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Reminder: USCIS Fee Increase Effective December 23, 2016

Any employer anticipating submission of an immigration application or petition should consider filing prior to December 23, 2016, to avoid higher USCIS filing fees.

New Regulations Clarify Which Employers Are Exempt From Yearly H-1B Quota

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued its long-awaited rule seeking to improve certain aspects of the employment-based immigration system. The new rule, which becomes effective on January 17, 2017, clarifies several agency policies and procedures that affect U.S. employers who sponsor high-skilled nonimmigrant workers. The rule is intended to increase consistency among agency adjudicators and provide greater stability and job flexibility for certain foreign workers.

Drinking + Driving = Losing Your Visa?

With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, Fisher Phillips would like to remind our clients to be extra careful when driving home after a night out. In addition to the criminal and financial ramifications of drunk driving, there are other consequences for foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas who are arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Since the implementation of a new policy in November of 2015, consular officers have been required to prudentially revoke nonimmigrant visas upon notification of a DUI arrest or conviction, even if that individual is in the United States.

USCIS Publishes Final Job Flexibility Rule for Employment-Based

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published the long-anticipated final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers.” The rule will take effect on January 17, 2017, before President Barack Obama leaves office.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Final Rule on Immigrant Visa Petition Retention and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

On November 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule in the Federal Register which addresses the retention and portability of high-skilled foreign workers. The new regulations, which take effect January 17, 2017, allow greater flexibility to certain foreign workers subject to long green card quota backlogs to change employers without negatively affecting their pending green card applications. The new regulations also codify many agency interpretations that exist as agency guidance memorandums and nonbinding agency communications.

USCIS Increases Filing Fees

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is increasing filing fees for many immigration applications and petitions by an average of 21% beginning on December 23, 2016. While the filing fees for some applications and petitions will remain the same, others will see significant increases.

DHS Regulation to Ease Job Portability for High-Skilled Foreign Workers

The final version of the long-awaited U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2016. The final rule will take effect on January 17, 2017.

USCIS Releases New I-9 Form

USCIS has released a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers may start using the new 11/14/2016 version now if they desire, but it will not become mandatory for U.S. employers until January 22, 2017. In other words, employers may use the 03/08/2013 version through January 21, 2017. Once an employer starts using the new 11/14/2016 version, it must use it for all new hires, and also for reverifying existing employees. For reverifying an existing employee, the employer would just complete Section 3 of the 11/14/2016 version and attach it to the employee’s existing I-9. The issuance of the new I-9 version does NOT compel an employer to complete brand new I-9s for its entire existing workforce in a blanket fashion.

What Employers Can Expect from the Trump Administration: Immigration

Our alert Monday (11/14/16) provided a summary of employment-related changes that are likely under Donald Trump’s new administration, including a brief overview of immigration issues. This alert provides greater detail on the immigration policies that Candidate Trump supported and the changes that he is likely to enact or advocate for as President. President-elect Trump has already announced plans for the first 100 and 200 days of his presidency and released an immigration plan. The changes that the new administration seeks to enact can be broadly categorized according to how they could be accomplished: through legislative, regulatory, or executive action, which will impact the likelihood and pace of change.

New Form I-9 Goes Into Effect In January 2017 – Stay In Compliance!

A revised Form I-9 was recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The new version is expected to be published by November 22, 2016.