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Jackson Lewis Employers' Immigration Update

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the publication of two proposed rules, one to extend employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B workers and the other to enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States.

DOS Forecasts Significant Advancement of EB-2 India Cut-off Date; Slow Down in EB-3

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin sets out per country priority date cut-offs that regulate when an individual can begin the final phase of the lawful permanent residence (“green card”) process, either through adjustment of status or a consular immigrant visa application. Those with priority dates that are earlier than the date listed for that visa category and country can proceed with their applications. Since the EB-2 (Employment-Based, second preference) visa category is heavily used by citizens of India and China, it can take a substantial amount of time for the dates on the Visa Bulletin for those categories to move forward.

U.S. Consulates in Canada Temporarily Suspend TCN Visa Processing Over the Summer

U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are urging third-country national (TCN) applicants to seek appointments at other U.S. Embassies and Consulates, such as those located in the applicants’ home countries. A TCN is an individual who applies for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in a country where the individual is not a citizen or national.

J-1 Meet and Greets—A Precursor to Site Visits?

In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of Private Sector Exchange (OPSE), which designates, monitors, and partners with U.S. organizations to administer the Exchange Visitor Program, has been notifying sponsors within the Intern and Trainee categories about J-1 “discussion group events” and requesting contact information for exchange visitors.

Immigration eAuthority (May 2014)

USCIS Completes Data Entry for All FY 2015 H-1B Cap Petition; DHS Publishes Proposed Rules to Attract and Retain Highly-Skilled Immigrants; Watch Out! Telephone Scams Targeting Foreign Nationals on the Rise; DHS Announces Chile’s Admission into the Visa Waiver Program; USCIS Issuing Requests for Evidence for Expiring Medical Examinations.

Immigration for Employers Summer 2014

Immigration for Employers Summer 2014

Is Your Business At Risk for Damages and Civil Money Penalties Based on Violations Stemming from Improper I-9 and E-Verify Procedures?

Executive Summary: The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Discrimination (OSC) within the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it a priority to pursue employers who allegedly misuse or abuse access to the E-Verify program and unlawfully discriminate against applicants and employees in hiring and termination on the basis of citizenship status discrimination and document abuse. Employers suspected of engaging in a pattern or practice of discriminatory employment verification procedures could face months of costly investigation and be forced to pay civil money penalties, back wages and punitive damages. What's more, they could be ejected from participating in the E-Verify program, lose the right to do business in states that mandate private employer participation, and face debarment from federal contracting rights.

DHS Proposes Rule Changes Benefitting Spouses of H-1B Workers and Other Highly Skilled Immigrants

On May 6th, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its plans to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants through two proposed rule changes. The proposed rule changes would allow employment authorization for certain spouses of H-1B workers, and would make it easier for highly skilled workers to remain in the United States.

USCIS Completes Data Entry for All FY 2015 H-1B Cap Petitions

On May 2, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that data entry for all FY 2015 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. The agency will now begin to reject and return all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the random selection (“lottery”) process.

Tips To Prepare Your Company For An I-9 Audit

The Immigration Customs and Enforcement division (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security, continues to issue Form I-9 Notices of Inspection to businesses across the nation. In fiscal year 2012, ICE served over 3,000 Notices to businesses, resulting in over $12 million in fines. Additionally, ICE made 520 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations. These criminal arrests involved 240 individuals who were owners, managers, supervisors, or human resources employees.