Business and the Workforce

What role do immigrants play in American business and the American workforce? Immigrants work in a range of skilled positions in the U.S. and start businesses that boost the American economy. Learn more about immigrant entrepreneurship and workforce participation.

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All Business and the Workforce 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.
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...
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...
September 13, 2017
This fact sheet describes the legal avenues in the United States available to promising entrepreneurs, as well as some of the barriers they face securing immigration status through these paths.
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...
June 14, 2017
Foreign-born workers make up a growing share of the country’s STEM workforce and are critical to the country’s innovation, and STEM workers are responsible for many of the cutting-edge ideas and...
March 8, 2017
There are nearly 12 million immigrant (foreign-born) women workers in the United States today, comprising just over 7 percent of the total labor force.
November 18, 2016
From construction workers to gardeners, many low-wage immigrant workers are in fact quite skilled.
December 16, 2019
The American Immigration Council filed this brief in support of a U.S. employer’s challenge to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s denial of a computer programmer H-1B petition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

April 5, 2006
This Practice Advisory discusses the changes that the REAL ID Act made to INA § 242(a)(2)(B) and outlines an analysis for whether §242(a)(2)(B) applies to a particular case. It also discusses federal court jurisdiction over discretionary decisions after the REAL ID Act in the removal and non-removal contexts. The government has asserted this jurisdictional bar in employment-based, family-based, and humaritarian-based immigration cases.
May 26, 2021

Businesses and industry organizations are among those pushing back against a rule that would change eligibility for filing an H-1B petition. The new rule would require the H-1B lottery selection...

May 12, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently withdrew two rules proposed by the Trump administration. On the surface, it seems they have nothing in common: a proposed expansion in collecting...

March 30, 2021

A ban blocking certain employment-based visas implemented and extended by former President Trump is set to expire on March 31. The ban has likely prevented hundreds of thousands of people from...

March 19, 2021

Employers and workers are starting to see a shift from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on unlawful restrictions of the H-1B specialty occupation visa category. Over the past nine...

February 5, 2021

Business immigration has already benefited from the change in administrations. On January 25, President Biden issued an executive order directly replacing a Trump-era executive order that wreaked...

January 14, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a final rule changing the way U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects the registrations of U.S. employers that want to...

January 8, 2021

This article is part of the Moving Forward on Immigration series that explores the future of immigration in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.  The Biden administration faces a...

December 14, 2020

The development of a COVID-19 vaccine is a global endeavor. The scientists and entrepreneurs creating the vaccine are of many nationalities and immigration statuses—as are the millions of people...

December 2, 2020

On December 1, a federal district court judge disrupted the Trump administration’s relentless attack on legal immigration by halting two new sets of regulations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and...

November 13, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a proposed rule that will change the way it selects the registrations of U.S. employers that want to file H-1B petitions subject...

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.

January 25, 2022

The labor shortages currently afflicting many sectors of the U.S. economy are being aggravated by the arrival of fewer and fewer workers from abroad. Although immigration has been slowing since...

January 21, 2022
The Biden administration announced new efforts to modernize parts of our immigration system, and remove barriers to legal immigration. DHS will add 22 new fields of study in the STEM Optional Practical Training program through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and will implement a series of additional changes to allow foreign students, scholars, and researchers to come to the United States and make meaningful contributions to America’s scholarly, research and development, and innovation communities.
December 16, 2021
The American Immigration Council and 13 other organizations urged USCIS to expand premium processing to ensure the agency remains solvent while efficiently and effectively adjudicating all...
December 1, 2021

A lesser-known group of young people who grew up in the United States with immigration status—typically the children of noncitizens who entered the U.S. on temporary work visas—is increasingly at...

November 11, 2021
Five workers in the United States filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging unlawful log-jam and extreme delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that have resulted in the government’s failure to process the work authorization renewals for asylum seekers.
The Council and partners filed a nationwide class action lawsuit to ensure timely renewal of work authorizations documents for asylum seekers.
November 5, 2021

Annual limits on immigrant visa numbers, combined with processing delays and wasted numbers, mean even longer waits for people to become U.S. permanent residents. In November, the “cut off” date...

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November 2, 2021
The Council joined 89 other organizations in a letter calling for Congress to include visa-related provisions in the budget reconciliation.
October 28, 2021
The federal district court in the Northern District of California approved a settlement in a class action lawsuit challenging USCIS' pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B petitions for market research analyst positions filed by businesses in the United States.
October 27, 2021

A recent class action settlement is expected to result in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approving more market research analyst H-1B petitions. The lawsuit was filed by four U.S...

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