U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to deny H-1B petitions at an historically high rate, making it more difficult for international students to work in America and for companies to conduct research and service customers in the United States.
“Denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 33% through the second quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment,” according to a new National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP)analysis of USCIS data. “Between FY 2015 and FY 2018 the denial rate for new H-1B petitions quadrupled from 6% to 24%. To put this in perspective, between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the denial rate for initial H-1B petitions never exceeded 8%, while today the rate is 4 times higher.”
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers could question international students and company managers during new site visits underway to investigate students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. This is the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration aimed at companies, high-skilled professionals and international students.
If one looks at the May 2016 STEM OPT regulation, it’s clear ICE can review a number of aspects of an international student’s work at an employer that might not have been subject to oversight in the past. This includes examining documentation to determine whether a student in STEM OPT status is being paid properly according to the regulation. The 2016 rule states: “To guard against adverse impacts on U.S. workers, the rule requires terms and conditions of a STEM practical training opportunity to be commensurate with those applicable to similarly situated U.S. workers.”
Shumaker Attorneys Maria Ramos and Mechelle Zarou Present at the 2019 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law
Shumaker was honored to have two of our partners, Maria Ramos and Mechelle Zarou, present at the 2019 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law this past week in Orlando. Mechelle participated on a panel discussing unconventional uses of O-1 and EB-1 Visas and Maria joined two panels, one discussing what employers need to know about an employee’s criminal and medical history and another on congressional advocacy for clients.
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is pleased to announce that Tampa partner Maria del Carmen Ramos was selected as TAMPA Magazine’s Top Lawyer 2019 in the category of Immigration as voted on by her peers. This is the third year in a row that Maria has received such a prestigious honor. (more…)
Mechelle Zarou Presented at American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Sports Immigration Law Conference
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick is pleased to announce that Mechelle Zarou, partner in the Toledo office, was a panelist at the Central Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) first Sports Immigration Law Conference held on March 8, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. The conference focused specifically on the substantive law and practical challenges associated with sports immigration and featured sports immigration subject matter experts as well as sports industry professionals, including Olympic athletes. (more…)