Latest updates

H-1B visa programme: possible changes on horizon
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 28 February 2020

As the US Citizenship and Immigration Services begins to implement its online electronic registration system for H-1B cap-subject petitions for Fiscal Year 2021 – which is a major deviation from prior years – an examination of the additional changes to the H-1B programme which may be made in the future is in order. US employers should be aware of these possible revisions to the H-1B programme and plan accordingly.

PERM: employers, representatives and agents
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 17 January 2020

Some employers have learned the hard way that the role of representatives and attorneys is clearly separated in the Programme Electronic Review Management (PERM) rule and that a violation of this rule may have serious consequences. Violators of the PERM rule will find their applications denied or worse, as there are several strategies to punish employers that act in bad faith.

USCIS proposes rule to increase filing fees: what employers need to know
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 20 December 2019

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a rule to increase the filing fees for most of its applications and petitions for immigration benefits. Some of the provisions in the proposed rule to increase filing fees suggest that US employers or the public may pay the same or more money, but receive less service from the USCIS. US employers should plan and budget accordingly, monitor the movement of the rule through the rulemaking process and watch out for any possible litigation.

PERM: all about FLAG
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 29 November 2019

The Department of Labour has introduced its electronic review officers and launched its new online portal: the Foreign Labour Application Gateway (FLAG). The FLAG portal is not yet up and running for Programme Electronic Review Management applications, but is available for all labour condition, temporary H-2A and H-2B and prevailing wage applications.

Update on implementation of H-1B registration rule for employers filing H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 15 November 2019

In January 2019 the US Department of Homeland Security passed a rule that amended the regulations governing the H-1B cap-subject selection process. One of the biggest changes requires employers seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition to register the foreign national with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services online electronic registration system. This article sets out some of the items to be aware of with respect to the online electronic registration system for the upcoming H-1B cap season.

New presidential border security and immigration memorandum
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 17 May 2019

President Donald Trump has issued a memorandum to the attorney general and secretary of homeland security as a follow-up measure to a recent proclamation which declared a national emergency in order to address the security and humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border. The memorandum confirms that further steps should be proposed to enhance the integrity and efficiency of the existing asylum system.

BALCA approval of equivalency language is double-edged sword
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 10 May 2019

The Board of Alien Labour Certification (BALCA) recently reversed a decision where a certifying officer had denied a Programme Electronic Review Management labour application because the employer had not specified the exact combination of education, training and experience equivalent to a bachelor's degree that would be acceptable. BALCA held that the language used by the employer had been acceptable.

BALCA disregards Form 9089 Section K licence instruction
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 03 May 2019

The Board of Alien Labour Certification recently ruled that there is a lack of clarification about licensing on Form 9089 and that a Programme Electronic Review Management application should not be denied for failure to state the alien's acquisition of a licence. However, the fly in the ointment is that while Form 9089 does not itself clarify this point, the separate instructions to the form do require employers to include licence acquisition.

EB-1, EB-3 and Other Workers India categories see progress
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 22 February 2019

This article has been removed at the request of the contributing firm.

United States continues to accelerate China's growth as technological superpower
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 01 February 2019

Recent media reports indicate that the United States is quickly losing its place as the top destination for global talent, resulting in a growing 'brain drain' of skilled talent to countries such as China. Moreover, recent policy changes have made it increasingly difficult for foreign-born students to remain in the United States after graduation. Such short-sighted measures will only hinder US competitiveness in the long run.

New labour condition application form implemented
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 07 December 2018

The Department of Labour recently announced the implementation of the new Labour Condition Application (LCA) form. The prior LCA form is no longer acceptable. The implementation of the new form will affect LCA processing, since additional information will now be needed to complete the new form. Among other changes, the new LCA form now requires the full legal name and any 'doing business as name' for end clients where the H-1B worker will be placed to perform job duties.

F-1 cap-gap status: work authorisation extension no longer valid from 1 October 2018
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 30 November 2018

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services issued an alert on 28 September 2018 reminding F-1 students with an H-1B petition that remained pending on 1 October 2018 that they risk accruing unlawful presence if they continue to work on or after 1 October (unless otherwise authorised to continue employment) because their cap-gap work authorisation was valid only until 30 September.

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