Employment Based

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Employment Based Content

July 18, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times and the concerns over the accuracy of these estimates.
December 14, 2017
This wage calculation is at the heart of the employment-based immigration system Congress devised to protect U.S. workers from unfair competition, while refraining from micromanaging the hiring...
August 11, 2017
The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE Act) or S. 354 would mark a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. It would significantly reduce levels of legal...
September 13, 2016
Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet provides basic...
April 1, 2006
As we have seen in the last month, segments of the United States media, policy leaders, and populace continue to be obsessed with the issue of undocumented immigration to the United States. Turn...
May 1, 2005
Although immigration is crucial to the growth of the U.S. labor force and yields a net fiscal benefit to the U.S. economy, current immigration policies fail to respond to actual labor demand.
This case is representative of the difficulties employers encounter when new occupations emerge to fill business needs which require at least a bachelor’s degree, but no consensus exists as to the degree requirement.
In recent years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been denying H-1B petitions for jobs that the agency previously approved as being in a specialty occupation. This case is representative.
The denials of employment-based petitions must end. This suit challenges the policy changes that restrict employers’ lawful use of H-1B workers.
Prioritizing the immigration of multinational executives and managers recognizes the need for the United States to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy.
Entrepreneurs, start-up companies and a trade association joined together to oppose the postponement of the International Entrepreneur Rule.
February 28, 2017
The Council filed an amicus brief in a case pending before the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), an administrative body at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that reviews denials of most employment-based visa petitions.

On behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Council, in cooperation with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd., filed a lawsuit against USCIS and DHS seeking the...

Faced with increasing reports from immigration lawyers of EAD adjudication delays, the Council and several partners filed this lawsuit against USCIS and DHS.
March 17, 2015
The statement discusses the powerful role that immigration has played in developing a strong and competent work force for the 21st century, especially in regards to the science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) fields.
December 15, 2014
The Council, with AILA, filed an amicus brief arguing that a district court has jurisdiction to review procedures followed by USCIS to revoke an employment-based visa petition. Amici argue that INA § 242(a)(2)(B), which limits judicial review over certain discretionary decisions, does not preclude review over the question of whether USCIS was required to provide notice of the visa petition revocation proceedings to the beneficiary. This is particularly true where, as in this case, the beneficiary had utilized the “porting” provision of INA § 204(j) to change employers more than 2 ½ years earlier, but USCIS issued its notice of intent to revoke only to the former employer and revoked the petition when the former employer did not respond.
March 15, 2019
This Frequently Asked Questions document addresses the status of the case and explains options for first time asylum seekers applying for employment authorization.
August 20, 2018
This Practice Advisory has information practitioners need to assess whether filing suit in federal court is the right option for challenging an employment-based petition denial.
February 13, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides a broad overview of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including how to make a FOIA request and how to appeal an inadequate response. It discusses the...
September 26, 2016
This Practice Advisory discusses whether and how a person can get review of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision in federal court if he or she did not appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The Advisory addresses the Supreme Court case Darby v. Cisneros, holding that a plaintiff is not required to exhaust non-mandatory administrative remedies in certain situations, and how it may apply to cases involving appeals to the AAO.
September 14, 2016

This Practice Tip demystifies mandamus by explaining how and when to ask a court for this remedy when a client has been waiting too long for USCIS to make a decision.

July 27, 2016
This Practice Tip analyzes the pros and cons of appealing to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) following the denial of an employment-based visa petition.
May 25, 2016
This Practice Tip explains how practitioners can turn a Request for Evidence (RFE) into an opportunity to strengthen the administrative record through a thoughtful and thorough response.
April 1, 2016
This Practice Tip outlines how you can build a strong administrative record to set the stage for challenging the denial of a client's visa petition in federal court.
November 6, 2015

This Practice Advisory provides basic information about mandamus actions and suggests strategies and practice tips for bringing a mandamus action against the Department of Labor (DOL).

June 17, 2014
Litigants who are successful in their federal court cases against the government may be able to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). The American Immigration Council and National Immigration Project have reissued their Practice Advisory on EAJA. The Advisory discusses the statutory requirements for eligibility and other procedural and substantive aspects of filing a fee application under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA).
April 11, 2019

American businesses rely on foreign-born workers in many industries and the country’s immigration system has channels specifically dedicated to employment-based immigration. The Trump...

April 8, 2019

As another H-1B season comes to an end, one thing is clear: the demand for educated foreign workers is as high as ever. The annual H-1B cap was reached within a mere 5 business days. U.S....

April 4, 2019

The scene outside a technology repair company in Allen, Texas on Wednesday was bleak. In the aftermath of an immigration raid, family members gathered to make phone calls, connect with attorneys,...

March 29, 2019

For the first time in two decades, the U.S. workforce has more jobs than people willing or able to fill them. Labor shortages are impacting almost every field in the country. But employers are now...

March 19, 2019

The Trump administration is set to issue a proposed rule that would prevent the spouses of certain high-skilled temporary foreign workers from getting jobs while they are in the United States. The...

February 1, 2019

On January 31, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final regulation that changes the process U.S employers will have to follow in order to hire foreign workers under the “H-...

January 28, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is making it more difficult to hire temporary foreign workers in a “specialty occupation.” American businesses are fighting back in order to keep...

January 24, 2019

Citing high rates of visa overstays, on January 18 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule mostly barring nationals from the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and...

January 3, 2019

January 2 marked the final day for comments on a proposed rule by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that would implement a new registration requirement for H-1B visas for well-...

December 18, 2018

In 2018 alone, the Center for Disease Control has been called to investigate 24 instances of foodborne disease outbreaks, marking the highest number of investigations since 2006. These recent...

August 2, 2018
A judge ordered last week that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must adjudicate work authorization applications for asylum seekers within the prescribed 30-day deadline.
September 29, 2017
a motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court in Washington, D.C. to compel the Department of Homeland Security to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule pending final judgment of the suit brought by NVCA and the other plaintiffs.
September 19, 2017
Entrepreneurs, startup companies, and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) delay of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER).
July 19, 2017
U.S. District Court Judge James Robert granted a motion to certify a nationwide class in Northwest Immigrant Rights Project v. USCIS, recognizing that USCIS must adjudicate asylum seekers’ employment authorization applications within 30 days if they are submitted in a timely manner.
September 17, 2014

Washington, D.C.

November 8, 2013

Yesterday, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with AILA, filed an amicus brief

April 11, 2019

American businesses rely on foreign-born workers in many industries and the country’s immigration system has channels specifically dedicated to employment-based immigration. The Trump...

April 8, 2019

As another H-1B season comes to an end, one thing is clear: the demand for educated foreign workers is as high as ever. The annual H-1B cap was reached within a mere 5 business days. U.S....

This case is representative of the difficulties employers encounter when new occupations emerge to fill business needs which require at least a bachelor’s degree, but no consensus exists as to the degree requirement.
April 4, 2019

The scene outside a technology repair company in Allen, Texas on Wednesday was bleak. In the aftermath of an immigration raid, family members gathered to make phone calls, connect with attorneys,...

March 29, 2019

For the first time in two decades, the U.S. workforce has more jobs than people willing or able to fill them. Labor shortages are impacting almost every field in the country. But employers are now...

March 19, 2019

The Trump administration is set to issue a proposed rule that would prevent the spouses of certain high-skilled temporary foreign workers from getting jobs while they are in the United States. The...

March 15, 2019
This Frequently Asked Questions document addresses the status of the case and explains options for first time asylum seekers applying for employment authorization.
February 1, 2019

On January 31, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final regulation that changes the process U.S employers will have to follow in order to hire foreign workers under the “H-...

January 28, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is making it more difficult to hire temporary foreign workers in a “specialty occupation.” American businesses are fighting back in order to keep...

January 24, 2019

Citing high rates of visa overstays, on January 18 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule mostly barring nationals from the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and...

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