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DHS STEM OPT Extension Rule Survives Legal Challenge

Finding that although the F-1 visa plaintiffs had standing to sue and that their claim was ripe, they had not alleged sufficient facts to support their claim, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled, upholding the Department of Home Security’s 2016 STEM OPT Rule Program in a detailed opinion. Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS, No. 16-1170 (D.D.C. Apr. 19, 2017).

President Signs Executive Order Seeking H-1B Visa Program Review

President Donald J. Trump has signed an Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American, establishing as the policy of the executive branch to promote American business and talent. The Order does not have any immediate impact on existing federal policies or regulations.

Expect Redesigned Green Cards from USCIS

After May 1, 2017, be on the lookout for redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). The USCIS will start issuing newly styled cards on May 1 as part of the “Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project” to make cards highly secure and more tamper-resistant.

Buy American and Hire American and the H-1B Lottery

On April 18, President Trump signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order. Federal agencies are already subject to laws and regulations which require them to give preference to American goods and raw materials in contracting and procurement. The purpose of the Order is to “maximize…the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States” and to “rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad.”

Trump Targets Tech Teams (And Others) Through H-1B Crackdown

President Trump signed an executive order yesterday directing a full review of the H-1B visa program as part of a continued push to clamp down companies that hire foreign labor instead of American workers. The centerpiece of this directive – dubbed “Buy American, Hire American” – is a proposal to replace the H-1B lottery with a system that distributes visas on the basis of wages, skills, and education.

FY2018 H-1B Lottery Applications Decline for First Time in 5 Years

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this week that it received 199,000 H-1B petitions for the FY 2018 H-1B cap. As usual, this far exceeds the total allocation of 65,000 general-category H-1B visas and the 20,000 advanced degree exemption H-1B visas for the FY2018 cap. However, this number represents a 15.7 percent decrease from the 236,000 petitions that USCIS received during last year’s filing period. It also represents the first time the number didn’t rise since 2013, demonstrating that employers are beginning to re-think their use of foreign skilled labor, most likely because of the administration’s pointed comments about immigration matters.

Executive Order Leaves Current H-1B System in Place, But Calls for Reforms

On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO), “Buy American and Hire American,” which aims to “stimulate economic growth” and “ensure the integrity of the immigration system.” Although this action provides impetus to federal agencies to propose changes to the U.S. immigration system, the EO itself does not present an immediate impact to immigration programs.

H-1B Visa Executive Order

In the wake of the lowest number of H-1B visa petitions filed in five years (199,000), President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American.” It is focused on reform of the H-1B non-immigration visa program, as well as the elimination of waivers and exceptions that are central to international trade deals.

New Executive Order Addresses H-IB Visas

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the "Buy American and Hire American" executive order (EO), which addresses H-IB visas. The EO calls for the application of existing U.S. laws to visa recipients and the revaluation of the H-IB program.

Reminder: Glitch in Form I-9 in November 2016

USCIS is reminding employers that if they are continuing to use a Form I-9 (“Smart Form”) that was downloaded between November 14 (when the form first became available) and November 17, 2016, they should download, save, and start using a new Form I-9, available at uscis.gov/i-9 .