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Greg Berk is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Practice Group and Leader of the Immigration Practice.

BACKGROUND

In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act, enacting national standards for obtaining state driver’s licenses and I.D. cards. These federally mandated standards require states to use enhanced security features and identification procedures, and to review documentary evidence of legal status, before issuing a driver’s license or identity document. The Act requires that only individuals with a Real-ID-compliant identity document may (1) access federal facilities; (2) enter nuclear power plants; or (3) board commercial aircrafts for domestic flights.
Continue Reading In January, Will You be Able to Board Your Domestic Flight With Your Current Driver’s License?

USCIS announced on September 5, 2017, that they are phasing in a rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The DACA program began in 2012 and granted temporary status and work permits to the “dreamers” who came here as children without visas. Here’s a summary of how the new rules will impact your employees that have DACA status:
Continue Reading The Rescission of DACA – A Quick Overview of How This Impacts Your DACA Employees

On July 17, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a revised Form I-9. The new form must be used by September 18, 2017.

The revised form has only one substantive change. A new List C Document was added as an acceptable document – a Consular Report of Birth for a U.S. citizen who was born abroad.

The new I-9 form can be accessed here.

Employers must maintain a completed Form I-9 on file for every employee on their payroll who was hired after November 6, 1986 and for terminated employees during the required retention period. The purpose of the Form I-9 is to require the employer to establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S.
Continue Reading USCIS Issues New I-9 Form: Commentary and I-9 Checklist for Employers

Procedural History

In August 2016, the Department of Homeland Security proposed an “International Entrepreneur” parole rule that would allow qualifying foreign entrepreneurs to develop and grow their start-up companies in the United States. After public comment, the rule was finalized and released in the closing days of the previous Administration.
Continue Reading Dear Congress: Your District Needs a New E-4 Visa for Promising Entrepreneurs

On April 18, President Trump signed a new executive order (EO) at a ceremony in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The EO is entitled “Buy American and Hire American” and focuses on these two themes, with the President’s stated goal of ending the “theft of American prosperity” by focusing on American workers and products. While the details of how the new EO will be applied will undoubtedly take months to implement (pending numerous agency-level reviews), companies doing business with the federal government, or with an interest in foreign high-skill workers, should be aware of these new developments so that they can prepare for the adjustments they will need to make in the near future, as the President’s efforts to put American workers first take shape.
Continue Reading Buy American and Hire American – New Executive Order Promises to Put American Workers First, But Practical Impacts Remain Unclear

The last two weeks in Washington have been very eventful in the immigration field.  In light of the travel restrictions recently imposed by the President’s executive order, we are now advising our U.S. clients who have foreign national employees in the U.S. and who hold nationality from a country that has been the subject of significant security concerns to consider remaining in the U.S. until the State Department and DHS announce new procedures for applying for travel visas using additional background checks.  In some cases, foreign nationals may have to file an extension of status with USCIS in the U.S. to allow them to remain longer. In other cases, it may be impractical for individuals to stay, but they should know that they risk being unable to return for at least several months if they depart.  Affected clients should consult with counsel first.
Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Travel Advisory and Immigration Update

On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a revised Form I-9.  The prior Form I-9 which has a 2013 revision date, may only be used until January 21, 2017.  Employers should transition to using the new I-9 as soon as possible.  Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) requires use of the new I-9 no later than January 22, 2017.

Employers must maintain a completed Form I-9 on file for every employee on their payroll and for terminated employees during the required retention period.  The purpose of the Form I-9 is to require the employer to establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S.


Continue Reading USCIS Issues Updated Form I-9 With New Features

On August 31, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed an “International Entrepreneur” (I.E.) rule that would allow qualifying foreign investors to develop and grow their start-up companies in the United States.  DHS already has the authority to temporarily parole individuals into the United States without a visa for urgent humanitarian reasons or for a significant public benefit.  The proposed rule would invoke this authority and allow foreign investors to enter the country for the purpose of enhancing entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation.  However, the rule comes with its own set of strict qualifying criteria.
Continue Reading International Entrepreneurs: New Proposed Work Authorization for Founders of Start-Ups And a Comparison to Other Visa Options

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on February 24 that certain qualifying spouses of H-1B workers will be allowed to apply for a work permit beginning on May 26, 2015.

To qualify, the H-1B employee must have an approved I-140 immigrant petition from USCIS or a company sponsored PERM labor certification pending with the U.S. Department of Labor for more than one year.
Continue Reading USCIS Announces Work Permits for Qualifying Spouses of H-1B Employees