Important H-1B Update: US employers must file H1B petitions for those selected in the H1B lottery before June 30.
Litwin & Smith has a long history of success guiding businesses through the filing process. Please contact us today for a free 10-minute H-1B consultation.

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Important H-1B Update: US employers must file H1B petitions for those selected in the H1B lottery before June 30. Litwin & Smith has a long history of success guiding businesses through the filing process. Please contact us today for a free 10-minute consultation.

San Francisco Immigration Law Blog

New Form I-9 Coming

USCIS will publish a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification soon. The revised form is expected by November 22, 2016. Employers may continue using the Form I-9 dated 03/08/2013 through Jan. 21, 2017. Assuming the new Form I-9 is published by Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use the revised form by that date. Employers should continue to retain and store previously

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B-1/B2 to F-1 Change of Status Denials

Over the last several months we began receiving reports of denials of I-539 change of status applications from B-2 to F-1 despite the I-539 being timely filed. What was happening is USCIS delays required the school’s DSO to defer the program start date in SEVIS prior to adjudication of the change of status. In these cases the deferred start date

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IRS Individual Tax Identification Numbers Expire

There are two key groups of individuals whose IRS Individual Tax Identification Numbers Expire (ITIN). Those ITIN holders may need to renew an ITIN so it will be in effect for returns filed in 2017. The ITIN holders include:  Unused ITINs. ITINs not used on a federal income tax return in the last three years (covering 2013, 2014, or

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DOL ALJ Finds Visa Fees Can Be Deducted from Employee’s Unused Vacation Time

A Department Of Labor Administrative Law Judge found that attorney’s fees cannot be deducted from an employee’s required wage but that it was acceptable for the deduction to come from the final paycheck for unused vacation time. (Administrator v. Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, 10/26/16) OALJ on H-1B Repayment Agreement: Matter of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance

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USCIS Increases Validity of Work Permits to Two Years for Asylum Applicants

USCIS Increases Validity of Work Permits to Two Years for Asylum Applicants https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-increases-validity-work-permits-two-years-asylum-applicants Effective October 5, 2016, USCIS has increased the validity period for initial or renewal Employment Authorization Documents for asylum applicants from one year to two years. Applicants with pending asylum claims file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, under category (c)(8). This change applies to all (c)(8)-based

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DHS Fee Increase

Immigration Filing Fees 23 December 2016 DHS final rule with the fee schedule for USCIS immigration and naturalization benefit requests. DHS increased fees by a weighted average of 21 percent. Applications and petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after 12/23/16 must include new fee. (81 FR 73292, 10/24/16). The current USCIS fee schedule and the new fees, effective

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CA9 to Rehear En Banc Case Involving Constitutionality of “Habitual Drunkard” Bar to Good Moral Character

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Ledezma-Cosino v. Lynch, originally decided by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit on 3/24/16, be reheard en banc. (Ledezma-Cosino v. Lynch, 10/12/16). The panel granted Salomon Ledezma-Cosino’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision finding him ineligible for cancellation of removal or voluntary departure because he lacked good

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USCIS Updates Policy Manual with Extreme Hardship Guidance

USCIS Updates Policy Manual with Extreme Hardship Guidance https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume9-PartB.html USCIS Policy Manual on Determining Extreme Hardship guidance for qualifying relatives by certain statutory waiver provisions becomes effective 12/5/16. A copy of the PM follows: October 21, 2016 PA-2016-05 Policy Alert SUBJECT: Determining Extreme Hardship Purpose U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual

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SEVIS School Alert: Herguan University SEVIS Terminated

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/school-alerts This notice was posted on ICE’s website on October 13, 2016: Based on federal regulation, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools are subject to a review of their certification at any time. On Oct. 6, 2016, SEVP informed officials at Herguan University that the school’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) access will terminate as of Jan.

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November 2016 Visa Bulletin Is Released

DOS Releases Visa Bulletin for November 2016 The November 2016 Visa Bulletin has been released. https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-november-2016.html It includes “Application Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications” for the family- and employment-based categories. The bulletin also includes the extension of the employment-based, fourth preference religious workers (SR) and employment-based, fifth preference pilot (I5 and R5) categories until December 9, 2016.

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