Immigration Alert: NAFTA Immigration Provisions Retained in Renegotiated Trade Agreement

The United States, Mexico and Canada reached an agreement on September 30, 2018 as part the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The new agreement – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – retains key immigration benefits of NAFTA, including provisions allowing for the temporary entry without quotas of Business Visitors, Traders and
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Immigration Alert: Cap-Subject H-1Bs Approved for Fiscal Year 2019 to Take Effect on October 1

H-1B cap-subject visa petitions filed and approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for Fiscal Year 2019 take effect October 1, 2018. Change of Status Filings: Approved H-1B cap-subject petitions filed as “change of status” automatically take effect on October 1, 2018, if the beneficiary: was physically present in the U.S. for the entire period from
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Immigration Alert: USCIS to Implement Notice to Appear Policy Memo

Starting October 1, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin implementing its June 28, 2018 policy memorandum, Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (“NTA Policy Memo”). According to its announcement on September 26, 2018, USCIS will
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Brian Brokate to Speak on Anticounterfeiting at PLI’s Intellectual Property Law Institute 2018

Brian Brokate will speak at PLI’s Intellectual Property Law Institute 2018 on October 1, 2018. His session is titled “Anticounterfeiting Update.” Topics include recent anticounterfeiting cases and legal developments, and best practices for protection. Brian and Gibney associate Maja Szumarska co-authored a chapter in PLI’s course handbook for the program. Brian Brokate is head of Gibney’s Intellectual
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Immigration Alert: Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 1

Effective October 1, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is increasing the Form I-907 premium processing fee from $1,225 to $1,410. All applications postmarked on or after that date must include the new fee. As a reminder, premium processing is available for certain immigration petitions filed on Forms I-129 and I-140. With the payment
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Immigration Alert: Court Allows DACA Protections to Continue while Lawsuit is Pending

A federal court judge in Texas has ruled in favor of keeping DACA in place for the time being, denying a request for a preliminary injunction that would have immediately halted DACA protections, but indicating the likelihood that DACA will be held illegal in final rulings. DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,
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Immigration Alert: USCIS Premium Processing Suspension Expanded & Extended For H-1B Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will extend and expand the suspension of Premium Processing for certain H-1B petitions for a period estimated through at least February 19, 2019. Background on Premium Processing: H-1B petitions filed under the regular processing method have been increasingly subject to lengthy adjudication times from
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Labor and Employment Alert: New York State and New York City Sexual Harassment Laws to Take Effect

In our April 24, 2018 alert, we reviewed the newly enacted New York State and New York City sexual harassment laws that were coming into effect later in the year. As New York State and New York City publish guidance on these new laws, it is a good time for employers to review their policies to
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Immigration Alert: USCIS Provides Updated Guidance for STEM OPT

On August 17, 2018, USCIS updated its website to clarify obligations and reporting responsibilities for employees and employers participating in the F-1 STEM OPT program, including obligations related to training at third-party sites, staffing and temporary agencies. Significantly, USCIS clarified that training may take place at third party sites, if certain conditions are met and
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Immigration Alert: New Policy Imposes Stiff Penalties for F, J and M Nonimmigrants Who Fail to Maintain Status

Effective August 9, 2018, nonimmigrants in F, J and M status who fail to maintain status will begin to accrue unlawful presence, irrespective of whether there has been an official or formal finding by the Department of Homeland Security on the matter. This is a significant departure from past practice, and one that eliminates a
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