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Forbes: Tech Companies File $350 Million Lawsuit Over H-1B Visa Fees

Forbes $350M Lawsuitnew lawsuit alleges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has unlawfully charged technology companies $350 million in H-1B visa fees. A victory in the case for the plaintiffs would give many technology companies a chance to recoup millions of dollars from the federal government.

“Defendant (“the Agency”) has unlawfully charged United States companies approximately $350 million dollars in visa fees (likely more) over the past six years,” according to a complaint filed on January 26, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Plaintiffs now seek a refund. For the reasons below, this Court must set aside visa denials based on the nonpayment of this unlawful fee, enjoin the Agency from continuing to charge this fee, and refund all payment of these fees for the past 6 years.”

Click here to read the full Forbes article. 

Maria del Carmen Ramos to Speak at 2020 American Immigration Lawyers Association National Conference

Ramos.Maria_300dpiTAMPA, FL – Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Maria del Carmen Ramos has been invited to serve as a member of the distinguished faculty at the 2020 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference on Immigration Law to be held June 17-20, 2020 where she will be speaking about employer compliance and enforcement issues that have grown dramatically under the current administration.

AILA is the national association of more than 15,000 lawyers and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. AILA member lawyers represent U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members, as well as U.S. businesses seeking talent from the global marketplace. (more…)

Forbes: New Immigration Fees To Hit Businesses Hard

Will “Pay more for less service” be the Trump administration’s new marketing slogan for businesses dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)? The administration plans to raise fees more than 50% for many business applications, while workers will need to pay more to become citizens or gain permanent residence.

On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule that would increase fees across key business immigration categories, in essence, levying a tax increase on employers that access the global market for labor. The fee increases come at a time when U.S. job openings in 2019 outnumbered the unemployed by “the widest gap ever,” which, along with a large body of economic research, undermines the argument that immigrants prevent natives from finding jobs.

Click here for the full Forbes article. 

Bloomberg Law: Upcoming H-1B Registration Process Still Fraught With Concerns

bloombergImmigration attorneys continue to have concerns about a new electronic registration process designed to make the H-1B visa application process easier, even as the government moves ever closer to implementing it.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services late Dec. 6 announced that the spring 2020 H-1B filing season will feature an electronic preregistration process. The new protocol, laid out in a January 2019 regulation, will allow employers to enter the annual lottery for the specialty occupation visas without having to prepare a full petition with supporting documentation until they are actually selected. (more…)

From NC Policy Watch: Law professor: NC Courts need the power to protect the state’s immigrants from unlawful detention

Gettyimage-unlawfuldetentionOur North Carolina clients may be interested in this opinion piece by Kate Evans, clinical professor of law and director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Duke University School of Law. Professor Evans is addressing a North Carolina Supreme Court case that is currently pending, which will decide whether immigrants detained unlawfully under state law by state officials can challenge their detention in the state’s courts.

Click here to read the full article in NC Policy Watch.


Attorney Spotlight

Maria del Carmen Ramos, Partner, Handles all types of immigration matters for foreign nationals and large institutional clients, including routinely filing petitions for non-immigrant visas on behalf of employers, and advising and training employers on I-9 compliance.