Spouses of certain H-1B visa workers now eligible for employment authorization

February 25, 2015 0 COMMENTS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published final regulations that will extend employment authorization eligibility to spouses of certain nonimmigrant workers who are in the United States on H-1B visas.

The H-1B, or highly-skilled worker, visa is the most commonly discussed and highly sought employment-based nonimmigrant visa. The number of visas available each year is closely capped—20,000 for applicants holding master’s degrees and 65,000 for those holding bachelor’s degrees—so selection is often made using a random lottery. For the 2015 fiscal year, 172,500 applications for H-1B visas were submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Immigration Crackdown: DHS Launches Thousands of H-1B Inspections, I-9 Audits

November 20, 2009 2 COMMENTS

By Christopher L. Thomas

The federal government is making it clear to employers that immigration enforcement is a priority for the Obama administration, and that employers failing to comply with the law face severe consequences.

On November 19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent out a notice that it intends to audit the I-9 forms of 1,000 employers. The audits are in addition to news from July in which 654 employers were informed that their I-9 forms would be scrutinized. Additional waves of audits are also expected.

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U.S. District Court Upholds E-Verify System

August 27, 2009 1 COMMENTS

This week, a Maryland U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the U.S. government in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the E-Verify system (Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Napolitano). This means that beginning September 8, 2009, federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to use the E-Verify system to ensure their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The requirement is designed to stop federal contractors and subcontractors from hiring illegal immigrants.

The E-Verify system is a federal government online database program that allows employers to verify employment eligibility by electronically comparing employee information taken from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) against the records in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. The system, which facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and is currently voluntary for employers, is jointly operated by the DHS and the SSA and is overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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