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Miami Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

Understanding student visas - I

Earlier this week, our blog spent some time discussing how the Trump administration's proposed travel ban could have an adverse impact on the number of young people coming here to the U.S. to pursue some manner of study.

As we discussed in a post last week, however, the most recent iteration of the travel ban was once again blocked from taking effect by the courts over constitutional concerns, suggesting that those young people with dreams of coming here to learn perhaps shouldn't be too quick to abandon hope.

Will Trump's travel ban deprive the US of international students?

"What international students bring to our domestic students in the classroom is invaluable," says the vice president for enrollment management at the University of New Haven.

Beyond bringing diversity of world experience that benefits American students, international students make up a huge chunk of bachelor's and master's degree candidates and the majority of Ph.D. candidates in the STEM fields. Graduates in those fields are hard to find, so the U.S. benefits from having access to such a large number of workers in science, technology, engineering and math. International students also typically pay full tuition, often subsidizing the cost of education for domestic peers.

Travel ban 2.0 blocked from taking effect

In our previous post, we discussed some of the primary components of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, an effort undertaken after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of a lower court to block its predecessor from taking effect earlier this year.

In the days leading up to the implementation of the amended executive order, White House officials expressed confidence that it would withstand any legal challenges given both its revisions and specific focus on national security. However, in a surprising turn of events, these efforts to implement a travel ban were once again stymied by the federal court system. 

How much do you know about the now-imminent travel ban 2.0?

The Trump Administration officially released a revised version of its travel ban last week and, as expected, it has made some concessions in response to widespread criticism and, far more likely, in order to withstand inevitable legal challenges.

In today's post, we'll take a closer look at what the future holds for immigration law as we currently know it.

USCIS temporarily suspends premium processing of H-1B visas

When employers receive the welcome news that an H-1B visa application they filed on behalf of a prospective employee was one of the lucky 85,000 selected in the H-1B lottery, it doesn't mean that the skilled foreign worker in question is automatically eligible to start working here in the U.S.

Rather, the H-1B visa application submitted on their behalf must now be processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a process that can take anywhere from three to six months. However, in the event an employer needs to get people to work faster, it can pay $1,225 for what is known as "premium processing." 

Will a proposal banning 'sanctuary policies' gain legislative traction?

Over the last month, it's undoubtedly seemed as if all of the noteworthy developments in the area of immigration law have been occurring at the federal level. While it's certainly true that there has yet to be a dull moment since the recent change in presidential administrations, it's important not to overlook that there have been equally important -- and equally controversial -- developments taking place at the state level.

By way of example, consider the measure known as the "Rule of Law Adherence Act," recently introduced by Rep. Larry Metz (R-Yalaha) and Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach), which calls for a crackdown on "sanctuary policies" here in the Sunshine State. 

Are changes coming to the H-1B visa program?

While much of the recent discussion concerning immigration law has necessarily been focused on the absence of clarity surrounding President Trump's so-called travel ban, experts indicate that there are other areas to which his nascent administration, as well as Congress, may soon turn its attention.

Indeed, some political pundits are predicting that the next target of immigration reform efforts will be the H-1B visa program, which, as we've discussed before, currently enables companies to bring 85,000 workers to the U.S. every year to work in a variety of fields, including science and technology.

Trump Administration poised to enact travel ban 2.0

It's safe to say that the normally static area of immigration law has been completely upended over the last month thanks to the signing of an executive order by President Trump, which, to recap, prohibited all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and all Syrians indefinitely.

Indeed, chaos reigned supreme in the immediate aftermath of the order taking effect, as countless individuals hailing from these seven nations were either detained at U.S. airports or prevented from boarding U.S.-bound flights -- despite the possession of a green card or valid visa.

When layoffs become a reality, what options do H-1B visa holders have? - II

Last week, we began discussing how the anxiety engendered by an employer's downsizing efforts is especially acute for those workers who are here on H-1B visas, as they not only have to worry about their families and finances, but also whether they need to start making preparations to return home.

We also discussed how those H-1B visa holders fortunate enough to not only receive advance notice of a layoff but also secure a new job might be permitted by the federal government to change employers without actually leaving the country.

Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A. asked to weigh in on immigration confusion

It would perhaps be something of an understatement to say that this last week has been tumultuous as far as immigration law matters are concerned. Indeed, it's safe to say that seven days removed from President Donald Trump's signing of an unprecedented executive order banning travel from seven nations -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- for 90 days, there are still far more questions than answers.

Following the immediate implementation of the travel ban, chaos reigned at both domestic and international airports, as government personnel and carriers alike were caught completely off guard. Here, in the U.S., officials initially detained 109 people, some of whom were valid green card holders, arriving from the seven nations, while those in international hubs from Amsterdam to Dubai imposed blanket travel bans, prohibiting all boarding of U.S.-bound flights.