Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched an initiative to automate the issuance of Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Records for travelers arriving by sea or air. Records of admission will now be generated by CBP using traveler information captured through electronic means. Passengers arriving by sea or air will no longer complete a paper Form I-94. Read our Alert about this new process at:
Mintz Levin will continue to monitor developments with the new Automated I-94 Program.
Nearly one year ago, President Obama signed legislation that would add Israel to the list of countries eligible for E-2 nonimmigrant investor visas to the United States. The legislation would grant E-2 investor visas to Israelis, allowing them to live and work in the U.S. to be closer to their investments. But the creation of a reciprocal visa for Americans investing in Israel is the hold-up, leaving Israeli companies wishing to secure E-2 visas in an administrative limbo. Both governments need to resolve this issue now. The delay has reached nearly one year.
The U.S. and Israeli governments should collaborate immediately to ensure that all conditions are met to facilitate the issuance of E-2 visas to Israelis. A one-year delay is simply unacceptable. Making E-2 visas available to Israelis will encourage cross-border transactions, grant Israeli companies more access to U.S. markets, and enhance scientific, technology and broader business ties between the two countries. On the U.S. side, an infusion of investments by Israeli companies into the U.S. economy will induce direct and indirect jobs. Israeli companies will benefit from being able to access markets in North and South America. For both countries, an investor visa is a win-win deal.
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv has had a static message about the delay on the post’s website since last summer: http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/niv/nonimmigrant.html.
It’s time for an update to the public. The U.S. and Israeli governments should explain the reasons for what appears to be a one-year delay, and offer a timeline for implementing this favorable and beneficial program.
As a follow-up to our Alerts of March 8, 2013 and May 6, 2013, this is a reminder that the revised Form I-9 must now be used by all U.S. employers for new hires. The new form went into effect May 7, 2013. The new Form I-9 may be found at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central. Mintz Levin’s most recent alert is at:
Please contact an attorney with Mintz Levin’s Immigration Department if you have questions about this form.
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv advises visa applicants with scientific and technology backgrounds to apply early and well before anticipated travel to the United States. The issue is that many applicants are subject to “Necessary Administrative Processing” in advance of visa issuance. This process, which is akin to an extended security clearance, takes about three to four weeks to complete from the date of a visa interview. To help educate applicants, the Embassy has published excellent resources on its web site including a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=megTaZoCtlo. Continue Reading
Susan Cohen and Bill Weld recently authored an editorial on the need for bipartisan action on immigration reform. The editorial appeared in the April 20, 2013 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe. Here is the link:
By Michele D. Frangella
On April 7, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted the lottery process for fiscal year 2014 cap-subject H-1B petitions. The computer-generated random selection process included approximately 124,000 cap-subject petitions received April 1, 2013 through April 5, 2013.
USCIS conducted the random selection process for advanced degree petitions first. When the 20,000 limit for these petitions was reached, the remaining advanced degree petitions were added back into the general pool subject to the 65,000 limit. USCIS then randomly selected petitions until the 65,000 limit was met. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject the filing and return the petition with the filing fees.
USCIS has adjusted its premium processing practice to allow for data entry of cap-subject petitions. USCIS will begin reviewing selected premium processing H-1B petitions on April 15, 2013.
Stay tuned for further updates from our office regarding the H-1B visa cap and related issues.
By Barbara Chin
On April 5, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received more than enough H-1B petitions to meet the numerical limit for fiscal year 2014 cap-subject H-1B visas, which includes both the 65,000 general H-1B cap petitions as well as the 20,000 “U.S. Masters” H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. advanced degrees. No more cap-subject H-1B petitions will be accepted by USCIS.
USCIS indicates it will now begin executing the computer-generated random selection process for all cap-subject petitions received. First, USCIS will determine which U.S. Masters cases will be randomly selected toward the 20,000 limit. Once that is determined, the remainder of the U.S. Masters cases will be added to the pool of general H-1B cap petitions, and USCIS will execute the second random selection process to determine which cases are accepted toward the more general 65,000 limit. Only those cases which win the lottery will receive a receipt from USCIS. All other cases will be returned.
Mintz Levin is presenting a webinar on Tuesday, April 9th to discuss the information you need to implement the new Form I-9. US Citizenship and Immigration Services published a new version of Form I-9 on March 8, 2013 along with revisions to its M-274: Handbook for Employers. This new Form I-9 must be used by all US employers starting on May 7, 2013. It is a longer form and includes expanded instructions.
To register, click here.
By Susan Cohen
On March 27, 2013 the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published an interim rule in the Federal Register that changes the definition of Form I-94 (also known as an “I-94 card”) in order to allow an I-94 to be issued in electronic format, as well as in its current paper version. The purpose of the new rule is to streamline the I-94-issuing process and make it more efficient and user-friendly. DHS is seeking comments on the interim rule and will accept comments until April 26, 2013.
Currently, foreign nationals arriving in the U.S. complete a paper Form I-94 which is stamped by a Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officer at the U.S. port-of-entry. The stamp contains the date of admission, the class (visa type) of admission, and the date until which the foreign national is permitted to remain in the U.S. The departure portion of the Form I-94 is retained by the foreign national to be shown to government officials if necessary, and potentially to employers as part of the I-9 process.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 cap on Monday, April 1, 2013. See a copy of the full press release at http://www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count, which is USCIS’s H-1B FY 2014 cap resources page. Continue Reading