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DHS Regulatory Changes Impact Employment Authorization Document Renewals The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced regulatory changes that apply to certain individuals’ work authorization in the United States. These changes will go into effect on January 17, 2017. The first major change eliminates the requirement under the old regulations that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) adjudicate Employment Authorization Document (EAD) applications within 90 days of receipt. Without this deadline, individuals can now expect their initial

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
Anxiously Awaiting the Supreme Court’s DAPA Decision Immigration attorneys and undocumented immigrants across the country are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Texas, a landmark case implicating the President’s authority to grant discretionary immigration benefits, such as deferred action. The decision is expected sometime in June. The case revolves around the President’s November 20, 2014 executive actions, which included deferred action for parents of United States citizens and permanent residents. The program, called Deferred

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Tax Time! It’s tax time again! The start of a new year brings responsibility to file income taxes with the IRS. Immigrants have tax responsibilities, too. There is no substitute for quality tax advice from a tax professional, and this is not meant to replace that advice. But, generally speaking, immigrants earning money in the United States, regardless of whether they are working lawfully or not, are required to report their income to

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
DHS issues proposed rule for OPT Extension for F-1 STEM Students On October 16, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advanced copy of its proposed rule for an extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 nonimmigrant students with STEM degrees. The proposed rule will be published on October 19, 2015 and the DHS will accept comments through November 18, 2015. The rule in its current form is a proposed rule and is not yet final. The proposed rule
DACA 3-Year Approvals Reduced to 2 Years In the wake of the pending litigation and injunction in Texas regarding the new deferred action programs for students and parents, a federal judge has ordered USCIS to be in full compliance of an injunction he previously issued. There are thought to be approximately 2,000 employment authorization documents (EAD’s) circulating that are not in compliance. Over the past several weeks, USCIS has been sending notices to DACA recipients who are affected.
On June 1, 2015, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia for a period of 18 months, beginning September 18, 2015 and extending through March 17, 2017. Somali nationals (and eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in Somalia) previously granted TPS and who continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS may re-register during the 60-day period
On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for employment authorization (Form I-765) for certain spouses of H-1B foreign national workers. The H-1B foreign worker must 1) be in valid H-1B status in the United States and 2) must also be the beneficiary of an approved I-140 immigrant visa petition for an alien worker. If the principal H-1B holder meets both of these requirements, his or her spouse who is
Today, USCIS announced some limited relief for Nepali citizens in the United States, in the wake of last week’s devastating earthquake.  While the agency stopped short of granting Temporary Protected Status, otherwise known as TPS, the agency did provide an array of temporary immigration relief for some Nepalese citizens. Among the protections announced, USCIS can grant the following: Change of status or extension of status, even if the applicant is currently
For several years now, USCIS has permitted its customers to update gender markers on their immigration documents, such as work permits, green cards, and other documents. The process for doing so is a very relaxed process. Transgender and intersex people can file fairly easily-accessed documentation, and USCIS has been very responsive to those who wish to update their records. This process was memorialized with temporary guidance issued by the agency on
USCIS has announced that it will extend employment authorization to some non-immigrants in H-4 visa status. This is very welcome news for spouses of some H-1B visa holders. Beginning May 26, 2015, some H-4 visa holders will be granted employment authorization. To qualify, the H-4 visa holder must be married to an H-1B visa holder. In addition, the H-1B visa holder must either be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140
As part of the President’s administrative action on immigration, the administration announced a program to reform the Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) program. OPT is a program for F-1 student visa holders to seek an additional 12 months in status to seek temporary employment in their field of study. Secretary Johnson has asked USCIS and ICE to develop a program to extend benefits and expand programs eligible for OPT, as well as

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
USCIS announced the renewal program for those who have received deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program, which began in 2012. USCIS is prepared to accept DACA renewals immediately. To renew, a requestor must continue to be eligible for the program and have not committed any disqualifying crimes. Any new evidence should also be submitted but requestors will not, in most cases, need to send in
  Contributed by Zuzana Geremes, Paralegal On May 6, 2014, the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed change to the current regulations regarding employment authorization for certain spouses of foreign nationals working in the United States on H-1B visas. The stated goal of this rule change is to maintain U.S. economic competitiveness and to attract skilled talent that the United States might otherwise be losing

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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.