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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period. Under the proposed rule, USCIS would also reverse the order by which USCIS selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B cap and the advanced degree exemption, likely increasing the number of beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for an H-1B cap number, and introducing a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries.

The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily em...

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The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld a preliminary injunction keeping in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program pending judgment in a challenge to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s decision to cancel it.

Judge Kim M. Wardlaw wrote the 90-page majority opinion, joined in by Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen. Judge John B. Owens wrote an opinion in which he concurred in the result.

Since its inception in 2012 by then-President Barack H. Obama, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) has allowed certain illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to apply for permission to remain in the country and legally work for a two-year, renewable period. The program does ...

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The California Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the matter of Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles earlier this year establishing a new and employee-friendly test in determining whether an employee has been misclassified as an independent contractor.

In particular, the Court embraced a standard presuming that all workers are employees instead of contractors, and placed the burden on any entity (business, corporation, or person, etc.) classifying an individual as an independent contractor of establishing that such classification is proper under a newly adopted “ABC test.”

Under the ABC test, a worker will be deemed to be an employee and not an independent contractor unless the entity proves:


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Gone are the days when a foreign student in F-1 status who fails to maintain their status, such as by failing to attend school or working without authorization, could nevertheless enjoy "duration of status" for several years or more and not accrue unlawful presence in the U.S. until either an immigration judge or the USCIS declares the student to be out of status. "Duration of status" means that a foreigner present who is present in the U.S. under either a student visa or work training visa, enjoys lawful status and does not accrue unlawful presence even if they stop attending school or otherwise violate their status until such time that the USCIS or an immigration judge declares a violation of their status. It is only then when unlawful...

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Off-clock time which employees are expected to put in regularly, for such purposes as locking up, cannot be disregarded under California wage-and-hour laws, which do not incorporate the de minimis doctrine found in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Supreme Court said yesterday in response to a question certified by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The unanimous opinion, by Justice Goodwin Liu, adds: “We further conclude that although California has a de minimis rule that is a background principle of state law, the rule is not applicable here. The relevant statutes and wage order do not allow employers to require employees to routinely work for minutes off-the-clock without compensation. We leave open...

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its guidance, taking a much stricter approach to approving applications that are largely filed by those seeking work in the tech industry.

Under the new policy, which goes into effect Sept. 11, 2018, agents will be able to deny applications deemed incomplete or containing errors, without first asking applicants to address the flaw or warning them of an intent to refuse their submission. Recently the agency also widened the range of cases for which it could begin the process of removing foreign nationals to include those whose immigration benefits, such as work status, have been denied.

The measures are likely to disproportionately affect those whose applications require...

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Immigrants on the H-1B highly-skilled visas, as well as their partners, are the targets of an under-the-radar effort to weed out foreign workers. Activists say the move is inhumane and business leaders argue it will hurt the economy.

A report released Tuesday by the Silicon Valley-backed immigration lobbying group lays out the White House’s ongoing assault on immigration more broadly, as well as under-the-radar efforts targeting documented immigrants specifically. Founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the organization’s report argues that President Trump’s administration has made “immigration harder and more burdensome with the goal of reducing overall legal immigration.&r...

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions. H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time. If that time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, USCIS had previously resumed ...

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Employers with 25 or more employees must now start paying minimum wages at the rate of $12.00 per hour starting July 1, 2017. This also means that overtime exempt employees must also be paid fixed salaries of at least two times the applicable minimum wage rate for full-time employment (2 X $12.00 X 40 = $960.00 per week or $960.00 X 52 weeks = $49,920.00 per year). Exempt employees who are paid less than this formula will be entitled to overtime pay and other benefits limited to non-exempt workers.

Employers with less than 25 employees will be required to pay the $12.00 minimum wage rate starting next year on July 1, 2018.

The minimum wage for workers in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County have started to increase early beginn...

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