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Employers' Immigration Update re: H-1B Cap Filling Alert, DHS Final Rule for STEM, Deportation Orders

H-1B Cap Filing Alert

Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issues 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 “master’s cap” visas. April 1, 2016, is the first day on which an H-1B petition may be filed for FY 2017, in anticipation of an October 1, 2016, start date. Last year, USCIS accepted 233,000 petitions in the first week; a lottery was conducted and more than 60 percent of all petitions were rejected. Employers need to be prepared to file H-1B petitions on April 1.

DHS Issues Final Rule for Additional Period of Work Authorization for STEM Graduates

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule that allows foreign graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”) programs from U.S. universities an additional 24 months of F-1 Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) work authorization. The new rule will be published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2016. It will not go into effect until May 10, 2016.

The new rule allows foreign students holding F-1 status and graduating with STEM degrees to extend their period of OPT from an initial period of 12 months to a total of 36 months. The new 24-month period was increased from a 17-month period. OPT allows F-1 students and graduates to work in the United States either during their schooling or after they graduate.

New Rule Provides Additional Flexibility, Enhanced Opportunities for Certain Highly Skills Workers

Additional flexibility and enhanced opportunities for certain highly skilled workers are provided in an advance copy of an updated rule from the Department of Homeland Security.

The rule covers workers who are in the U.S. in H-1B1 (from Chile and Singapore), E-3 (from Australia), temporary workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transition Worker (CW-1), and immigrant classification for outstanding professors and researchers (EB-1). See our blog for more information.

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Obama Deferred Deportation Orders

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Texas et al. v. U.S. et al. (No. 15-674) to determine whether President Barack Obama can proceed with plans to defer deportation and provide work authorization to millions of individuals currently in the United States without lawful status. The Court also indicated that it will take up the additional issue of whether the Obama Administration’s action violates a constitutional clause that requires the president to faithfully execute the law (i.e., the Take Care Clause in Article II of the Constitution). The high court will hear arguments this April and a decision is likely to be issued this June, before the end of the Court’s current session.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2017

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Jessica Feinstein, Jackson Lewis, Employer Compliance Lawyer, immigrant petitions attorney
Of Counsel

Jessica Feinstein is Of Counsel in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She specializes in representing U.S. and multinational companies in employment based immigration preparing nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions.

Ms. Feinstein specializes in representing U.S. and multi-national companies in employment based immigration. She has extensive experience preparing nonimmigrant visa petitions, including H1B, TN, L1, E, and H2B, as well as  preparing employment-based permanent resident petitions. She also...

(402) 391-1991
Maggie Murphy Attorney, Immigration, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Office Managing Principal

Maggie Murphy is the Office Managing Principal in the Austin, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She concentrates her practice on advanced U.S. immigration and nationality law and global business immigration matters, assisting employers with immigration challenges facing international workforces.

Ms. Murphy has extensive experience in all areas of U.S. immigration law, but she primarily focuses her current practice on employment-based immigration for corporate clients and outstanding professors/researchers, as well as sophisticated immigration-related compliance work for employers of all sizes. Ms. Murphy has expertise in managing PERM campaigns for employers and in developing cost-effective strategies for companies and organizations interested in hiring professional foreign workers. She has organized massive I-9 and LCA compliance programs for Fortune 500 organizations. Ms. Murphy is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a frequent speaker on business-related, immigration compliance topics and has leadership roles in several state and national sections and committees.

512-362-7100
Minnie Fu, Jackson Lewis, Immigration Litigation Lawyer, Employment VISA Applications attorney
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Minnie Fu is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-related visas and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations.

Ms. Fu has twenty years of experience in employment-based immigration matters, including nonimmigrant and immigrant visa matters, developing corporate immigration policies and procedures for best practices, and strategic corporate planning for international personnel employment by...

703-483-8311
Michael H. Neifach, Jackson Lewis, Employment visa Lawyer, border security matters attorney
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Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw...

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Raazia K. Hall, Jackson Lewis, Employment Immigration Lawyer, Worker Retention Attorney
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Raazia K. Hall is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on immigration law.

Ms. Hall has numerous years of experience in employment-based immigration matters and employment documentation issues for domestic and international companies. Working with Human Resources Professionals and In-House Counsel, she assists in all aspects of visa matters related to the hiring and retention of foreign employees. She also is a frequent writer and speaker on issues related to immigration law...

404-586-1804