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Welcome to Kramer Levin's Business Immigration Post Blog

November 23, 2010  | Posted by Business Immigration | Permalink

Welcome to our regular column expressing thoughts on immigration law developments and policy issues. These posts are written just as a newspaper column would be: timely, informative, and we hope, thought-provoking. We hope you’ll share your reactions with us.

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May 12, 2014 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink

In a welcome regulatory change, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a regulation that will allow H-4 spouses of certain H-1B foreign nationals to apply for work authorization. The extension would be limited to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants who are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment. Specifically, spouses in H-4 status would be able to apply for work authorization only if: 1) the H-1B spouse is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition, and visa numbers are currently unavailable in the preference category; or 2) the H-1B spouse is the beneficiary of a labor certification that was filed 365 or more days prior to reaching the end of the sixth year of H-1B status. Dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are not in the process of seeking permanent residence through employment will continue to be ineligible for employment authorization, as will the children of H-1B workers in H-4 status.

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April 9, 2014 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink

H-1B Cap Reached


On April 7, after only five business days into the filing season, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had already received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory caps for both the 65,000 regular cap and for the 20,000 cap for U.S. advanced degree holders for fiscal year (FY) 2015 (October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015). For those petitions received between April 1 and April 7, USCIS will conduct a computer-generated random selection process. Petitions not randomly selected for H-1B processing will be rejected, and the filing fees will be returned. We expect this random selection process to take place within the next few weeks.

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December 9, 2013 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink
Significant Retrogression in EB-2 India Visa Availability
As many of you are aware, visa availability in the long backlogged employment-based second preference (EB-2) category for Indian nationals had advanced significantly in recent months. In November, for example, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was accepting and approving adjustment of status applications from Indian nationals with EB-2 priority dates of June 2008 or earlier. Although still a long time to wait, the June 2008 date represented a significant, and welcomed, jump ahead from backlogs of 2004 just a few months earlier. read more
October 3, 2013 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink
Impact of Government Shutdown on Immigration Matters

We have received numerous questions from clients about how today’s partial federal government “shutdown” will affect immigration adjudications and other related matters. Here is what we know so far:

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) operations are primarily funded through user filing fees (rather than federal government appropriations), we expect the agency to continue operating as normal. All petitions and applications will continue to be accepted during the shutdown.

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September 16, 2013 | Posted by Business Immigration Group | Permalink
USCIS and State Department Issue Guidance on Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

Recently, both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State issued FAQs in response to the Supreme Court's June 26, 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. DOMA had prohibited the federal government from conferring immigration and other federal benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples on same-sex married couples. Following the Supreme Court's decision in Windsor, USCIS estimates that approximately 30,000 same-sex bi-national couples may now be eligible to apply for various immigration benefits.

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