Work Permits

USCIS Announces Limited Relief for H-4 Spouses

Today USCIS announced relief for a limited number of H-4 spouses who are awaiting the ability to work in the U.S. Our reading of the announcement is that there are 2 groups of H-4 spouses who will benefit: H-4 visa holders whose spouse has an approved I-140 petition for permanent residence H-4 visa holders whose… Read more »


TN Visa Tips for Avoiding Border Denials

Avoid disasters at U.S.-Canada border crossings by crafting an airtight employer letter We recently had a TN case denied at a bridge crossing from Ontario, Canada. The denial was not based on anything substantive. Our Canadian national had all of his correct documents including his Canadian passport, original college diploma; signed offer letter and supporting… Read more »


Concurrent H-1B employment – how does it work?

An alternative if you didn’t make the H-1B lottery In my blog of April 10, 2013, I suggested alternative pathways to live and work in the U.S. if you didn’t make the H-1B cap lottery this year. One way is to be employed simultaneously at a cap exempt institution as well as in private industry… Read more »


I Didn’t Make the H-1B Lottery – Now What?

FY 2014 H-1B Lottery  is a major disappointment to business and potential employees Unbeknownst to most of us, the economy has kicked up enough steam to bring forth the annual spring time run on H-1B visas that we haven’t seen since 2008. Within the first five days of April, USCIS received 124,000 H-1B petitions for… Read more »


H-1B 2014 Alert: Cap Likely to be Exhausted Early

Economic recovery means accelerated H-1B visa submissions and less time to beat the cap The cap of 65,000 H-1Bs plus an additional 20,000 H-1Bs for those with U.S. graduate degrees, opens on April 1, 2013, for a start-date of October 1, 2013 and we are trying to predict when the cap will be used up…. Read more »


H-1B Entrepreneur Visa Pathway Clarified at USCIS Portal

USCIS has partially clarified the pathway for entrepreneurs to surmount the employer-employee relationship barrier that owners/founders face Ever since the infamous Neufeld memo was released in January, 2010 restricting the definition of the employer-employee relationship in the H-1B context, USCIS has been making life in the U.S. almost impossible for entrepreneurs seeking to apply their… Read more »


TN “Student” Stopped At Border: Horror Story

It’s Official – TNs Can Study Incident To Their Employment Last Friday night at 5:00 pm we received a desperate call from a TN client at the Toronto airport. He had been denied his TN visa despite his impeccable credentials and our careful drafting of the employer letter. He was applying under the Scientific Technologist… Read more »


Crisis in H-1B Adjudications: USCIS Using Incorrect Standards

USICS ignores “preponderance of evidence” standard by erroneously applying  restrictive definition of “specialty occupation” Yesterday, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted its memo to USCIS Director Mayorkas outlining, with exasperation, the agency’s restrictive interpretations of the terms “specialty occupation” and “body of highly specialized knowledge” in H-1B adjudications and making the case for USCIS to repudiate… Read more »


Visas and Passports and Social Security Numbers! Oh My!

Dependent spouses can’t get Social Security numbers – and don’t discard that old passport! We have been receiving a number of inquiries from non-immigrant spouses of H-1B and O-1 visa holders regarding how to obtain a Social Security number and how to apply for a new passport when the old expiring passport contains the visa… Read more »


Work Visas: Steep rise in RFEs for L and H; USCIS will review

Data and informed testimony showing rising RFE rates for employment-based visas contradicts DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) claims As we have blogged previously, we are seeing a steep rise in RFEs for most categories of work visas.  At the February 15, 2012 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, the testimony of the former… Read more »