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Physical Therapists Must Meet New Educational Requirements To Obtain Health Care Worker Certifications from FCCPT

Under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 212(a)(5)(C), health care workers (except physicians) who seek employment in the United States must obtain a health care worker certification from an approved independent credentialing organization.

DHS Issues Final Rule: USCIS Filing Fees to Increase Effective December 23, 2016

On October 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule increasing filing fees associated with a significant number of immigration applications. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must recover its costs through fees and periodically adjust fees to increase its operating revenue. The DHS proposed rule of May 4, 2016 indicated that USCIS would face a possible $560 million budget shortfall without the current fee increases.

New “Smart” I-9 Form Becomes Mandatory on January 22, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that starting January 22, 2017, all employers in the United States will be required to use the new version of the Form I-9 exclusively to conduct employment eligibility verification.

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY2018 in April 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) starting in April of 2017 (April 1, 2017 falls on a Saturday, so USCIS will accept cap-subject petitions for the year starting on the following business day, Monday, April 3, 2017). Employers may want to begin identifying current and future employees who may require new H-1B visas to work in the United States. Individuals currently holding F-1 student or J-1 trainee visas, individuals seeking to change to H-1B status from another visa status (such as L-1, TN, O-1, or E-3), and individuals outside of the United States commonly require a cap-subject H-1B petition to be filed on their behalf.

USCIS Rolls Out the Blanket L Revised Form I-129S Effective Date

Over the summer, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published an updated edition of Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition. The new edition is dated “6/2/16.” Blanket L visa applicants with consular appointments have been required to use the new version since August 29, 2016. However, USCIS had been slower to provide an effective date for use of the new form with USCIS change or extension of status filings until just recently.

Business Immigration Zone (BIZ): Relief Available for H-2A Farmers Impacted by Natural Disasters

The onset and aftermath of Hurricane Matthew was particularly hard on farmers and agricultural associations. Storm winds and rising waters devastated farm lands, limiting farmers’ ability to harvest crops in the impacted areas. In light of Hurricane Matthew, agricultural businesses that use the H-2A program may experience hardship complying with program requirements, may have reduced labor needs because of the storm or may have an altogether new need for guest labor.

Jackson Lewis Employers’ Immigration Update - No. 22, October 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 tie in a case appealing a nationwide injunction on the Obama Administration’s plans to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs means the appeals court ruling stands. United States v. Texas, No. 15-674 (June 23, 2016), reh’g denied (Oct. 3, 2016).

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rolls Out New Provisional I-94 Program

Travelers arriving at U.S. land-based ports of entry now can apply online for an I?94 in advance of their arrival in exchange for a $6 fee under a new program U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on September 29, 2016.

The H-1B Lottery: How Does a Petition Get That Winning Number Anyway?

The H-1B “cap season” has become an annual event for U.S. employers seeking work authorization for highly skilled foreign professionals. Working months in advance, employers and their attorneys prepare and submit H-1B petitions starting on the first business day in April. These petitions are added to a pool of applications and may be selected for an H-1B visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) controls the allocation of H-1B visas and accepts petitions until it has received an amount sufficient to reach the statutory limit of 65,000 visas available for new hires—and 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduated with a master’s or doctoral degree from a U.S. university.

Supreme Court Denies Rehearing Request on Immigration Executive Action

On the first day of its new term, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt another setback to the Obama Administration’s executive actions on immigration. The Court denied the Administration’s request for a rehearing on its deferred action programs for undocumented immigrants. United States v. Texas, No. 15-674 (June 23, 2016), reh’g denied (Oct. 3, 2016). The denial comes months after the Supreme Court deadlocked 4-4 over the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs. This decision means that millions of undocumented immigrants will continue to be in limbo, without legal work authorization in the United States or protection from deportation.