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Monthly U.S. immigration law news roundup: U.S. expands Ukrainian TPS program

Welcome to the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup, where every month we will summarize and provide links to the latest stories impacting U.S. immigration.

Below is the August 2023 edition of the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup:

Garfinkel Immigration Partners discuss Conrad 30 J-1 waivers during final ‘Immigration Solutions for Healthcare Workers’ webinar

Many healthcare workers, such as physicians, first enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa for training and are subsequently faced with a two-year home residency requirement before becoming eligible to change to certain visa categories or obtain lawful permanent residence.

However, there are some creative strategies available for J-1 visa holders to obtain a waiver of the home residency requirement, which was the topic of the final webinar in Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm’s “Immigration Solutions for Healthcare Workers” series.

The event was hosted by Partners Meredith W. Barnette as well as Colleen F. Molner on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and was entitled “But I Don’t Want to go Home!” Waiving the Home Residency Requirement (Conrad 30 J-1 Waivers and More).

Learn more about Conrad 30 J-1 Waivers and other immigration solutions for healthcare workers here.

Indian grads sue over ‘H-1B denials based on employers’ fraud’

This story, published by Bloomberg Law in mid-August, explores a lawsuit filed by “nearly 70 Indian nationals” who are suing the U.S. government for denying their visas over alleged “fraud perpetrated by their employers.”

“The plaintiffs — employed through a training program for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities — say they didn’t knowingly engage in fraud despite their employers’ actions,” the story from Bloomberg read.

The story continued: “Yet they were unfairly punished for their association with those businesses without a chance to respond, according to a lawsuit filed (this month) in federal district court in Washington state. The Department of Homeland Security denied workers H-1B specialty occupation visas despite their subsequent employment at legitimate businesses, the complaint said.”

Read the full story from Bloomberg here.

Second H-1B visa lottery reveals low estimate by immigration service

Forbes Senior Contributor Stuart Anderson analyzed the results of the second FY 2024 H-1B cap lottery in his latest article published in early August.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the results of the second lottery on July 31.

“In the first round, USCIS selected 110,791 registrations for FY 2024, more than the 85,000 annual numerical limit, to allow for applications that are not approved,” Anderson writes. “On July 31, 2023, USCIS announced a second round of selections totaling 77,600.”

The story continues: “Based on the 77,600 registrations in the second selection, USCIS personnel likely believe 50,000 or fewer H-1B registrations from the first selection will result in approved H-1B petitions, according to an NFAP analysis.”

Read the full story from Forbes here.

U.S. expands Ukrainian immigration program to 167,000 new potential applicants

The United States will allow about 167,000 more Ukrainians to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in mid-August.

“(The) announcement will allow roughly 26,000 Ukrainians who applied for and received TPS to continue their enrollment in the program through April 2025. It will also move the program’s cut-off date from April 11, 2022, to Aug. 16, 2023, allowing recently arrived Ukrainians to also qualify for TPS,” according to a story published by CBS News.

The story continued: “The U.S. government has admitted a record number of Ukrainians since the start of the war in Ukraine, which has dragged on for over a year, with no end in sight. The Biden administration has cast its efforts to welcome Ukrainians as a key element of its broader campaign to support Ukraine’s war effort through billions of dollars in aid, weapons and an intense diplomatic campaign to isolate Russia.”

Find out more via CBS News here.

‘My goals in life vanished:’ Afghan students rocked by U.S. visa denials

This story, published in The Guardian in mid-August, details the experience of a foreign national from Afghanistan, Yalda Azamee, whose student visa application was denied.

“In spring 2022, Yalda was accepted to Columbia and to New York University – and the latter offered her a full scholarship,” the story read. “That flicker of optimism was snuffed out months later, when the U.S. embassy – for the second time – rejected her request for a student visa.”

The story added: “The total number of student visa denials rose between 2015 and 2022, according to a recent report by Shorelight and the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. The group’s analysis of State Department data found that the denial rate for Afghans is among the worst in the world (though students in some African and central Asian countries face similarly bad odds).”

Read the full story from The Guardian here.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions.

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