Business and the Workforce

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.  

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June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
June 12, 2020
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...
May 27, 2020
This report identifies disruptions throughout the immigration system because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes recommendations for improvements to the federal government’s response.
April 6, 2020
This fact sheet defines the various components of the permanent, employment-based immigration system—and then describes how those components relate to each other in the application processes for each...
April 2, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of the H-1B visa category and petition process, addresses the myths perpetuated about the H-1B visa category, and highlights the key contributions H-1B workers...
January 9, 2019
This fact sheet estimates the likely numbers of workers with TPS from these three countries, broken down by the states in which they reside and the industries in which they are employed.
July 18, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times and the concerns over the accuracy of these estimates.
June 11, 2018
Some confusion exists regarding the economic aspects of family-based immigration. To help unpack those aspects, this report focuses on one of them—namely, the earnings of family-based immigrants.
March 26, 2018
Temporary workers—such as those in H-1B status—typically can bring their spouses and children with them to the United States in what is called H-4 status. This fact sheet provides an overview of the...
January 17, 2018
U.S. immigration policies significantly limit the ability of these doctors to immigrate to and practice in the United States. As policy-makers debate what immigration reforms would best serve the...
This nationwide class action lawsuit challenges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analyst positions filed by United States businesses.
April 7, 2020
These comments were submitted on the regulatory changes in the Department of Labor’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Direct Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2020 by the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
February 6, 2020
The American Immigration Council calls on USCIS to withdraw the Notice immediately as it contains significant changes that contravene long-established policy, harms an applicant’s access to administrative review, and was not issued under the proper legal framework under the Administrative Procedure Act.
November 12, 2019

Under current U.S. immigration law, the immigration service must make a decision on work permit applications filed by asylum seekers within 30 days of their application. The Trump administration...

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to scrutinize and reject meritorious H-1B petitions, one emerging pattern is its rejection of petitions for entry level positions. We've sued.
In denying the petition, USCIS disregarded substantial evidence that the employer requires a bachelor's or higher degree in a "specific specialty" because of the complexity and specialized nature of the job duties.
Under the Trump administration, we have seen an uptick in requests for additional information about petitions filed by U.S. employers on behalf of foreign-born workers. We also have seen greater numbers of denials of these petitions. According to the employers and their workers, these trends reflect unlawful adjudications across the board. In response to these changes, the Council filed two Freedom in Information Act requests.
With the data sought through the requests, the Council hopes to better understand USCIS’ adjudication of employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and how the adjudication process has evolved over multiple years.
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.
August 14, 2020
In the immigration context, Equal Access to Justice Act fees generally are available in petitions for review, mandamus actions, Administrative Procedure Act suits, habeas corpus actions, and naturalization actions.
July 1, 2020

On June 22, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule that removes the 30 day processing deadline for the adjudication of employment authorization document (EAD)...

December 4, 2019
This Practice Advisory addresses who is, or who may be, the proper respondent-defendant and recipient for service of process in immigration-related litigation in district court.
October 4, 2019
This practice advisory summarizes the most common grounds raised by the government in motions to dismiss federal court agency adjudication delay lawsuits and outlines arguments, with supporting authority, that can be made in response.
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.
March 8, 2017
This Practice Advisory provides basic information about filing an immigration-related mandamus action in federal district court. It discusses the required elements of a successful mandamus action as well as jurisdictional concerns that may arise.
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.

August 5, 2020

The dangers to America’s farmworkers—primarily immigrant men from Mexico with temporary H-2A visas—have long persisted under a system that is ripe for abuse. But those risks have only grown since...

June 23, 2020

The Trump administration has banned foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas from entering the United States. The new ban begins June 24, at 12:01 am ET. The administration...

June 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has radically altered the U.S. workforce. Many people have lost their jobs, while others have had to continue to go to work despite the serious health risks. Some sectors...

June 1, 2020

President Trump issued a proclamation to prevent certain Chinese nationals from entering the United States using academic student (F) or exchange visitor researcher (J) visas. The proclamation...

May 29, 2020

May 31 closes out Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The...

May 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life for everyone, including foreign nationals who planned to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. These...

May 15, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of essential workers in keeping America up and running. First-responders, medical staff, meat packers, and domestic, hospitality, and...

May 13, 2020

A long-running lawsuit over a rule allowing certain spouses of highly educated H-1B workers to work in the United States took an interesting twist. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS),...

May 1, 2020

The coronavirus presents a clear and immediate danger to America’s food supply. Meatpacking plants in particular have taken a huge hit. To mitigate the loss of production, President Trump signed...

April 17, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been denying many H-1B petitions by misinterpreting the law. On April 16, 2020, the American Immigration Council and partners filed a...

June 22, 2020
The Trump administration announced a more permanent order that suspends many categories of immigration to the United States and an expanded ban that halts many legal employment-based immigration categories for those outside of the United States.
April 22, 2020
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States. The order applies to many individuals currently outside the United States who do not yet have immigrant (permanent) visas.
April 16, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Van Der Hout, LLP, Joseph & Hall P.C., and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analysts positions filed by businesses in the United States.
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.
June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
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.
May 23, 2016

shington D.C. - The American Immigration Council (Council) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S.

August 14, 2020
In the immigration context, Equal Access to Justice Act fees generally are available in petitions for review, mandamus actions, Administrative Procedure Act suits, habeas corpus actions, and naturalization actions.
August 5, 2020

The dangers to America’s farmworkers—primarily immigrant men from Mexico with temporary H-2A visas—have long persisted under a system that is ripe for abuse. But those risks have only grown since...

July 1, 2020

On June 22, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule that removes the 30 day processing deadline for the adjudication of employment authorization document (EAD)...

June 23, 2020

The Trump administration has banned foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas from entering the United States. The new ban begins June 24, at 12:01 am ET. The administration...

June 22, 2020
The Trump administration announced a more permanent order that suspends many categories of immigration to the United States and an expanded ban that halts many legal employment-based immigration categories for those outside of the United States.
June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
June 12, 2020
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...
June 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has radically altered the U.S. workforce. Many people have lost their jobs, while others have had to continue to go to work despite the serious health risks. Some sectors...

June 1, 2020

President Trump issued a proclamation to prevent certain Chinese nationals from entering the United States using academic student (F) or exchange visitor researcher (J) visas. The proclamation...

May 29, 2020

May 31 closes out Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The...

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