New Look... Same Great Content

You may have noticed that we’ve updated our blog.  Subscribe today to get the most current news and information about immigration and the law.

Subscribe Now

Our Immigration Practice

Our collective experience with immigration law allows us to provide a full range of legal services to both businesses and individuals from around the world.

How can we help you?

Learn More


Meet the people behind the blog. The people who put their ideas to paper. The people who keep you informed of what is happening in immigration.

Meet Our Contributors

News from our team

USCIS Unveils Proposed Changes to Form I-9

On November 24, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Many of the proposed changes to Form I-9 are intended to help reduce technical errors and help customers complete the form on their computer after they have downloaded it from  For instance, the proposed new form: Checks certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly; Provides additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators; Includes drop-down lists and calendars; Provides instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field; Includes buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over; Provides a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form; and Will generate a quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes. Other proposed changes include: Requiring employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used; Streamlining the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and Separating the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS’ practices. The public may provide comments on the proposed changes for 60 days, until January 25, 2015. You may read more information about the Form I-9... read more

Expect the Unexpected – Delays in Processing O and P Petitions

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has sent out an alert that O and P petitions are currently taking approximately eight to ten weeks to be processed, which is much longer than the Vermont and California Service Centers’ online processing timeframe of two weeks. Further delays have been noted on first time O-1s. This does not include additional processing time if an RFE is issued. Understandably, this can cause significant problems in the sports and entertainment industries as well as other businesses. If the beneficiary’s services are needed promptly, you are urged to file under premium processing by filing Form I-907 and paying the $1,225 filing fee. This will yield a response by USCIS within 15 days. If you wish to avoid the need for premium processing, you can file an O or P petition up to one year before the actual need for the beneficiary’s... read more

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down DACA and Expanded DAPA

On November 9, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld an injunction permanently barring the implementation of two executive action initiatives President Obama announced in November 2014 – Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and “expanded” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DAPA and expanded DACA would allow eligible immigrants to apply for deferred action (essentially, delayed deportation) and work permits for three-year periods. DAPA allows certain parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for work permits, provided they have lived in the country for at least five years and not committed other crimes.  Expanded DACA would extend the validity of work-authorization to three years. It would also modify the previously-established guidelines, expanding the population of eligible individuals. On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, the Obama Administration stated that it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The Obama Administration hopes that SCOTUS will accept the case for Spring 2016. SCOTUS generally must accept a case by January in time to hold oral arguments and make a decision by June of the same year. Initiatives other than DAPA and expanded DACA are not affected by the Fifth Circuit’s decision. Eligible individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012. Further, the removal priorities established in the November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect. Pursuant to those enforcement priorities, DHS will continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and... read more

BALCA: Error Caused by Deficient PERM Form Not a Proper Reason for Denial

The permanent labor certification process (also referred to as PERM) allows an employer to hire a foreign national to work permanently in the United States. Prior to filing a PERM application for a foreign worker with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. employers must conduct a cumbersome recruitment process to first attempt to hire a U.S. worker. The PERM application is filed via an online form that must list, among other things, the recruitment steps undertaken and the minimum requirements for the position. In Matter of DNP America, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA), which is responsible for reviewing PERM denials, addressed a situation in which the layout of the PERM form caused the employer to appear incompliant with the regulations, resulting in a denial. The employer correctly answered a question in one of the form’s fields that it was not requiring experience in the job offered. It instead answered in another field that it would accept experience in an alternate occupation. The form does not contain a field allowing the employer to indicate that it “requires” experience in an alternate occupation – only a field requesting if the employer would “accept” such experience. DOL denied the case arguing that the employer listed requirements higher than what was listed on the form, because the advertisement contained an experience requirement. The employer requested review by BALCA, arguing that it did not require experience specifically in the job offered, which is why it instead checked the box that it would accept experience in a similar, alternate occupation. BALCA reversed the denial, reasoning that the deficient format of the form, which... read more

Proposed DHS Rule May Save OPT STEM Extension

Foreign national students in F-1 status are generally allowed to apply for and obtain a one-year work permit, referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT).  Certain students degrees from U.S. universities in specific Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields are also allowed to obtain a 17-month extension of the OPT work permit under certain circumstances. On August 12, 2015, the U.S. District Court issued a decision in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. USDHS, seeking to terminate the STEM OPT extension rule unless the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) properly implements a new STEM OPT extension rule by February 12, 2016.  Following the decision in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, DHS advised that a new STEM OPT extension rule was in the works. DHS is scheduled to publish the proposed new rule entitled “Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students” on Monday, October 19, 2015.  Once published, DHS must allow a 30-day mandatory period for public comments, followed by up to a 30-day period for the agency to finalize the rule.  Only then can DHS publish the final rule.  Following the publication of the final rule, DHS must wait 60 days until the rule can become effective and be implemented. Therefore, the timeline for publication of the new rule is tight and it will be difficult for DHS to meet the February 12, 2016 deadline.  It is likely that DHS will ask the Court in the pending lawsuit to suspend or extend the February 12 deadline and to allow the STEM OPT extension program to... read more