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Sean G. HanaganBlog Posts

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  • Policy Changes Aim to Expand Opportunities for Foreign STEM Graduates, Others

    Recognizing the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduates to the U.S. economy, the Biden Administration has made three policy changes that expand eligibility. The changes are as follows: Adding 22 new degree fields to the STEM list so that more F-1 graduates can qualify for three years, instead of one year, of... Continue Reading
    March 24, 2022
  • USCIS Reaches Settlement Agreement for H-1B Petitions in Madkudu v. USCIS

    USCIS entered into a settlement agreement in Madkudu v. USCIS that may signal changes in how USCIS will determine which positions qualify as a “specialty occupation” for H-1B purposes. During the Trump Administration, USCIS often denied cases because more than one degree would meet the requirements for the position. The Madkudu case specifically puts that... Continue Reading
    December 2, 2021
  • Legislation Update: House Passes Bills on Dreamers, Farm Workers

    On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. His administration also has granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more individuals: those from Venezuela and Burma. Building on this, President Biden also proposed broad legislative immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for... Continue Reading
    March 29, 2021
  • Judge Vacates Public Charge Rule But Seventh Circuit Stays the Order

    The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an administrative stay a day after a federal district court held the Public Charge Rule violated the Administration Procedures Act (APA)  and issued summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.  During October 2020, thousands of Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications were filed by individuals and law firms... Continue Reading
    November 5, 2020
  • Florida’s New Mandatory E-Verify Law

    Florida has enacted a new law that makes the use of E-Verify mandatory for all government employers and certain private employers. This will require changes in employers’ hiring to some extent beginning January 1, 2021. Read more here. Continue Reading
    July 8, 2020
  • Lawmakers Seek Additional Immigrant Visas for Doctors, Nurses to Ease Shortage of Healthcare Workers

    A bi-partisan group has introduced a new bill in both the House and the Senate that would make additional immigrant visas (green cards) available to doctors and nurses. The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (HWRA) would ease the long wait lines for green cards that make the U.S. a less attractive alternative to other countries that... Continue Reading
    May 28, 2020
  • Growing USCIS Processing Backlog Continues into New Year

    USCIS is starting the year with a growing backlog of processing delays. In May 2019, a bi-partisan group of Senators wrote to USCIS requesting information on why the service-oriented agency adjudicating immigration benefits, such as work authorization, is disrupting American businesses through administrative inefficiencies. Here are some of the facts: For FY 2018, the gross... Continue Reading
    January 3, 2020
  • American Samoans are U.S. Citizens by Birth, Judge Rules

    The federal government’s practice of designating individuals born in American Samoa as “noncitizen nationals” is unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ruled. Fitisemanu et al. v. U.S., No. 1:18-cv-00036-CW (D. Utah Dec. 12, 2019). Judge Waddoups has directed the government to recognize the citizenship of individuals born in American Samoa. U.S. Citizenship can be... Continue Reading
    December 23, 2019
  • H-1B, H-4, Fees on Latest Regulatory Agenda from DHS

    According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda, changes to business immigration are on the way, particularly with regard to H-1B visas. It is unclear, however, when these rules will actually come to fruition. Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program DHS wants to redefine what constitutes a “specialty occupation” and an appropriate...… Continue Reading
    June 3, 2019
  • Social Security Administration ‘No Match’ Letters to Employers Make Another Comeback

    Social Security Administration (SSA) has begun notifying employers that the information reported on an individual employee’s W-2 form does not match the SSA’s records with “Request for Employer Information” letters, known as “No-Match” letters. SSA started sending these controversial informational requests in 1993, but the practice has waxed and waned in part due to litigation....… Continue Reading
    December 14, 2018