in L-1 and H-1B fees

From August 2010 to September 2015, there were additional H-1B and L-1 fees for companies applying for H-1B or L-1 visas if they employ over 50 full-time employees and over 50% of their current employees were in H-1B or L-1 status. On December 18, 2015, due to the 2016 fiscal budget, these additional fees are expected to rise from $2...

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Renewing a Drivers License while on H-1B

In many states, an H-1B employee’s drivers’ license is linked to the validity of their current H-1B expiration date. Often enough an H-1B employee will have an extension filed on his/her behalf without premium processing and realize after a few months while his/her petition is pending that their driver’s license is going to exp...

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H-1B Cap Reminder

There are only six (6) weeks before the start of the FY 2017 H-1B Cap filing season and to ensure timely filing, it is recommended that employers start submitting LCAs and gathering the necessary documents AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Last year, USCIS received a record number of 233,000 cap petitions and it is likely that the numbers will b...

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Amended Regulations on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for Students with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees.

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published amended regulations on OPT for International Students with STEM Degrees. The amended regulations will allow F-1 STEM students to be able to extend their OPT for an additional 24 months beyond the initial 12 months....

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