BREAKING (AGAIN): H1B and L Visa Ban

BREAKING: President Trump has just signed an executive order suspending all new, out of country, H1B visas (tech workers and some doctors), as well as H2B visas (seasonal agricultural workers), L visas (intracompany transfers, mainly tech), and J visas (doctors and hospitality/exchange students).
At the moment it expires at the end of 2020, but will certainly go to court as with the prior refugee and “Muslim” bans.

Corona Virus Immigration Impacts

UPDATE06/17/2020: BREAKING: US government denial of COVID relief to noncitizen students has been blocked by a judge. Check with your DSO!
In a letter to colleges last April, the Education Department advised colleges to only give relief funds to students who typically qualify for federal financial aid, excluding international students and beneficiaries of DACA. The letter was not binding at the time.
In May, the California community college system filed a lawsuit against the DOE alleging that DeVos exceeded her authority in barring colleges to give aid to whom they please. U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted an injunction blocking the Department of Education from enforcing their CARES Act guidance on June 17, 2020.
The proposed rule will be up for public comment for 30-days until July 17. During this time period, anyone from the public can file a comment on for the agency to consider. Once the rule is finalized, it will be binding on colleges and unive…

BREAKING: Supreme Court Preserves DACA—For Now.

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court has denied the government’s attempt to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (#DACA).  I do believe the decision requires a “but,” because the (slim) majority decision does affirm USCIS’s legal ability to eliminate it, just that it failed to provide the legal rationale required by the Administrative Procedures Act.  Further analysis is needed as to whether the government could even realistically offer such rationale in the future.  Initial conclusion is that #DACA is good for now, but still not 100% safe.
Here is the decision for further details: Supreme Court DACA Decison

New Employer Handbook

This week USCIS released a new Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9. 
Many people don’t realize the I-9 form, filled out by new employees—citizens and noncitizens alike—is actually an immigration form. 
All businesses with employees should carefully review the changes in this handbook. The new I-9 form itself began Jan. 31, 2020.


For a light-hearted change, I am posting a recipe. Most people don't know that I'm an avid purveyor of soup.  From broth to seasoning, from roil to serving, I take great pride in my soups.  I have spent up to several days creating the perfect broth that is inviting to the eye, stellar tasting, and with ultra-nutritional value. Most of all, I suppose, I love "dumping" a bunch of ingredients in a crock pot at night and waking up to a delectable dish.  But a good soup need not be complicated, either, in order to be healthy and taste great. I can be particular myself, but soups can be very simple to make!
So, while more people are at home, and to further the "social" aspect of social media, here is one of my own soup recipes. This soup is a simple shortcut.  It is also 100% vegan, yet it is 110% delicious and filling! P.S. Carnivores can simply add shredded chicken or favorite seafood.
100% Vegan and Delicious Soup
Put the following in a large crock pot on low ove…

How Much Is An H1B VISA?

It’s been a while since my last blog post and for that I apologize. First off, happy new year! And what better way to kick off 2020 than a new H1B visa filing season!
I’ve discussed a lot of H1B issues in the past, and first usually refer newcomers to my blog post providing the big picture H1B process, and what it means to employers and foreign nationals. Please do read my H1B Primer.
Because I’m a solo practitioner, this is often the first question I get about the entire process.  It always feels strange to me, as if the time and expertise needed for immigration application is less if one uses a solo attorney.  More important, does the employee become less valuable depending on the price of the attorney? 
So when I’m posed with a question about fees right off the bat, I try to answer with another question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is the H1B’s approval?”  For foreign nationals who’ve just completed a bachelors or Masters degree or nearing the end …

Lawyers Representing the Company and Noncitizens


"A friend asked me to review a retainer agreement from a law firm representing both the noncitizen employee from Turkey and the sponsoring employer.  The agreement says that, in the event a conflict, the attorney could choose which party to continue representing and that any and all information learned during the course of application's representation would no longer be privileged. 
For persons attempting to obtain a work visa, is it common practice to hire a firm that plays matchmaker between applicant and employer?  If the relationship/arrangement goes south, what, if any, remedies does the applicant, as a non-citizen, have against the law firm and/or the employer?"
Dual representation is indeed a reality in several types of immigration scenarios. In the employment-based immigration setting, many applications must originate from an employer seeking the government’s permission to hire a foreign national. To do this, an employer hir…