In the ever-evolving landscape of employment verification, the use of Form I-9 software programs is increasingly prevalent. These programs, often part of an HRIS (Human Resource Information System), streamline the process of verifying an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S., making the onboarding process more efficient for employers. However, their use also comes with a set of obligations.Continue Reading Federal Government Issues Comprehensive Guidance for Employers Using Form I-9 Software Programs

Q. Am I required to review I-9 documentation in person during the pandemic?

A. It depends, but change is coming soon.

Not long after President Biden declared the country in a state of national emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put in place the following rule:Continue Reading Form I-9: Temporary Document Review Rule in Place During the Pandemic

Q. How does the H-1B cap lottery work?

A. Once again, the H-1B cap filing season is here. The H-1B is a popular U.S. work visa available to highly skilled foreign nationals who are offered an H-1B-qualifying position by an employer. This visa is also known as a “specialty occupation” visa because in order to be eligible for this visa category, the position being offered to a foreign national must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specific field, and the foreign national must meet that requirement. Typical candidates for the H-1B petition include students and recent graduates currently working under a work permit card (OPT or STEM OPT). In some cases, employees in TN status might benefit from switching over to H-1B.Continue Reading The Return of the Annual H-1B Cap Lottery

Q: It is no secret that Trump and Biden have starkly different views on immigration laws and policies. Now that President Biden is in charge, how have things changed? What impact has there been on employers and their employees in the U.S. under employer-sponsored visas?

A: There are several key changes for employers to note:

Revocation of Trump’s “Buy American Hire American” (BAHA) Executive Order

Since former President Trump signed the BAHA executive order on April 18, 2017, it became the backbone of many of the immigration-related policies passed during his time in the Oval Office, including: (1) rescission of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS)’s deference policy that made it less burdensome to obtain approvals on extension filings that were previously reviewed and approved; (2) issuance of an H-1B Third-Party Worksite Memorandum, which heightened the scrutiny on IT consultants and other similar consulting professionals who had to be stationed at the customer’s worksite; and (3) increased enforcement efforts related to H-1B and L-1 employer site visits. This also led to an increase in the number of “requests for evidence” issued by USCIS, which, in turn, led to an increase in denials overall.
Continue Reading Changes to the Immigration Landscape in the First 100 Days of the Biden Administration

Following President Trump’s Presidential Proclamation on April 22, 2020 to temporarily suspend immigrant visa processing and entry of certain immigrants into the United States, the White House has issued a new Executive Order entitled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”. This new order is directed at foreign nationals and their dependents who seek to obtain visas in the following classifications: H-1B and H-2B, L-1, and J-1 for participation in intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel programs. Other visa classifications, such as B-1, F-1, O-1, and TN, are not addressed by this proclamation.
Continue Reading Impact of Executive Order Suspending Entry of Certain Employment-Based Nonimmigrants

On April 20, 2020, President Trump tweeted: “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” This broadly vague statement has obviously caused great concern and

The place of employment remains a critical consideration for employers sponsoring foreign nationals in H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 status. In addition to determining the geographical location for prevailing wage and required wage considerations for the labor condition application (LCA), the place of employment also is considered when providing the required notice for the LCA. However,

During this time of emergency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided guidance for employers on how to complete the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, which requires employers to inspect the original documents provided in person by employees. If there are individuals who wish to limit social interactions with others and do not want

The number of I-9 audits is on the rise, but for many employers this is still unfamiliar territory. In this post, we will explore what happens next after Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has selected your company for an audit.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires employers to verify the work authorization status of

The Trump administration’s tough stance on enforcing employer compliance continues.  Last year, there were a number of highly publicized raids, including the following:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 364 individuals during 30-day enforcement visits in the following midwestern states: Illinois (134), Indiana (52), Kansas (43), Kentucky (60), Missouri (42), Wisconsin (33).
  • ICE conducted a