Articles Posted in General

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The employment authorization document (EAD) provides for employment authorization. Once the EAD expires, however, the employee must stop working. Continued employment is not permitted based on the filing an application to extend the EAD.

The USCIS is required by law to adjudicate EAD applications in 90 days. However, it has recently acknowledged that this requirement is not being met in many cases. The USCIS allows an EAD applicant or their counsel to initiate a service request once the person’s EAD application has been pending for at least 75 days. Such a request can be made by calling the National Customer Service Center or using its e-Request system. The expectation is that, once a service request is made, the USCIS will prioritize the case and issue the EAD within the 90-day timeframe.

We recommend applying as far in advance of the EAD expiration date to minimize the probability of a gap in employment eligibility. EAD renewal applications may be filed up to 120 days prior to the expiration date of the existing EAD.

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On January 29, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will begin accepting requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on February 18, 2015.

The expanded DACA program expands the population potentially eligible for DACA to individuals of any current age who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and have lived in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 2010. In addition, the validity period of DACA’s accompanying work authorization is extended from two years to three years.

Please contact our office if you need any assistance filing a DACA request, or if you have questions about the eligibility requirements.

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The Department of State (DOS) opened registration for the 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016) on October 1, 2014, and it will close at noon (EST) on November 3, 2014. Applicants must submit entries electronically during the registration period at DOS encourages applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, as heavy demand may result in website delays. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.

The congressionally mandated DV Program provides a maximum of 55,000 Diversity Visas each fiscal year. Diversity Visas are drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who meet strict eligibility requirements, and who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. To be eligible, successful Diversity Visa entrants must have at least a high school education or its equivalent, or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience.

Please feel free to contact our office for more information about the Diversity Visa Program.

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A recent study from the Partnership for a New American Economy-a group advocating the economic case for streamlining and modernizing our immigration system-found that when companies have difficulty getting H-1B visas for highly-skilled immigrants, it is bad news for the local tech sector and for U.S. born computer workers who do not have college degrees. This study measured how different cities fared in the 2007 and 2008 H-1B lotteries. The study found that cities with a high number of H-1B petitions not selected in the 2007 and 2008 lotteries “[took] a hit” to their computer sectors and their U.S. born workers. These cities generated slightly fewer jobs for U.S. tech workers with college degrees, but many fewer jobs for U.S. born tech workers without college degrees. For more information, see the article in Vox:

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On June 5, 2014, Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, announced the renewal process for individuals enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows certain individuals who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the U.S. and apply for employment authorization for a period of two years. Effective immediately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting DACA renewal requests. USCIS encourages individuals to submit their renewal request approximately 120 days (four months) before their current period of deferred action expires to avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization.

In addition, USCIS continues to accept initial DACA requests. You may request DACA if you:

(1) Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

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If you tried to retrieve your I-94 from the online system at:

and you receive a response that your I-94 is “Not Found,” please review the following checklist to help you check for mistakes and try to enter the information again:

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Just days after releasing the House GOP’s draft of principles for immigration reform, House GOP Speaker John Boehner told reporters on February 6 that its chances of passing anytime soon were in mortal peril. Boehner said he and his members “by and large support” the immigration reform framework he and his leadership team had released. But he added, “I’ve never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year” and suggested that because of his own party’s complaints about working with the Obama administration, the issue might prove too much to overcome.

President Obama had praised House Republicans for moving forward on immigration this month and has said he’s willing to accept their demands that legislation be broken into a series of smaller parts. But he also hinted that he might consider further executive action, perhaps even expanding an existing White House order deferring deportations for young undocumented immigrants, if Congress fails to act.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the president was “optimistic about the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in 2014” despite Boehner’s latest comments. As for whether Obama might resort to executive action to bypass Congress on the issue, Carney downplayed the idea. “There’s no alternative to comprehensive immigration reform passing through Congress,” he said. “It requires legislation.”

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House Republicans released a draft of principles on immigration reform as House GOP members gathered for their retreat to discuss their position on a range of issues.

Here is a synopsis of the draft on Immigration Reform:

Reforms to Employment-Based Immigration

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E-Verify (Electronic Verification) is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify is designed to allow participating employers to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees by using DHS’s and SSA’s databases. Currently, E-verify participation is voluntary for most businesses. However, some companies may be required by state law or federal regulation to use E-Verify, such as most employers in Arizona and Mississippi. E-Verify is also mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.

The “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” (S.744) was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate. S.744 will require all employers to implement E-Verify. Failure to verify work authorization through E-Verify after the mandatory enrollment date will raise a presumption that the employer knowingly hired an unauthorized worker.

E-Verify is also the subject of numerous other bills recently introduced to Congress. These bills would make E-Verify mandatory and would expand to include current employers to make E-Verify part of the employment application process. Additionally, Congress granted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) funding for the E-Verify program. Whether or not comprehensive immigration reform occurs, it seems highly probable that E-Verify will be mandatory for all employers in the foreseeable future.

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Starting May 7, 2013, all Employers must only use the new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (released March 8, 2013), for new hires and re-verifications. You must re-verify an employee on the new Form I-9 if his or her temporary employment authorization has expired. You can find the new Form I-9 and instructions as well as the Handbook for Employers at All previous versions will no longer be valid after May 6, 2013.

Here are a few tips for Employers:

• You will find the revision date of the new I-9 in the lower left corner (03/08/13).