Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

At long last, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced today that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.  DHS amended the regulations to allow these H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

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Update on FY 2014 H-1B Cap

On Friday, April 5, 2013, USCIS announced that they had received a sufficient number of H-1B cap petitions to determine that they met the H-1B cap numbers for both the regular H-1B cap (65,000) and the advanced degree H-1B cap numbers (20,000). 

Read more: Update on FY 2014 H-1B Cap

Prospects for Immigration Reform

As anyone who has been closely following the news in the last couple of weeks knows, immigration reform is front and center on the national stage. Many people have reached out to me to ask me what I think about it and/or the chances of enactment. For the record, the vast majority of my clients are legal immigrants who are processing their petitions through employment/investment and family petitions. These are some of the questions they are asking:

  • I am from a country facing many years of wait time to obtain my permanent residence [China, India, Mexico, The Philippines], how much faster will my petition be processed if the plans I have read about are adopted?
  • I graduated with a U.S. Master’s/Doctorate and I have already started my permanent residence process, what happens if the proposal to “staple a green card to the diploma of a U.S.
    Master’s/Doctorate” is adopted?
  • When will these proposals take effect?

Read more: Prospects for Immigration Reform

Upgraded Biometric Technology at Major U.S. Ports of Entry

On January 15, 2009, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that upgraded biometric technology is in place at major U.S. ports of entry, and most international visitors should expect to use the new technology when they enter the United States. DHS's US-VISIT program began upgrading its biometric technology from a two- to a 10-fingerprint collection standard in 2007 to make the entry process faster and more accurate for all visitors.