Author: Kathleen Walker

Interagency Cooperation: Raising the Bar for Immigration Compliance

On April 2, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should again be open for business for a flood of H-1B petition filings, which are subject to the annual cap. Employers are required to pay the higher of the actual or prevailing wage for the area of intended employment to sponsor an H-1B specialty occupation visa.  Last year, USCIS received enough petitions (199,000) to meet the numeric cap (85,000) on April 7, 2017. Based on developments which followed the execution of the “Buy American, Hire American” (BAHA) Executive Order (EO) on April 18, 2017, both employers and employees have a new list of compliance considerations to review as part and parcel of their H-1B petition process. One of the key considerations is tied to increased oversight of submissions by an H-1B visa applicant and the petitioning employer with the various applicable branches of government.  Stove-piped legal representation is not advisable. (e.g., only focusing on one agency segment or one portion of a filing process)  While USCIS still struggles with its transformation project to achieve electronic filing for its petitions, attorneys and employers must make sure that representations made to USCIS and to the Department of Labor (DOL) in the petition process are also being addressed with any Department of State (DOS) consular visa application, which is also an adjudicative process. In addition, employers must be ready for increased site...

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SURVIVAL IN THE IMMIGRATION CULTURE OF DELAY AND SOCIAL MEDIA MINING: ADJUSTMENT INTERVIEWS

With the recent change by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to mandate in-person interviews for employment based adjustment cases along with changes to require the review of social media and to what constitutes a misrepresentation of intent at the time of a visa application or entry to the U.S., employers must recalibrate and intensify their intake of cases and timing considerations before any adjustment of status filing in the U.S. Background: On October 1, 2017, USCIS will start to phase-in interviews of the following adjustment of status cases for U.S. legal permanent residence: 1.            Employment based I-485 applications. 2.            Refugee and asylee relative I-730 petitions for beneficiaries who are in the U.S. and are trying to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant. In the past, in person interviews were not mandated for such adjustment of status applicants. The change was made to comply with Executive Order 13780 (Protecting the Nation From Terrorist Entry in the United States) issued on March 6, 2017 (the EO).  Section 5 of the EO directed the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence to implement a program as part of the adjudication process to identify those who seek to enter the U.S. on a fraudulent basis, and/or who support terrorism, violent extremism, and acts of violence toward any group or class of people in...

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The HR Blog is published by Dickinson Wright PLLC to inform the public of important developments within the firm and practice areas. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in this blog.

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