Immigration Newswire

Immigration law is composed of statutes, regulations, case law and non-binding agency guidance. The primary statute with which we deal as immigration attorneys is the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The regulations we reference are all included in various volumes of the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”). We primarily use 8 CFR, which is USCIS regulations; 20 CFR, which is Department of Labor regulations; and 22 CFR, which is Department of State regulations.

In addition, we cite to precedent decisions by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

Finally, the various federal agencies with which we deal provide frequent administrative guidance which is not binding but which governs their internal policies.

By providing you with the latest immigration legal news, we hope to offer practical insights into the ways various legal provisions are being construed by the government.

FY2025 H-1B Cap Lottery Overview

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Feb 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

By Adam J. Kneeland  With USCIS's recent confirmation of this year's registration schedule, we have officially entered the FY 2025 H-1B cap season. This year brings some significant changes that will affect how USCIS selects candidates.  New Changes to Registration  Starting this year, USCIS w...

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USCIS Final Rule Makes Significant Change to Filing Fees for the First Time in Seven Years

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Feb 05, 2024 | 0 Comments

On January 30, 2024, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would be making significant changes to filing fees for certain immigrant and naturalization requests. For the first time since 2016, USCIS published the Final Rule to adjust filing fees for various nonimmigrant, immigrant, and naturalization forms. The Final Rule goes into effect on April 1, 2024. Any application or petition that is postmarked on or after this date must include the proper forms and filing fees established under the Final Rule. Here are some key pieces of information to know before the new changes apply.

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Overview of the Fiancé-based Visa Process

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Jan 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

By Daniela A. Hoegerle Is my fiancé eligible?A petitioner may be eligible to bring his or her fiancé(e) to the United States on a fiancé(e) visa if the petitioner meets the following requirements:•    He or she is a U.S. citizen;•    He or she and his or her fiancé(e) intend to marry one another...

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The Basics of ESTA

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Dec 19, 2023 | 0 Comments

ESTA, or the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, “is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).”   Eligible applicants can submit their ESTA application online at any time before travel to the United...

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The Basics of Automatic Visa Revalidation

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Dec 07, 2023 | 0 Comments

Automatic visa revalidation (AVR) is a provision of immigration law that allows certain qualifying individuals to re-enter the United States after a brief trip of 30 days or less to Mexico, Canada, or “adjacent islands”* with an expired visa.  Who is eligible for AVR? Nonimmigrants who:  Hav...

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Teachers in B-1 Missionary Status

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Nov 21, 2023 | 0 Comments

by Adam J. Kneeland B-1 is a status most commonly a short-term status used by people visiting the US for business; however, it is also an option for applicants pursuing religious/missionary activities, including teaching at religious schools. Using the B-1 for religious instruction is often misu...

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Proposed Changes to H-1B Program

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Nov 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

by Adam J. Kneeland On October 20th, the Department of Homeland Security announced a list of proposed changes to current H-1B rules intended to improve the efficiency and integrity of the H-1B program. The most relevant/significant changes include the following: H-1B petition changes Revisin...

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What is a nunc pro tunc extension?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Nov 01, 2023 | 0 Comments

When filing for an extension of nonimmigrant status, the extension must be filed prior to the expiration of your current status. An extension of status request filed where your existing status has already expired would be voided, because there would be no existing status to extend. However, in so...

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What is a specialty occupation?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Oct 11, 2023 | 0 Comments

co-authored by Adam J. Kneeland  The H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa classifications require the foreign national to be entering the US for employment in a specialty occupation.  8 CFR 214.2 (h)(4)(ii) defines specialty occupation as:  an occupation which requires theoretical and practical applicati...

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What is specialized knowledge?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Oct 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

The L-1 visa for intracompany transferees has two classifications – L-1A for managers/ executives and L-1B for specialized knowledge employees.  Qualifying as a specialized knowledge employee can be challenging. USCIS can put L-1B cases under a lot of scrutiny to ensure the case legitimately inv...

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What is a FOIA Request?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Sep 21, 2023 | 0 Comments

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, is a federal law that requires disclosure of information and documents upon request. Once a request is submitted, the agency from which you are requesting documents will process your request and return all reasonable documents found in relati...

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Can my H-4 spouse work in the US?

Posted by Emilie (Ronald) Gough | Sep 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

H-4 spouses are eligible to apply for work authorization from USCIS if the H-1B principal: Has an approved Form I-140 Immigrant Petition or Has an approved successor form or Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Centu...

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