Proposed Regulations to Assist High Skilled Workers Moderately Positive

On May 6, 2014, US Department of Homeland Security announced some proposed regulations that would ease some of the pain being experienced by highly educated/skilled foreign nationals in the United States. “The proposed rules announced today provide important support to U.S. businesses while also supporting economic growth here in the U.S.,” said Deputy Secretary Alejandro… Read more »

USCIS New Policy on “Reason to Believe” for I-601A Provisional Waivers

The I-601A provisional waiver, a cousin to the I-601 Extreme Hardship waiver, was implemented in March 2013 for foreign relatives of US citizens (spouses, children, or parents). It is only applicable to those foreign nationals standing in the US and to those for whom the sole ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence. Those with a… Read more »

What is H-1B Cap Gap Coverage and Do I Qualify?

During H-1B cap season, it is important for F-1 students to understand how the “cap” impacts their ability to change status to H-1B in the US, to continue working on Optional Practical Training (OPT), and to stay in the US prior to H-1B status beginning. Fortunately, USCIS has provided a regulation to assist with these… Read more »

Mexican Nationals Applying for TN Have Process Streamlined

A final rule published February 10, 2014 by US Department of State eliminates the need for Mexican national TN applicants to petition for a TN in the United States first. This is a significant benefit because it allows the TN applicant to just apply directly to the Consulate and save time and money by bypassing… Read more »

Update on USCIS Site Visits to H-1B Employers

A Freedom of Information ACT (FOIA) request has resulted in the release of a confidential memo from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS). FDNS investigates a host of non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications. The memo, dated June 3, 2013, provides some insight as to how FDNS is… Read more »

F-1 OPT Students with STEM Degrees Have Extended OPT Option

Concerned about not obtaining an H-1B this next spring due to the cap? If you are an F-1 student with post-completion OPT (Optional Practical Training), you should be aware of the option to extend your F-1/OPT if necessary. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented exciting changes to the OPT program in 2008, to make… Read more »

If the US Government Shuts Down, What Happens to My Immigration Case?

Well this fortunately does not happen very often, but as of writing this on September 27, 2013, it is very possible the US government will shut down as of October 1, 2013 without an affirmative act by Congress to do something. What is Happening? In a nutshell, Congress has the “purse” authority and thus, makes… Read more »

A Brief Summary on Waivers in Immigration Law

Immigration law can be really confusing especially about the topic of “waivers” or pardons. There are different waivers for different problems. This is a very basic outline of the common waivers foreign nationals need to apply for and does not reflect all waivers available or specific details or exceptions. I-601 Extreme Hardship Waiver The most… Read more »

Happy Anniversary Deferred Action Program!

August 15 2013 marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program otherwise known as DACA. DACA was launched by the Obama Administration as a solely executive branch action, meaning it was created by regulation and policy and not by a statute which requires Congressional action. As such, DACA… Read more »

Update on Immigration Reform: Senate Passes the Bill – Next Step the House

On June 27, 2013, the Senate made big news by passing 68-32 S.744 bill – the comprehensive immigration reform bill that creates a new path toward legal residence for the undocumented and alleviates many problems with the high-skilled and semi-skilled employment needs that the current system cannot currently handle. The Senate bill is a major… Read more »

Defense of Marriage Act Struck Down: Same-Sex Couples Can Qualify for Immigration Benefits

The Supreme Court today struck down the federal law, Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, passed in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton and Congress. DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage despite the fact that state laws may have allowed same-sex marriage.  A majority of the court (5-4) determined that the Federal… Read more »

Update on Immigration Reform Bill: On to the Senate Floor

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform dubbed “CIR” has made its way out of the Senate committee system and now goes to the Senate floor this week for debate and vote by all members. A special procedure called cloture (to end debate) must be invoked and approved in order to eventually end debate on the floor and… Read more »

Colorado Legislature Ends Session with Drivers License Bill for Illegal Immigrants

  On May 8, 2013, the Colorado legislature approved a bill allowing undocumented/illegal residents the ability to    obtain a Colorado drivers license. The bill is now sitting with Governor Hickenlooper to sign into law, who according to the Colorado Observer, is likely to sign. The bill – known as Senate Bill 251 – was handily… Read more »

What Happens After DACA?

With hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth now granted DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I get many questions on various issues ranging from what happens when I travel on DACA?” “How do I tell my employer I have a valid social security number?” or “How do I correct my tax history and credit… Read more »

Colorado Thinks Dreamers are an Asset – In State Tuition Bill Signed into Law

Today, Colorado Governor John Marking Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 33, also known as the ASSET bill into law. The bill provides for in-state tuition for undocumented college-bound youth who live and reside in the state. This bill ends a decade-long effort to provide in-state tuition rates to undocumented Colorado college students by many legislators and… Read more »