EB-2 India: Retrogression Expected

Mechelle Zarou
Mechelle Zarou

The State Department has released the October Visa Bulletin showing the Employment-Based Second Preference (EB-2) Category for India with a priority date of May 1, 2009. Based on current demand, it is expected that the priority date could retrogress as far back as 2005, possibly as early as November. The high number of Indian-born applicants “upgrading” their filings from EB-3 to EB-2 is a major factor in the impending retrogression. Continue reading “EB-2 India: Retrogression Expected”

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) FAQs and How To Guides Now Available in Multiple Languages

Mechelle Zarou
Mechelle Zarou

On September 15, 2014, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has released “Frequently Asked Questions” and “How Do I” guides for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Please visit Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  and follow the links for the new multilingual guides. These may also be accessed in Spanish at www.uscis.gov/acciondiferida. Continue reading “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) FAQs and How To Guides Now Available in Multiple Languages”

Immigrant Visas for EB-5 China Depleted

Mechelle Zarou
Mechelle Zarou

EB-5 Immigrant Visas for Chinese nationals have been depleted through fiscal year 2014, but remain current for the new fiscal year beginning October 1. However, based on the assumption that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) will continue to approve EB-5 cases at the current rate, it is predicted that a cut-off date will be imposed during the second half of the fiscal year, possibly as early as May 2015. Continue reading “Immigrant Visas for EB-5 China Depleted”

The Infamous EB-5 Visa

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

Late last month, the U.S. Department of State announced that as of August 23, 2014, immigrant visa numbers for Chinese nationals in the EB-5 category would be unavailable through September 30, 2014. This notwithstanding, when the U.S. Department of State issued its October Visa Bulletin, the EB-5 category showed as current for all nationalities. Continue reading “The Infamous EB-5 Visa”

Salt Lake City’s Only Five Diamond Hotel Fined $2 Million for I-9 Violations

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

Grand America Hotel has agreed to pay a fine of nearly $2 million to avoid criminal prosecution for hiring employees not authorized to work in the U.S. The company will also cooperate with a Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) investigation and will take steps to correct its hiring practices. Continue reading “Salt Lake City’s Only Five Diamond Hotel Fined $2 Million for I-9 Violations”

The Rules of the Game Change As ICE Targets Employers

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

The year 2009 marked a dramatic change in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) workforce enforcement strategy. Up until 2008, ICE focused its enforcement efforts almost exclusively on illegal workers. For instance, ICE made 6,000 workforce enforcement strategy-related arrests in 2008; only 135 of them involved employers. Starting in 2009, however, ICE shifted its focus from illegal workers to employers who knowingly hired unauthorized workers. As part of its strategy of targeting employers, ICE began setting up centers around the country that are fully dedicated to I-9 audit work. Continue reading “The Rules of the Game Change As ICE Targets Employers”

DOJ Addresses the Anti-Discrimination Provision in Connection with I-9 Compliance

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

On July 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) issued a technical assistance letter (TAL) in response to an employer’s request for guidance in how to address the instance where the employer had accepted more documents than necessary during the Form I-9 verification process. (See U.S. Department of Justice.)  In its request for assistance, the employer specifically inquired whether it should “retain or destroy excess documentation.” Continue reading “DOJ Addresses the Anti-Discrimination Provision in Connection with I-9 Compliance”

Keeping Up with the Times: Solving the I-9 Conundrum for Remote Employees

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

The impact that technology has on our everyday life is impressive. It touches us at work, home, and even while we’re on the road. And while technology has its disadvantages (you are always “on”), it also has its advantages: for instance, it gives employees the ability to telecommute. Every day, more and more companies offer their employees the option to telecommute from home. In some instances, companies even hire individuals who live in a different state from where the employer is located. While allowing employees to telecommute from different states can be a great benefit for the employee (and the employer), it can create a nightmare for HR administrators trying to complete employment paperwork, such as the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each new employee. Continue reading “Keeping Up with the Times: Solving the I-9 Conundrum for Remote Employees”

The EB-5 Program: The Road to Citizenship Less Traveled

Maria del Carmen Ramos
Maria del Carmen Ramos

Bipartisan immigration reform in an election year? And it creates jobs without adding to the deficit? Too good to be true? Well, earlier this year, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) introduced legislation—co-sponsored by five Republicans (Sens. Collins, Grassley, Hatch, Lee & Rubio) and three Democrats (Sens. Conrad, Kohl & Schumer)—to extend the EB-5 Regional Center Program for three years.[1] After several amendments, that legislation was passed unanimously by the United States Senate.[2] It later passed the House of Representatives by a 412-3 vote and was ultimately signed into law by President Barack Obama. The legislation, as enacted, extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program—which had been set to expire on September 30, 2012—for an additional three years.[3]  Continue reading “The EB-5 Program: The Road to Citizenship Less Traveled”