Search

Search form

Jessica K. LangBlog Posts

See all

USCIS Rescinds Trump Era Guidance on H-1B Visas for Computer Programmers

With the H-1B cap season about to begin, there is good news for computer programmers and those who employ them. USCIS announced the immediate rescission of a 2017 guidance memo that had raised questions about whether computer programmers qualified for H-1B specialty occupation visas. The 2017 guidance, issued in the wake of the Buy American,... Continue Reading
February 9, 2021

Federal, DHS Succession Rules Were Not Complied With to Fill Agency’s Top Positions, GAO Reports

A recent non-binding report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the appointments of Kevin McAleenan and Chad Wolf (both as “acting” DHS Secretaries) and Ken Cuccinelli (senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary) violated the governing federal and DHS succession rules because they were not eligible for the positions they occupy. The... Continue Reading
August 20, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Designated ‘Security Agency’

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency with more than 60,000 employees, now shares status with the likes of the FBI and the Secret Service. CBP is designated as a “security agency,” according to a CBP staff memo on February 7, 2020, a move which allows the agency to shield information about personnel from the... Continue Reading
February 24, 2020

Significant Visa Fee Increases for Australian Nationals

U.S. firefighters coming to help extinguish the devastating forest fires were cheered when they arrived at the airport in Sydney, Australia. In the past, in what became a reciprocal arrangement, Australian firefighters have assisted U.S. firefighters. A different sort of reciprocity has led to the sudden increase in visa fees for Australians coming to the... Continue Reading
January 13, 2020

Denials, Delays for Foreign Students, Scholars

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cancelled an incoming Harvard freshman’s visa and deported him back to Lebanon eight hours after arriving at Boston’s Logan International Airport to start his college career. CBP detained the incoming student along with several other international students who were ultimately admitted to the U.S. According to reports, CBP deemed Ismail...… Continue Reading
September 3, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Begins Using Alphanumeric Format for I-94 Numbers

In response to the depletion of numeric-only numbers for Form I-94 arrival/departure records, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began to use alphanumeric “numbers” (i.e., composed of letters and numbers) in May 2019. This change has no impact on the validity of I-94 cards and numbers already issued, which will remain valid until their expiration...… Continue Reading
May 28, 2019

Crackdown on Birth Tourism Industry in U.S. Continues with First-Ever Arrests of Operators

Traveling to the U.S. to give birth to a U.S.-citizen child, or birth tourism, is not a new industry. In January 2018, DHS raided 20 “maternity hotels” in Los Angeles suspected of housing “birth tourism” operations. A neighbor who lived near one of the apartment buildings reported that “a forklift delivered an excessive quantity of...… Continue Reading
February 26, 2019

USCIS Explains New Policy on Discretionary Application Denials

Beginning September 11, 2018, USCIS immigration officers will have more discretion to issue petition and application denials without first issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). On September 6, 2018, the Ombudsman’s Office provided further details on the new policy change. The following was noted: The new policy takes effect...… Continue Reading
September 12, 2018

Travel Ban 3.0 Updated: DOS Waiver Process

News outlet Reuters has reported that during the first month of Travel Ban 3.0, 8,400 individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Venezuela applied for visas, while only an estimated 100 waivers were granted. Individuals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Venezuela are affected by Travel Ban...… Continue Reading
March 14, 2018