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Implications of Social Media Question on DS-160 and DS-260 The U.S. Department of State is now asking applicants for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to provide information about their social media accounts. The U.S. Department of State has added a social media question to Forms DS-160 and DS-260, the standard online applications for applicants seeking immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to the United States. The new question asks for social media usernames (or “handles”) used within the last five years for 20
On September 24, 2017, the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Proclamation to finalize the determinations on banning travel from certain designated countries in particular visa categories, pursuant to President Trump's March 6, 2017 Executive Order.  The Proclamation, entitled "Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats," announces seven designated countries from which entry and visa issuance will be restricted, based
U.S. State Department temporarily halts issuance of Non-Immigrant Visas in Russia On Monday, August 21, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced that it will temporarily stop issuing non-immigrant visas (NIVs), which include U.S. temporary visas for the purpose of business, work and tourism. The State Department has indicated that the decision to halt the issuance of NIVs is made as a direct response to the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent order to cut the personnel of the U.S. diplomatic missions in
199,000 H-1B Petitions Received for FY 2018; Trump Announces Executive Order to Review H-1B Program On April 7, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it received sufficient H-1B petitions to meet the regular and advanced degree caps for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Yesterday, USCIS announced that it received more than 199,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2018 and that on April 11, 2017, it conducted a computer-generated lottery of these 199,000 petitions to select 20,000 petitions under the Advanced Degree Cap (U.S.
USCIS to suspend Premium Processing of H-1B Petitions  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that beginning April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend Premium Processing of I-129 Petitions filed by U.S. employers seeking H-1B work visas on behalf of professional foreign national employees in specialty occupation positions. This suspension will apply to all H-1B Petitions including: - H-1B Petitions filed under the so-called H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, - H-1B Petitions filed by cap-exempt
David Kolko provides legal advice on LawLine 9 to concerned immigrants   The Executive Orders issued by the Trump administration over the past week have caused chaos and confusion throughout the country. Foreign nationals from all over the world are concerned about the impact on their lives and the lives of family members. This includes individuals in the United States with lawful status and our undocumented population. Last night, Managing Partner David Kolko participated in Denver’s 9NEWS’ Law Line 9. Mr. Kolko
Alert! Recommendations for foreign nationals living, working, or studying in the United States   President Trump issued three Executive Orders (EOs) last week, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” and “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements," and “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The EOs are already causing great confusion and alarm within the immigrant community. We have seen EOs implemented immediately, leaving many individuals traveling outside of the United States suddenly unable to return
New DHS Employment Regulations Could Be a Boon for Non-Profit School Districts Seeking Exemption from Annual H-1B Cap The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) final regulations, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Improvements Affecting High Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” (effective date January 17, 2017), may enable non-profit schools and school districts to secure an exemption from the annual H-1B Cap, thus providing a clear pathway for these institutions to hire qualified foreign national teachers as H-1B highly skilled workers without regard to the annual limits on the
Partner Jennifer Casey Speaks at AILA Rome District Chapter Conference in Amsterdam Between October 18-20, 2016, Partner Jennifer Casey had the privilege of attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Rome District’s 2016 Fall Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The AILA Rome District Chapter serves U.S. immigration attorneys practicing abroad, with a focus on attorneys practicing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the issues that clients seeking to obtain both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas to the United States frequently face. The AILA
BIA holds that it lacks jurisdiction over waivers of inadmissibility for U nonimmigrants In its recent decision in Matter of Khan, 26 I&N Dec. 797 (BIA 2016), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that an Immigration Judge does not have jurisdiction to consider a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(d)(14) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for an applicant for U nonimmigrant status. The BIA held that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) holds exclusive jurisdiction over both the application for U
State Department Visa Revocations for DUI Arrests “The driver is safer when the roads are dry, the roads are safer when the driver is dry.” Certainly true. For individuals who have entered the United States on non-immigrant visas, I would also add “the driver’s non-immigrant visa is safer when the driver is dry.” Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol is serious, it can jeopardize your life and safety. It can jeopardize the lives and safety of those

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
U Visa Case Delays Cases for U non-immigrant status are taking an abnormally long time to process with USCIS currently. The backlog is frustrating for applicants and attorneys, alike. The delays are attributed to many factors, including an increase in petitions, a cap on visa limits, and a large backlog at the Vermont Service Center of USCIS. U non-immigrant status is available to foreigners who have been victims of certain crimes. Waivers available under the
Department of Homeland Security Announces 24-Month Extension of OPT for F1 Students with STEM Degrees The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has amended the regulations regarding Optional Practical Training (OPT) for certain F-1 students who earned a degree in Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) from a U.S. college or university. The amended rule allows F-1 Students currently on OPT who possess a degree in a STEM field to extend their period of OPT for an additional 24 months. The 24 month STEM-OPT extension will be
H-2B processing delays worry employers …. again Once again, H-2B employers are on pins and needles trying to ascertain whether the government will follow its own regulations in order to facilitate the timely issuance of H-2B seasonal visas for temporary skilled workers. The H-2B process in and of itself is one of the most technical and time-sensitive immigration procedures in the United States. It involves adjudication by three separate agencies, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
The U Visa Conundrum Recently, USCIS released statistics regarding Form I-918 U Nonimmigrant Status Petitions. While the numbers were generally not surprising, they give us a general indication of the strains on the U visa program. U Nonimmigrant Status, commonly referred to as a U visa, is available to people who have been victims of certain crimes, and who have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crimes. The crimes are
In September 2015 the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) jointly announced a new framework for foreign national beneficiaries in the employment based and family based visa preference categories. This new framework is implemented through the new Visa Bulletin which took effect on October 1, 2015. The new Visa Bulletin provides two separate charts for each of the Employment Based and Family Based visa preference
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The U.S. Department of State has announced that the worldwide "Visa Freeze" is over, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world are able once again to schedule visa interviews and issue U.S. visas. The State Department expects that the backlog of cases should be cleared by this week. The separate problems with the online fee payment system and the online application for immigrant visas have not been resolved. The
State Department technological problems result in worldwide “Visa Freeze” The U.S. State Department has announced that due to a computer hardware failure, it is currently unable to issue most immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The technical problem impacts visas that were approved on or after June 8, 2015. In addition, the State Department announced that due to the technical issue, visa applications filed on or after June 9, 2015 could not be scheduled for interview. Thus, in most cases, people who
U.S. employers of all sizes use the H-1B visa program to employ foreign workers in professional level occupations that require specialized knowledge in their field. Many years ago, the U.S. Congress set a limit or “cap” of 65,000 H-1B visas for each fiscal year (FY). An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available for foreign workers in a specialty occupation who hold a U.S. Master’s Degree in their field. An H-1B petition
On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued an important decision that will impact thousands of H-1B employers across the country. In its precedential decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015), the AAO held that when an H-1B employee changes his or her place of employment (worksite) to a new geographical area, it constitutes a “material change” in employment

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.