Practice Chair, Susan Cohen was quoted in the Law360 article, Rule for Foreign Startup Founders Seen as Helpful Stopgap in which she explains the nuances of the UCIS’s proposed entrepreneur rule, which will allow immigrant startup founders to temporarily stay in the U.S. Cohen notes that the rule doesn’t provide actual immigration status and clarifies the impact “parole status” will have on the overall visa process. The article provides an overview of the rule and the challenges non-U.S. entrepreneurs may face in meeting the rule’s requirements.

Susan Cohen was also quoted in the Bloomberg BNA article, Draft Immigration Rule Would Ease Foreign Entrepreneurs’ Entry in which she examines the investment threshold for the proposed entrepreneur rule. The article highlights key components of the rule, such as the two-fold parole period and its requirements, and offers expert insight from various attorneys on the rule’s implications.

The Department of State released the visa bulletin for August 2016 and set cutoff dates for employment-based first preference Chinese and Indian chargeable applicants as well as second preference categories for “all other” nationalities. The setting of dates in these categories reflects the high demand for immigrant visas and lack of availability for prospective immigrants in these categories for the remainder of the fiscal year. We do not expect the government to move any filing dates forward until its new fiscal year begins on October 1, 2016.

Employment based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA
1st C 1-Jan-10 1-Jan-10
2nd 1-Feb-14 1-Jan-10 15-Nov-04
3rd 15-Mar-16 1-Jan-10 8-Nov-04

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases, legislation, and regulations to look out for in the new year. In our fifth post we will discuss executive action on the Department of State’s visa bulletin and the related controversy and lawsuit. 

Visa Bulletin Changes: USCIS Gets Involved

In October 2015, the Department of State (DOS) unveiled a significant change to its visa bulletin. The monthly bulletin outlining immigrant visa availability issued by the State Department has two charts: one showing cutoff dates that govern when visas can be issued, and a new chart containing cutoff dates for when applications can be filed. In addition, USCIS now provides information on its website regarding the eligibility of applicants to file applications for adjustment of status US permanent residency, and it cross-references the DOS charts. Continue Reading A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Visa Bulletin Controversy Continues (Part 5/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases, legislation, and regulations to look out for in the new year. In our third post we will discuss regulatory issues with immigrant visas. 

A proposed USCIS rule could improve flexibility and stability for employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. On December 31, 2015, DHS released a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register titled “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers.” The proposed rule contains a number of amendments that would modernize the program for foreign workers. Mintz Levin member Kevin McNamara analyzed this rule in two detailed posts earlier in January, here and here.

Continue Reading A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: Proposed Immigrant Visa Reforms (Part 3/6)

On December 30, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must notify either the beneficiary of an approved I-140 or successor employer, of any intent to revoke the petition prior to revocation (Mantena v. Johnson, Docket No. 14-2476-cv, (2nd Cir., Dec. 30, 2015)).  Continue Reading 2nd Circuit Court Requires I-140 Revocation Notice: Analysis

On December 31st, the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed rule addressing and extending employment flexibility for certain classes of nonimmigrants and prospective immigrants. The new rule proposes to amend current regulations to “clarify and improve longstanding agency policies” related to provisions in both the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (“AC21”) and the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (“ACWIA”). When implemented, the rule has the potential to provide a clear adjudication system for USCIS and benefits for foreign nationals who would like more flexibility in the U.S. job market. While actual implementation is historically varied, we are cautiously optimistic that this rule will provide more standardized guidance for petition and application adjudication at the service centers. This post will examine the benefits for individuals who are already in the permanent residency process. Continue Reading DHS Proposes New Rule for Increased Job Flexibility: Part 1

In conjunction with the redesign of the legacy e-filing system and transition to ELIS, USCIS has changed the process for paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee online. The revised payment process aims to “reduce the amount of information an immigrant must provide to USCIS.” In addition, anyone, including a family member, friend, employer, attorney, or accredited representative can pay the fee on behalf of an immigrant. All that is needed is the immigrant’s Alien Registration Number (A-Number) and DOS Case ID.

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