Immigration Alert: DHS Issues Final Rule on F-1 STEM OPT Extensions

Overview On Friday, March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule on Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education.  Previously, F-1 STEM students who had been granted 12 months of OPT work authorization could,
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Immigration Alert: DHS adds Libya, Somalia and Yemen to Visa Waiver Program Travel Restrictions

The Department of Homeland Security announced additional “countries of concern” under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the “Act”).  Individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 1, 2011 are now ineligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. At this time, the restriction
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Immigration Alert: DHS Granted Extension Until May 2016 to Issue New F-1 STEM OPT Rule

A federal district court has granted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) an additional 90 days to issue a new rule on Optional Practical Training extensions for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and math degrees (“STEM OPT extension”).  The court had previously vacated DHS’s 17-month STEM OPT extension rule and given DHS until
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Immigration Alert: Plan Now for H-1B Cap Filings

April 1, 2016 marks the first day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 H-1B cap.  Preparation for H-1B cap season starts much earlier, with the identification of prospective beneficiaries and gathering of supporting documentation.  With increasing demand for H-1B workers, we encourage employers to
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New Law Heightens Security for U.S. Visa Waiver Program

The 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on December 18, 2015 contains measures to increase the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows tourists and business visitors from 38 countries to enter the U.S. for up to 90 days without applying for a visa at a
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Global Immigration Alert – United States Discontinuance of Additional Visa Pages in U.S. Passports

Effective January 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of State will no longer issue additional pages in U.S. passports to accommodate additional visas or entry/exit stamps. If a passport has no remaining blank pages for visas or entry/exit stamps, the holder of the passport will need to apply for a new passport, even if the passport
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ABA Journal Honors Pirated Thoughts as a Top 100 Best Law Blog

On November 23, 2015, editors of the ABA Journal announced they have selected Pirated Thoughts as one of the top 100 best blogs. Pirated Thoughts earned a spot in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 in its 9th annual list of the best in blogs about lawyers and the law. “For us, at the ABA Journal,
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Michael Lee to Lecture on 3D Printing and Combatting Counterfeiting

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Intellectual Property Partner, Michael Lee, will address participants at the 20th Annual Fraud and Anti-Counterfeiting Conference in Toronto, Canada. The three day conference commences on December 2nd and provides attendees with an in-depth understanding of global fraud and counterfeiting. Michael will discuss the legal consequences and updates on the rise
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Recent Developments in Anticounterfeiting Law

Partner and Head of the Intellectual Property Group, Brian W. Brokate, will be speaking at the Fairfield County Bar Association on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 concerning investigative and enforcement strategies, remedies and important anticounterfeiting measures to help a brand owner implement and conduct its anticounterfeiting program. Registration is from 11:45am- 12:00 pm at the Fairfield
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DHS Publishes STEM OPT Extension Proposed Rule for F-1 Students

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has published a proposed rule in the Federal Register relating to Optional Practical Training extensions for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and math degrees (“STEM OPT extension”).   DHS has issued this notice in response to a recent federal district court order vacating the previous STEM OPT extension
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