H-1B Legacy Records No Longer Available

As part of a review and approval process that took place last summer, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) approved a new record retention schedule submitted by the Office of Foreign Labor Certifications (OFLC). Part of the revised schedule includes a retention period of only 5 years for both paper and electronic records “temporary records.” Accordingly, such records will be destroyed 5 years from the date a final determination letter or final action occurs.   Read More >

DOL Issues FAQ on Foreign National Qualifications

A permanent labor certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. The application for a labor certification is filed via the DOL’s Permanent Case Management System (PERM) using the ETA Form 9089. The ETA Form 9089 must be completely and accurately filled out.  Failure to do so may result in an audit or even a denial.  Read More >

Eleventh Circuit Says Florida Aggravated Fleeing Is an Aggravated Felony

Convictions of certain types of crimes, referred to as “aggravated felonies,” carry severe immigration consequences for foreign nationals seeking permanent residence, citizenship, asylum, and relief from removal. The types of crimes that may constitute aggravated felonies are listed in the immigration statute, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). One category of Aggravated Felonies consists of certain crimes of violence for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year.  Read More >

Supreme Court Will Hear Two Immigration Cases in 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court announced this month which cases it will hear in the coming year. Two of such cases are immigration cases that could have significant implications on immigration law depending on how they are ultimately decided. Read More >

FICA Payroll Taxes Must Be Withheld From Employees Switching From F-1 to H-1B Status

As a reminder, employers need to be mindful when foreign national employees change from a nonimmigrant status exempt from Social Security and Medicare withholding under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) to a status in which all payroll taxes apply, especially this time of year when many recently hired foreign national employees in the U.S. are making this switch.

Read more about how this effects companies and what can be done to ensure you remain compliant.

For more information, please contact Frances P. Rayer.

Visa Bulletin for November 2014: India EB2 Retrogresses to February 2005

The U.S. Department of State has published the monthly “Visa Bulletin” for November 2014. The Visa Bulletin is a government publication, the primary purpose for which is to provide an updated waiting list for immigrants that are subject to the immigrant quota system.    Read More >

USCIS Launches New E-Verify Website

E-Verify is the internet-based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and Social Security Administration (“SSA”) databases to confirm whether the employee is work authorized.  Read More >

BIA Holds Florida Burglary Not a Categorical CIMT

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains provisions that render a non-U.S. Citizen individual inadmissible, or removable/deportable under certain circumstances, if he or she has been convicted of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT). 

In order to determine if a crime is a CIMT, the government first examines the statute of conviction to determine if it fits within a category of criminal activities that is considered morally reprehensible. This determination is a very complex process requiring extensive legal analysis and application of years of court and administrative decisions that set forth the type of criminal activities typically considered to involve moral turpitude. If the statute of conviction falls within one of the CIMT categories, it will be a “categorical” CIMT. If the statute does not fall within any of the CIMT categories, it is not a categorical CIMT and the criminal conviction may not be used against the defendant as a CIMT. However, if the statute of conviction has two or more sections, one of which may be considered a CIMT, the government will engage in a “modified categorical” approach, examining the record of conviction to find out if there is an indication of which subsection the defendant was convicted under. Importantly, under the modified categorical approach, the government is limited to using only certain documents in the criminal case – the so called “record of conviction.”   Read More >

National Visa Center Cases Delayed for 60 days

Due to a recent increase in immigrant visa petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the National Visa Center (NVC) is experiencing a rather significant backlog. The NVC has issued notices to applicants advising that it is experiencing increased review times for documents received and thus expects delays of at least sixty days from the date NVC receives the documents. Applicants will be notified by the NVC when the documents have been reviewed.   Read More >

2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Opens Oct 1

The registration period for the 2016 Diversity Visa Program opened on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT -4). The period will close at noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST), Monday, November 3, 2014.  Read More >


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