The Biggest Business Immigration Law Developments of 2015

Law360

Pierre Georges Bonnefil and John D. Hamill, attorneys in the Immigration Law Group of the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Law360 titled “The Biggest Business Immigration Law Developments of 2015.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Employers in 2016 are likely going to face increasingly long odds in getting cases selected in the annual H-1B cap selection process. While it is impossible to predict with precision the chances for success, information from past years does not bode well for the 2016 lottery. For the fiscal year 2014 lottery, the USCIS received approximately 172,500 petitions within its first week of filing. In 2015, that number grew to nearly 233,000 petitions. This represents about a 35 percent increase in petitions received between these two years. The 2016 H-1B lottery will likely involve even more petitions. Smart employers will plan early for alternative immigration options for important employees who may be cap casualties.

To be sure, the business community will continue to receive a potpourri of welcome and unwelcome developments until the next election. Just last week, Congress agreed on a new budget, which extended the EB-5 immigrant investor, Conrad 30, Special Immigrant Religious worker and E-Verify programs through September 2016. It remains to be seen if government will continue to make the immigration climate more favorable to the business community. If so, this likely will come at a cost of more regulations with restrictive and cumbersome requirements. Employers, therefore, must continue to make immigration compliance an important component of their risk management policies.