Immigration Policy & Strategy

Featured Publication:

Immigration Hot Topics Under the New Administration: How to Plan for Business Needs [Daily Business Review]

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discusses hot topics under the new administration in the Daily Business Review.

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Cozen O’Connor's Immigration Policy and Strategy attorneys have significant experience providing a wide range of legal services to global and multinational employers and individuals seeking temporary and long-term immigration solutions. Our full-service immigration practice advises domestic and international corporations and businesses and their employees in seeking temporary visa options and permanent residence in the U.S. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to integrate our tax, labor and employment, corporate, finance/EB-5, and international attorneys in providing comprehensive, high-quality representation as we develop strategies applicable to all aspects of immigration and nationality law.

Our immigration attorneys have comprehensive knowledge to assist in handling large volume employment-based transactions as well as with acquiring temporary and permanent immigration status for key managers, executives, professionals, athletes, and entertainers. In addition, we represent numerous high net worth individuals seeking to obtain immigration status based on their investments in new or existing enterprises. We work with our clients to develop customized solutions that align with their business needs.

Cozen O’Connor provides comprehensive, innovative and cost-effective solutions to U.S. and multinational companies across a wide range of industries in all aspects of business immigration. We guide and advise companies’ in-house legal and HR departments on immigration processes, multinational mobility programs, training, drafting and implementing policies, procedures and best practices. These often include developing multi-national recruitment and retention programs, as well as related optimized mobility plans, including immigration due diligence on M&A, reorganization, and other corporate transactions.

Our immigration compliance practice assists clients in developing comprehensive strategies to facilitate global employee mobility and addresses all aspects of immigration compliance including Form I-9 and E-Verify. We provide global immigration program support and are continually involved in the development of immigration law and policy as we analyze and interpret the impact of immigration reform within the administration and its effects on our clients and the legal and business community as a whole. In addition, we also provide extensive solutions for family-based immigration issues, including petitions for relatives, naturalization, and other citizenship issues.

At all times our attorneys have a client-focused approach. Communication is our top priority and our attorneys and paralegals always remain accessible to our corporate and individual clients alike. We work to form a true business partnership and tailor our high-quality solutions to complement our clients’ unique business culture and vision. We are forward-thinking and proactive in handling client matters and work to minimize any burden to our clients. We never lose sight that immigration processes ultimately concern the career, family and life plans of individuals. Therefore, when it comes to client services we treat each client with individual care.

Our unique practice groups are populated by attorneys who are extremely knowledgeable in their respective fields. Our service areas include:

Corporate U.S. Immigration Representation

  • Case preparation and legal analysis for the complete range of corporate immigration transactions:
    • Nonimmigrant Visas: H-1B, L-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, H-2B, H-3, I, J-1, O-1, P, TN, etc.
    • Permanent Residence: PERM labor certification (EB-2 and EB-3), extraordinary ability, multinational executives & managers, outstanding professors & researchers, national interest waivers (NIW), skilled workers, EB-5, etc.
  • Post PR guidance: analysis on impact of international assignments including preservation of LPR status
  • Corporate immigration policy and program management including reporting, performance metrics, industry benchmarking for best practices, etc.
  • Due diligence advice on immigration aspects of corporate reorganizations, including M&A, spin-offs and RIFs

Family or Individual Based U.S. Immigration Representation

  • Citizenship & naturalization, including derivative citizenship and expatriation
  • Family sponsored permanent residence, including:
    • Immediate relatives and all family based preference categories
    • Marriage based including processing under post-DOMA issues

Business Traveler Visa Services and Passport Services

  • Short term assignment planning and B-1 business visitor visa guidance
  • Assess if business visa or work permit is required, preparation of visa application support letters, supporting document procurement, application filing, visa pick-up where possible
  • U.S. passport applications, including initial applications, renewals, additional pages, amendments

U.S. Consular Services at U.S. Embassies and Consular Posts

  • Assistance with issuance of U.S. visa stamps, scheduling visa appointments, requesting expedited processing and completion of DS forms
  • Preparation and guidance for interviews and travel, processing requests for waiver of inadmissibility, and processing immediate relative petitions and fiancée applications
  • Assistance with abandonment of LPR status, U.S. citizenship, and passport applications
  • Liaison with posts to ensure compliance with local processes, procedures, and document requirements

Global Visa Services

Covering more than 160 countries, Cozen O’Connor attorneys manage global (non-U.S.) visa services, including:

  • Work permits, study permits, business visitor entry and visitor status
  • Temporary visas, temporary resident permits and extensions of temporary status
  • Applications to overcome criminal or medical inadmissibility and immigration status for accompanying dependents
  • Applications for citizenship and permanent resident status, including skilled worker, family class, employee sponsored and entrepreneur and investor applications

Form I-9 and Immigration Compliance Services

  • Legal guidance and support during all phases of I-9 process including completion, signature, storage, maintenance and administration
  • Confirmation of employment eligibility and SSN no-match consultations
  • I-9/E-Verify consultation and implementation, policy review and electronic I-9 storage issues
  • Assistance with 'historical' I-9 forms, including spotting error trends, facilitating corrections, and conducting internal audit
  • I-9 audits following notification of a government audit
  • Issues related to federal contractors and their subcontractors
  • Compliance training services for internal staff designed to streamline I-9 processes
  • Conduct training on non-discrimination and I-9 IRCA employment eligibility best practices
  • Monitor compliance with LCA public inspection files for H-1B petitions
  • Ensure compliance with agency requirements governing labor certifications (PERM applications)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. We assist clients with EB-5 visa applications for both individual and regional center processes. Our integrated one-stop approach helps our clients plan ahead for this detailed process that encompasses issues within not only immigration, but financing, real estate, tax, and insurance, among other potential issues.

In this area, services we offer include the following:

  • Consultation and support through the completion of the three-step process leading to unrestricted permanent residence in the United States including:
    • Completing and filing the investment application on Form I-526
    • Managing the consular processing through a U.S. Embassy or filing for adjustment of status in the United States leading to conditional residence status
    • Filing to remove conditional status within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of receiving the green card
  • Assistance with source and path of the investment funds used for this process
  • Business plans, econometric reports, escrow accounts, and project document checklists
  • Application for the designation of new regional centers
  • Review and support maintaining EB-5 immigration law compliance

Government Affairs

Our immigration attorneys work closely with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, a bipartisan government relations firm that represents clients before all branches of the federal government. We continuously monitor activity in the policy-making arena through our contacts with government agencies and decision makers both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, we provide advance on state and local immigration laws and compliance issues, and liaison with USCIS Service Centers and other federal offices when government error is involved. We anticipate change and seek to proactively counsel our clients how to best manage their immigration programs in light of any forthcoming developments.

Publications

USCIS Increases Automatic Extension Period of Employment Authorization Docs

May 04, 2022

This May, USCIS announced a Temporary Final Rule increasing the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorization Documents for up to 540 days.

H-1B Lottery for Fiscal Year 2023 Completed [Alert]

April 04, 2022

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USICS's announcement that it had received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the FY 2023.

USCIS Announces New Action Plan to Reduce Backlogs [Alert]

April 01, 2022

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the USCIS plan aimed to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the legal immigration system.

FY2023 H-1B Cap Lottery Registration [Alert]

January 31, 2022

Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss the initial registration period for the FY2023 H-1B Cap Lottery. It will begin on March 1, 2022, and run through March 18, 2022.

Completing Form I-9 for EAD Automatic Extensions for Nonimmigrant Dependent Spouses [Alert]

November 22, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USCIS's new policy that automatically extends employment authorization for dependent spouses in L-2 and E-1/E-2/E-3 status and also automatically extends employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses.

What Employers Need to Know as the US Welcomes Back International Travelers [Daily Business Review]

November 18, 2021

Scott Bettridge authored an article about the United States reopening its border to international travelers from 33 countries including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the European Schengen area (EU) and with this new proclamation has implemented a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national air travelers pursuant to CDC-specific regulations.

Employment Authorization Policy for Nonimmigrant Dependent Spouses [Alert]

November 16, 2021

Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS's new policy guidance to address the structural changes for nonimmigrant H-4 and L-2 spouses seeking employment authorization.

UPDATE: President Biden Lifts COVID-19 Travel Ban [Alert]

October 28, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss President Biden's proclamation lifting travel restrictions on people traveling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Update: Travel Bans to be Rescinded; Proof of Vaccination will be Required [Alert]

October 19, 2021

Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss Biden's easing of travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated international travelers.

2023 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration [Alert]

October 12, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the 2023 diversity visa lottery registration program.

Travel Bans To Be Rescinded; Proof of Vaccination To Be Required [Alert]

September 21, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss Biden administration's plans to ease travel restrictions on all international travelers coming into the United States.

Green Card Applicants Must Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine [Alert]

August 30, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the CDC's new policy requiring immigrants inside the United States seeking adjustment of status to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

USCIS Biometric Services Appointments [Alert]

August 02, 2021

Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS 's decision that it will no longer accept written requests to reschedule biometric services appointments at application support centers

USCIS Updates Policies to Improve Immigration Services [Alert]

June 10, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the USCIS's new policy updates to the policy manual that will clarify the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing; improve the existing request for evidence and notice of intent to deny guidance; and increase the validity period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents for certain noncitizens with pending adjustment of status applications.

U.S. Citizens May Return to the U.S. on Expired Passports [Alert]

May 27, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizebeth Olivera discuss the CBP and DOS announcement that U.S. citizens with expired U.S. passports may return to the United States.

USCIS Suspends Biometrics Requirements for Certain I-539 Petitions [Alert]

May 17, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USCIS suspending the biometric requirements for certain I-539 applicants for a two-year period beginning on May 17, 2021.

Biden Bans Travel from India [Alert]

May 03, 2021

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss Biden's restriction on travel to India.

USCIS’ New Guidance to Defer to Prior Approvals for Extension Petitions [Alert]

April 28, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss USCIS's new policy guidance to address the issue of deference to prior approvals when adjudicating a request for an extension.

President Biden Lifts Travel Ban on New Green Card Holders [Alert]

February 26, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss Biden revoking Trump's travel ban.

USCIS Expands Premium Processing to E-3 Petitions [Alert]

February 26, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss E-3 premium processing service. The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia who are coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.

I-9 Documentation Review Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic [Alert]

February 25, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss DHS's and ICE's new flexibility policy when it comes to in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9

FY2022 H-1B Cap Lottery Registration [Alert]

February 08, 2021

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the timing for the initial registration period for the FY2022 H-1B Cap Lottery.

USCIS Extends Flexibility Deadlines for Responding to Requests [Alert]

February 01, 2021

Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS decision to extend deadlines for responding to specific requests from the agency. USCIS will consider a response to the qualifying requests and notices timely filed if they are received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set on the request or notice.

Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective Immediately (10/19/2020)

October 16, 2020

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Oilvera discuss USCIS's announcement that it will increase fees for premium processing, to take effect Monday, October 19, 2020.

Sweeping Changes to the H-1B Program To Go into Effect [Alert]

October 08, 2020

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the DHS and DOL's interim final rules on H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas.

2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced [Alert]

October 06, 2020

Fran Rayer discusses the process for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

Changes to USCIS Fee Schedule and Forms [Alert]

September 08, 2020

On August 3, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Final Rule that alters the USCIS filing Fee Schedule. On average, the filing fees were increased overall by approximately 20 percent.

Changes to Florida Law Requiring Mandatory Use of E-Verify for Certain Employers [Alert]

July 16, 2020

Scott Bettridge discusses new Florida legislation requiring all government employers and certain private employers to use E-Verify beginning January 1, 2021.

Resumption of Visa Services at the U.S. Consulates [Alert]

July 15, 2020

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the resumption of Visa services at certain U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

Foreign Students Can Remain in the U.S. Even if All Classes Will Be Online

July 15, 2020

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the settlement in President and Fellows of Harvard College et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., allowing foreign students to remain in the United States even if all classes will be online.

USCIS Announces Possible Furloughs of 13,400 Immigration Employees [Alert]

July 01, 2020

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the furloughs at USCIS.

Immigration COVID-19 FAQ

July 01, 2020

Frances Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera addressed common questions related to immigration and COVID-19.

Presidential Proclamation Extending Suspension of Immigration from Abroad [Alert]

June 23, 2020

Fran Rayer, Scott Bettrigde, Daniela Berisiartu Barshel, and Elizabeth Olivera discuss President Trump's extension of Proclamation 10014.

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Services for Form I-129 and Form I-140 Petitions [Alert]

May 29, 2020

Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss USCIS decision to resume offering premium processing services for cases involving Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, in phases over the month of June.

New Version of Form I-9 Effective May 1, 2020 [Alert]

April 29, 2020

Scott Bettridge discusses what employers need to know about the new I-9 Form.

Presidential Proclamation Temporarily Suspends Immigration from Abroad [Alert]

April 23, 2020

Fran Rayer, Scott Bettridge, Daniela Barshel, and Elizabeth Olivera discuss what President Trump's temporary suspension of certain categories of immigrants from entering the United States means and who is impacted.

USCIS Announces Cancellation of all In-Person Appointments and Interviews to Combat COVID-19 [Alert]

March 18, 2020

Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera explain what the USCIS canceling all face-to-face appointments, interviews, and events, including asylum interviews and citizenship ceremonies, means for applicants and petitioners.

USCIS Announces Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Cases To Be Filed Beginning April 1 [Alert]

March 17, 2020

Fran Rayer discusses the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

USCIS Issues New Version of Form I-9 [Alert]

February 03, 2020

Scott Bettridge discusses changes to the I-9 form, effective immediately.

H-1B Electronic Registration Process Operational for the Fiscal Year 2021 Cap Season [Alert]

December 16, 2019

Learn about the changes USCIS announced for its online registration system that will be implemented in the 2020 H-1B lottery.

USCIS Proposed Rule with Adjustments to Fee Schedule and Other Changes

November 25, 2019

Fran Rayer discusses the proposed increased fees for green cards applications, associated work and travel authorizations, and citizenship filing fees.

SSA No-Match Letters and Employer Obligations [Alert]

November 18, 2019

Fran Rayer and Velika A. Nespor discuss what employers should do when they receive an SSA no match letters.

DHS Extends TPS Documentation for Six Countries

November 07, 2019

Fran Rayer discusses the extension of Temporary Protected Status related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designation for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021.

2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced [Alert]

October 02, 2019

Frances P. Rayer discusses what you need to know about the 2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, including dates the lottery is open and who is eligible to enter.

Department of State Requests Social Media Profile Identifiers [Alert]

July 01, 2019

Velika A. Nespor and Frances Rayer discuss the new requirements for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants.

E-2 Visas now Available for Israeli Nationals [Alert]

May 01, 2019

Scott Bettridge discuses the U.S. Department of State's announcement that a treaty investor agreement has finally been executed between Israel and the United States and effective May 1, 2019, Israeli citizens may now apply for the E-2 Visa classification at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

TPS Extended For Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador [Alert]

March 06, 2019

Velika Nespor and Frances Rayer discuss USCIS's automatic extension of TPS status until January 2, 2020.

Time to prepare, South Florida: I-9 worksite enforcement is on the rise [Miami Herald]

February 22, 2019

Scott Bettridge discussed the importance of local businesses in South Florida making immigration compliance a top priority.

Can Canadians Enter US For Cannabis-Related Business? [Law360]

November 16, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, wrote an article in Law360 about the impact on Canadians that are involved in a cannabis business entering the United States.

U.S. Travel Issues for Professionals Working in the Cannabis Industry [Alert]

September 25, 2018

Scott Bettridge warns Canadian professionals employed in the cannabis industry that travel to the United States may not lead to routine entry and should continue to exercise caution on any upcoming travels.

DHS to Increase Premium Processing Fees October 1, 2018 [Immigration Alert]

September 10, 2018

Frances Rayer discusses DHS's increase in fees for premium processing of certain employment-based immigrant benefit requests.

USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions [Immigration Alert]

August 29, 2018

Frances Rayer discusses that the temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions will continue and be expanded; beginning September 11, 2018, and continuing through February 19, 2019.

How employers can be ready if ICE knocks on the door [The Business Journals]

June 07, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discussed in The Business Journals immigration enforcement in the Trump administration.

USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap Cases [Immigration Alert]

March 22, 2018

Frances Rayer discusses the USCIS's temporary suspension of premium processing for all H-1B cap-subject petitions. This suspension of premium processing only affects H-1B cap-subject petitions.

April 2018 Visa Bulletin Has Been Released – EB-1 India and China Will Retrogress [Immigration Alert]

March 16, 2018

Fran Rayer discusses significant changes in the visa availability for Indian and Chinese nationals in the employment-based first-preference category (EB1).

Stopgap Spending Bill Ends Second Federal Government Shutdown in Less than a Month [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

February 09, 2018

A brief federal government shutdown ended this morning as the House and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (the “CR”) which provides a bipartisan budget bill that raises spending caps for two years and funds the federal government through March 23, 2018.  The President signed the bill this...

USCIS Confirms No Procedural Changes for H-1B FY2019 Cap Season [Immigration Alert]

January 29, 2018

Fran Rayer discusses the H-1B quotas for FY2019 and what employers should be doing now in anticipation of the start of H-1B cap filing season.

New I-94 Features Provide Visa Waiver Visitors Peace of Mind [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

January 26, 2018

On January 5, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) kicked off two new "traveler compliance initiatives" aimed at assisting those travelers to the US on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). These newly added features to the I-94 website (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home) under the "View...

Employers Should Begin Preparation for Opening of FY 2019 H-1B Cap [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

January 25, 2018

The beginning of the calendar year is the perfect time for employers to begin planning for the FY2019 H-1B cap filing season, which will begin on Monday, April 2, 2018. Due to continued high demand, it is expected that the quota will be filled within the first 5 business days. The H-1B quotas for...

Real ID Domestic Air Travel Requirement Takes Effect on January 22, 2018 [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

January 24, 2018

Anyone flying within the United States on or after January 22, 2018 will have to ensure that their state-issued driver’s license or identification card is compliant with the Real ID Act and its standards or has received an extension in which to comply.  If the traveler has a license or...

Stopgap Bill to End Government Shutdown passes Congress, extends EB-5 Program 3 weeks [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

January 23, 2018

The federal government shutdown came to an end last night as the House and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (the “CR”) last night which extended the Federal budget until February 8, 2018.  The President signed the bill late last night.  This new short-term extension made no changes to any...

Continuing Resolution extends EB-5 Program until January 2018 [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

December 22, 2017

As expected, the House and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (the "CR") last night which extended the Federal budget until January 19, 2018.  It is expected that the President will sign the CR today. This new short-term extension made no changes to any federal programs, and as a result, the...

TNs in Trouble? Responding to Recent Changes in the TN Economist Classification [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

December 21, 2017

USCIS has issued new guidance on the TN nonimmigrant classification for economists. Following a Policy Memorandum dated November 20, 2017, USCIS will no longer classify financial analysts, market research analysts, and marketing specialists in the TN economist category. Effectively immediately,...

How House Joint Resolution 123 Impacts EB-5 [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

December 11, 2017

On Friday, December 8, 2017, President Trump signed House Joint Resolution 123, the “Continuing Appropriations Act”, which prevented a U.S. federal government shutdown.  The Act provided a short-term extension which will keep the U.S. federal government open through December 22, 2017.  Within this...

Employment-Based Adjustment Applicants Will Be Interviewed Prior to Green Card Approval [Immigration Alert]

October 27, 2017

Fran Rayer discusses that I-140-based adjustment of status applicants will be required to appear for an in-person interview at a local USCIS office and how this could impact final adjudication of the I-485 permanent residence application.

Important Update Regarding 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program [Immigration Alert]

October 18, 2017

Frances Rayer and Scott Bettridge discuss a recent update to the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program along with a change to application deadline dates.

Premium Processing Reinstated for All H-1B Cases [Immigration Alert]

October 04, 2017

Frances P. Rayer discusses the USCIS announcement that premium processing has been reinstated for all H-1B petitions and that effective October 3, 2017, employers may request to upgrade pending H-1B petitions to premium processing.

President Trump Issues New Travel Ban Expanding Countries Affected By Travel Restrictions [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

September 26, 2017

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a Proclamation enhancing the vetting capabilities and processes for detecting attempted entry into the United States by terrorists or other public safety threats.  The Proclamation suspended and limited, subject to categorical exceptions and case-by-case...

This Year’s Diversity Visa Lottery Opens Oct. 3—For Possibly the Last Time? [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

September 21, 2017

The U.S. State Department recently announced that it will begin accepting applications for this year’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program—commonly referred to as the diversity visa (DV) lottery system—starting on Tuesday, October 3. Applicants whose DV cases are among those selected in the lottery and...

Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

September 20, 2017

On September 5, 2017 DHS rescinded the June 15, 2012 memorandum issued by President Obama which established the “DACA” program. The “DACA” rescission requires individuals that are seeking an extension of their status to file on or before October 5, 2017 in order to extend their employment...

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing for H-1B Cap Subject Petitions [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

September 19, 2017

USCIS announced on Monday, September 18, 2017, that it will immediately accept premium processing requests of all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap.  H-1B cap petitions filed in April 2017, requesting a start date of October 1, 2017, can now be upgraded to premium...

New Form I-9 Takes Effect on September 18, 2017 [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

September 18, 2017

As of today, September 18, employers must use the new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for all new hires. The new form is available on the USCIS website and on most electronic Form I-9 software programs. USCIS originally released the revised Form I-9 on July 17, 2017, which did not...

2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced [Immigration Alert]

September 18, 2017

Fran Rayer discusses the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program (sometimes referred to as a green card) that enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in the United States without employer or family sponsorship.

President Trump, Senators Cotton and Perdue Introduce the RAISE Act [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

August 03, 2017

On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, President Trump, along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) introduced The Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act). The RAISE Act is proposed to create a skills-based immigration system, seeking to make America more...

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt H-1B Petitions [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

July 24, 2017

On Monday, July 24, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an update detailing how it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of...

Department of State Updates “Close Familial Relationship” definition for Executive Order 13780 based on Hawaii District Court Ruling [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

July 20, 2017

On July 17, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced updates regarding the implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, in response to a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Hawaii. Last Thursday, July 13, 2017, the U.S. District...

Homeland Security Temporarily Delaying Effective Date of International Entrepreneur Final Rule [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

July 12, 2017

On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security published notice in the Federal Register delaying the implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule. After last month’s prediction that the Trump administration would delay the rule from going into effect on July 17th, the DHS...

Immigration Hot Topics Under the New Administration: How to Plan for Business Needs [Daily Business Review]

July 07, 2017

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discusses hot topics under the new administration in the Daily Business Review.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Travel Ban Case next Fall, Reinstates parts of Travel Ban [The ABC's of Immigration Law Blog]

June 26, 2017

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear the government’s appeal of lower court’s injunctions on President Trump’s travel ban in their next session beginning October 2017, and granted the government’s request to reinstate parts of the ban until the Court hears the...

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Health Law 2020

December 04, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

Top Ten Legal Issues Keeping HR Up At Night

October 30, 2019 - Fort Worth, TX

Immigration Blues

September 19, 2019 - Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

2019 Labor and Employment Law Update

June 20, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

Practical Employment Law Advice in Uncertain Times

February 26, 2019 - Addison, TX

Getting Started in Business: Immigration

October 24, 2018 - New York, NY

EB-5 Immigration Investor Program Updates

April 19, 2018 - Atlanta, GA

2017 Labor and Employment Law Update - Chicago

October 05, 2017 - Chicago, IL

Labor and Employment Law Update

June 14, 2017 - Philadelphia, PA

In The News

Sources blame pandemic, bureaucracy — not demand — for H-1B decline

December 21, 2021

Scott Bettridge was quoted in HR Dive discussing the decrease in H-1B visas.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

Deep Dive - Immigration

August 09, 2021

Scott Bettridge joined the Miami Global Net podcast to discuss the immigration categories into the United States, the impact COVID-19 has on immigration, and his perspective going forward.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 12 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2021 Legal Guide

June 17, 2021

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Jeff Vogel, and Rachel Welford to its 2021 Legal Guide.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2020 Legal Guide

June 22, 2020

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Stephen Cozen, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Christopher Sweeney, and Jeff Vogel to its 2020 Legal Guide.

Could a pandemic bring EB-5 back to life?

March 25, 2020

Scott Bettridge was quoted in The Real Deal discussing the changes in the EB-5 program and how that could have an impact during a pandemic.

How will this new immigration change impact South Florida real estate?

November 21, 2019

Scott Bettridge discussed the changes that have taken place regarding the EB-5 investor visa program with the Miami Herald.

Cozen O’Connor Attorney Elizabeth Olivera Named to Board of Directors of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association

November 19, 2019

Cozen O’Connor attorney Elizabeth Olivera, an associate in the firm’s national Labor & Employment practice in Chicago, has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA).

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

What You Need to Know About the Proposed H-1B Visa Rule

January 09, 2019

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in Human Resource Executive discussing the proposed H-1B visa rule.

What Canada's Marijuana Law Means For Travelers And Businesses

October 22, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, did a question and answer in Forbes discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Pot Topics: Canada legalizes cannabis; Colorado pot sales top 1B

October 21, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Regulatory roundup

October 18, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in Politico discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.

Will legal marijuana get thousands of people banned from entering the U.S. from Canada?

October 16, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, spoke with USA Today about the legalization of marijuana across Canada and the widespread fear that U.S. border guards will block Canadians working in the cannabis industry from traveling south into the United States.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

4 Ways GCs Can Prepare For Potential Worksite Raids

January 23, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discussed with Law360 performing an internal audit of your company to prepare for immigration enforcement.

DACA job permits will begin expiring soon

January 05, 2018

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was on KPCC (NPR) radio discussing DACA job permits that expire in March.

Immigration Cop Wants to Quadruple Workplace Enforcement

October 17, 2017

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration Strategy & Policy Practice, discussed with Law360 the latest immigration enforcement at workplaces.

What Employers Can Do For DACA Employees

October 05, 2017

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration Strategy & Policy practice, discusses what employers can do for DACA employees in Refinery29.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Immigration Policy To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2017

July 14, 2017

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discusses immigration policies to watch in Law360.

The Biggest Immigration Policy Developments In 2017 So Far

July 03, 2017

Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discusses the biggest immigration policy developments in 2017 in Law360.

Contacts

Scott Bettridge

Chair, Immigration Practice

sbettridge@cozen.com

(305) 704-5953

Frances Rayer

Member

frayer@cozen.com

(215) 665-3704

People

Awards

Cozen O’Connor Recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 Practice Areas Nationwide, 121 Practice Areas Regionally

November 04, 2021

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 12 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2021 Legal Guide

June 17, 2021

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Jeff Vogel, and Rachel Welford to its 2021 Legal Guide.

82 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 19 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2021 Guide

May 26, 2021

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

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