Category: News

How New H-1B Visa Rules Could Harm the U.S. Economy

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rebecca Anderson Last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor announced new rules for the H-1B visa system, changing the definition of “specialty occupation,” employee-employer relationships, and limiting the validity of an H-1B visa to one year for a worker placed at a third-party worksite. Overall, the new interim final rule will include fewer types of degrees, raise wages H-1B workers should be paid, and shorten the length of visas for contract workers. According to The Economic Times, the IT industry lobby group Nasscom said that the changes could potentially harm the U.S. economy by restricting access to talented workers from overseas and slowing down research and development processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic—a time ...

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Who is Amy Coney Barrett, and What is Her Stance on Immigration?

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By: Rebecca Anderson The Trump administration has officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Many of Trump’s immigration policies, including the rollback of DACA and the Remain in Mexico policy will be upheld by her, analysts say. According to azcentral, Barrett, 48, a former University of Notre Dame law school professor and an appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, has written decisions in three major immigration-related cases. In those particular cases, Barrett's decisions suggest she is a judge who interprets laws based on a rigid reading of the texts, rather than trying to decipher lawmakers' intent. According to Vox, Barrett helped to advance one of Trump’s key ...

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Trump administration targets H-1B visas through additional new reforms

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rebecca Anderson The Trump administration is striking while the iron is hot, announcing additional immigration reforms. Earlier this week, the president put forth new modifications, making it extremely difficult for skilled foreign workers to acquire United States visas. According to The Hill, the strict changes are the latest efforts by Trump and the Department of Homeland Security to publish regulations targeting H-1B visas. Visa recipients work in many different industries, with the large majority of them in the technology sector, and the visas granted to these individuals allow them to stay in the U.S. for increments of three years at a time. “We have entered an era in which economic security is an integral part of homeland security. ...

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Federal Judge Blocks the Trump Ban on Foreign Worker Visas During the Course of the Pandemic

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By: Rebecca Anderson Last week, a Federal judge ruled that President Trump and his administration had “overstepped” their authority after suspending issuance of specific work visas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge Jeffrey S. White of the U.S. District Court of Northern California granted a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the implementation of the order, issued in June. According to The New York Times, the sweeping order applied to thousands of companies seeking to bring workers to the United States on a wide array of visas, including the H-1B for high-skilled workers, seasonal employees on guest-worker visas and others, such as au pairs, who enter the country on cultural exchange visas. “The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, ...

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USCIS Filing Fee Increase Temporarily Halted by Federal Courts

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By: Rebecca Anderson As of this week, a district judge in California granted an injunction that temporarily halts the proposed increases made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of schedule filing fees for incoming migrants. According to the National Law Review, this is based on the court’s preliminary ruling. This announcement comes on the heels of a former ruling in August that stated filing fees were increasing indefinitely. Ultimately, USCIS planned to implement these increases as of October 2, 2020. However, for now, immigration attorneys and clients can continue to file cases using the current USCIS filing fee structure to avoid having to rush to collect necessary documentation, etc. Why was the rule blocked? According to Boundless.com, Judge Jeffrey White of the ...

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Consular sections across India now accepting drop box applications for renewals of all nonimmigrant visa categories at Visa Application Centers across India

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By: Rachel Horner Under the Presidential Proclamation, the Department of State was barred from issuing immigrant visas. The proclamation “suspends the entry to the United States of certain additional foreign nationals who present a risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.” However, the United States embassies in India, specifically in New Delhi, Chennai Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai, have recently begun a slow but steady re-opening of services. This is welcomed news for Indian nationals who need visas and eager to return to work. The priority for these centers will continue to be student visa applications. In addition to student visas, they will accept drop box applications for certain visa categories, including renewals of ...

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A Breakdown of the Crisis-Era Shakeups at USCIS

Posted by: Park Evaluations

Written By: Lynn O’Brien, Senior Associate Attorney in the Northern Virginia office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP.  The widely reported changes at USCIS have already had major consequences for foreign nationals looking to enter the United States. From fee hikes to narrowly avoided furloughs, to a proposed expansion of the premium processing program in an attempt to salvage some funds to stave off those furloughs, the leading sentiment among attorneys, petitioning companies, and would-be beneficiaries alike has been one of apprehension. With so much in flux, when will the other shoe drop? Background: A Deficit to Match the Times Like ...

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USPS Mail Delays and How they can Negatively Affect Our Immigration System

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner Furloughs, a pandemic, and a divisive political climate – it seems the USCIS has navigated through the worst. However, a new obstacle has been thrown their way: USPS mail delays. The USPS has already seen budget cuts and now they must process mail-in ballots for the 2020 election. These mail delays – which have already had a devastating impact across the country –are yet another blow to the USCIS, as they rely on the postal service to deliver paperwork, notices, visas, work authorizations, and naturalization documents to the 47 million immigrants living in the U.S. Immigration lawyers and USCIS agents alike agree that the USPS is essential to the success of the immigration process. A United ...

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NORCOR, last jail in Oregon to house immigration detainees, officially ends ICE Contract

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By: Rachel Horner A unanimous agreement was made by the board who oversees Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles to forbid NORCOR from housing immigration detainees, which had been the lone jail left in Oregon permitted to do so. While the board has not yet commented on their exact reasoning behind the sudden end to the contact, which was announced August 20, they did mention in a statement that there was a decrease in detainees -- which had lead to a decrease in revenue for the jail. NORCOR’s contract with ICE was found to be controversial by many. For one, it is situated in Oregon, a “sanctuary state.” The law which marked Oregon as such was enacted in 1987, and ...

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Are USCIS Furloughs Still Coming?  What Happens Now to H-1B and Other Processing Times? A chat with Lynn O’Brien

Posted by: Park Evaluations

As hurricane season heats up, many in the business immigration world are beginning to wonder if USCIS will be able to weather its own stormy outlook. Furloughs and higher fees almost certainly seem to be on the agenda, with the service’s for-profit structure leaving it unequipped to handle the visa freeze instituted by President Trump’s June executive order (likely causing a reduction in petitions filed for employees outside the US who require visas to enter). Petitioning organizations seeking H-1B and L-1 visas, which have formed the backbone of the business immigration world for several years now, are faced with doubts as to the predictability in processing of these categories in the short term. Many businesses do not know ...

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