The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) recently launched the Online International Student Visa Portal for foreign students in the United States under the F-1 Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and M-1 Practical Training programs. The portal was developed to assist international students in the United States on student visas meet federal immigration information reporting requirements. » Read More
Last week, the American Immigration Counsel reported a sharp, one-year decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas issued to international students seeking to study in US colleges and universities. According to the Counsel, the State Department “only issued 393,573 international student (F-1) visas last year, representing a 17 percent drop from 2016 and a near-40 percent decrease from the peak year of 2015.” The reason: “school officials are reporting that international students are facing higher scrutiny from the State Department before being granted a visa.” The result: “American universities [are] less diverse and financially solvent.”
Colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York are already feeling the impact, as international students constitute a significant source of annual revenue. » Read More
On Friday, President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act for the 2018 Fiscal Year. The law, which funds the US Government until September 30, 2018, also extends several immigration programs. These include the E-Verify Employee Immigration Verification System, Conrad 30 (foreign medical graduates and doctors), Special Immigrant Visa for Religious Workers, and EB-5 Investor Visa Program. » Read More
Proposed Budget Leaves Much Unanswered on Immigration
Congress released a proposed omnibus budget on Wednesday that addresses certain immigration issues but leaves many of the most important issues unaddressed.
What the Bill Does: In a compromise, the bill adds funding for an additional 328 Customs and Border Patrol Officers for border security, but at the same time, requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to reduce the number of immigrants in detention facilities. » Read More
Despite a long build-up to a debate on an immigration bill in the United States Senate this week, negotiations for comprehensive legislation, as well as a law to help protect DACA recipients, gained no traction in Congress, leaving the future of immigration entirely uncertain. » Read More
To better combat non-immigrant visa overstays through proactive and preventative enforcement actions, Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has announced the implementation of an “Email Departure Reminder” system. The Reminder system requires certain non-immigrant, temporary travelers to the United States to provide an e-mail address so CBP can send an email notice 10 days prior to the date that the traveler is required to depart the United States, or face dire consequences including deportation from the United States, revocation of any non-immigrant visas, and bans on one’s future ability to lawfully enter the United States. » Read More
The number of applications for H-1B visas – reserved for foreign professionals seeking to work in skilled positions in the United States – is expected to rise this year, and employers need to prepare accordingly.
The law caps the number of available visas at 85,000 (with 20,000 reserved for those with a master’s degree), and the 85,000 recipients are chosen at random through a lottery system. » Read More
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee passed, by the narrow margin of 17-16, proposed bill H.R. 4092, the Agricultural Guestworker Act, which would implement a new program called the H-2C Guest Worker Program. As opposed to the current H-2A Program, which covers only temporary workers, the H-2C Program would cover year-round employees, such as in the areas dairy, aquaculture, and food processor operations. » Read More