Category Archives: General

J-Visa Program Changes Now In Effect

The J-Visa International Exchange Visitor Program is designed to foster international exchange between the United States and the world. The program has categories for scholars, trainees, college interns, camp counselors, au pairs and many others. In spite of its original intentions, the program has gotten increasingly complex, expensive and difficult to use for employers and international visitors. This is due to stricter requirements and scrutiny now required of and by J-Visa program sponsors. The latest changes to go into effect now include the following: Continue reading J-Visa Program Changes Now In Effect

Avoiding Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination: Best Practices from the DOJ

The Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration Related Employment Practices has been actively investigating and prosecuting employers for large and small violations. While fines can be minimal, the intrusion into a company’s day-to-day operations as well as the strong likelihood of a follow-on I-9 Audit and multiple years of re-auditing by both the DOJ and the USCIS should be deterrent enough to encourage employers to get their policies and practices in order. Continue reading Avoiding Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination: Best Practices from the DOJ

E-Verify Capabilities Continue to Expand

E-Verify is an electronic employment eligibility verification system administered by the federal government. It is voluntary for most employers, but is required to be used by  federal contractors and is mandated by several states.  In spite of its voluntary nature, many employers  choose to use the system in addition to the required I-9 process in order to verify the work authorization of their employees.  The E-Verify system has continually been improved since its inception with new capabilities regularly being added.  Three recent add-ons are discussed below: Continue reading E-Verify Capabilities Continue to Expand

USCIS Now Accepting Work Authorization Applications for Some H-4 Spouses

Valentine BrownOn May 26, 2015, USCIS began accepting work authorization applications for certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. This is a key element of President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action initiative announced on November 20, 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorization under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years. Continue reading USCIS Now Accepting Work Authorization Applications for Some H-4 Spouses