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.  

All Employment Based Content

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...

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.
Valorem, an IT consulting company, petitioned to employ a software developer for three years in H-1B status as part of a project development team at its office. Initially, USCIS denied the petition, but later – after Valorem, represented by AILA member Susan Bond, filed suit – approved it for one year.
August 29, 2014
The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA), the administrative body at the Department of Labor that reviews denials of PERM labor certifications, concluded that the Certifying Officer (CO) had the discretion, but not the obligation, to request missing documentation. BALCA failed to address arguments made by the Council and AILA in their amicus brief: that due process and fundamental fairness, as well as the PERM regulatory structure, require the CO to request supplemental documentation when the employer’s compliance with documentation requirements is evident from the record.
November 7, 2013
The Council and AILA filed an amicus brief in an en banc case pending before BALCA, an administrative body at the Department of Labor that reviews denials of PERM labor certifications. The case turned on the proper interpretation of a regulation which requires employers to notify certain laid-off U.S. employees about new job opportunities before the employers are permitted to hire foreign workers. The brief focused on the agency’s failure to provide fair warning before applying a new, more restrictive interpretation of the notification requirement.
On behalf of AILA, the American Immigration Council, in cooperation with counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, filed a FOIA lawsuit against DHS and USCIS in July 2010 seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures related to fraud investigations in the H-1B program.
On July 17, 2007, the American Immigration Council was poised to file a lawsuit alleging that the federal government’s refusal to accept tens of thousands of applications for green cards (and discouragement of thousands of other workers from even applying) violated federal statutes, regulations and policies, as well as the U.S. Constitution. Many of these applicants had waited in line for years and were following the government’s rules to obtain a green card. The suit would have argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept these adjustment of status (“green card”) applications.

In May 2012, the American Immigration Council filed a FOIA request seeking records issued by USCIS and/or DHS, or used by USCIS and/or DHS, from January 2008 to the...

On behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Council, in cooperation with counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, filed a FOIA lawsuit in July...

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).

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.
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 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...

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...

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...

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 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...

June 24, 2022

Surprising data recently revealed that consular officers denied applicants for employer-sponsored immigrant visas at a far higher rate than U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...

Publication Date: 
May 16, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council, Economic Benefits of the Empire State Licensing: Immigrants in New York State’s Workforce, highlights the crucial role of immigrants and...

May 5, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and kept people from going back to work at a time when the demand for goods and labor is high. This has left America contending with a...

March 25, 2022

For more than 8 months, noncitizens with approved immigrant petitions for investments in regional centers have been in limbo. Congress has now ended that limbo, by reauthorizing the EB-5 regional...

January 26, 2022

The Biden administration recently announced four actions intended to improve immigration “pathways” for noncitizens in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. However,...

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.
Publication Date: 
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 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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