Immigration Law Offices of Rebecca S. Whitehouse - Dallas, Texas

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Law Offices of Rebecca Whitehouse, Attorneys & Lawyers   Immigration & Naturalization, Plano, TX


Latest Immigration News

President Biden Send His Immigration Reform Bill to Congress

USCIS Publishes Final Rule Modifying H-1B Lottery Selection to Prioritize Wages

Your Covid-19 Vaccine was Likely Made by an Immigrant

DOJ Sues Facebook for Citizenship Discrimination over its Handling of Permanent Residence Sponsorship of Foreign National Employees

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Vacates the Strengthening the H-1B Program Interim Final Rule

DOL and USCIS Enter into an Agreement to Share Information About Suspected H-1B Employer Violations

DUSCIS Fee Increase Halted by Federal District Court

Trump Administration Issues Two New Rules to Restrict H-1B Visas

DHS will reject initial DACA requests and limit renewals to 1 year

PICE SEVP issues follow up guidance that active F and M students should follow the March 2020 guidance allowing distance learning in excess of the regulatory limits due to Covid-19

USCIS may Furlough Many Employees Due to Budget Shortfalls

Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain Individuals with H-1B, H-2B, J, and L Visas

USCIS Issued this Statement on the Presidential Proclamation

USCIS Asks Congress for Emergency Funding to Avoid Furloughing 13,000 USCIS Employees

USCIS Seeks Congressional Bailout to Avoid Furloughing its Staff

High-Skill Immigration Restrictions Expected Soon from Trump?

USCIS Fee Increases Hit Businesses Hard

Competing Bills in Congress Aim to Reduce the Green Card Backlogs

Upcoming H-1B registration still fraught with concerns

A Coalition of Immigration Groups Sue to Block Administration from Implementing New Health Insurance Requirement

Forbes reports: Data shows H-1B visas are being denied at historically high rates

Bloomberg reports: Fed Up with Immigration Backlogs, Lawyers Head to the Courts

Bloomberg reports that revocation of H-1B visas on the rise

Fraud Alert: Law Enforcement Telephone Numbers Used in Two-Part Scam to Extort Money from Victims

Trump’s Immigration Proposal Emphasizes Immigrants’ Skills over Family Ties

Trump H-1B Visa Policy Info may be Revealed in Wake of Lawsuits

A district court judge has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction, effective immediately, enjoining USCIS’s August 2018 unlawful presence memo that penalized international students for overstaying or violating the terms of their visas.

AILA bulletin regarding H-1B processing delays

Israelis Now Eligible for E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Status

Increased delays and denials of H-1B visas are hurting businesses

DHS’s proposed regulation, “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization” has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Once review is complete a notice of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register for public comment before being finalized by DHS.

Immigration Cases Face “Crisis-Level Delays

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for Pending H-1B Petitions

Fake University in Michigan Set Up by ICE to Nab Foreign Students

DHS Announces Rule for Changes to the H-1B Selection Process

DHS Issues Proposed Rule Adding Registration Requirement for Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension of Premium Processing on H-1B Petitions

USCIS Increasing Premium Processing Fee Beginning October 1st

DHS Proposes to Eliminate the International Entrepreneur Rule

Trump Works to Cut High Skilled Visas in NAFTA Deal

USCIS and the Justice Department Formalize Partnership to Protect U.S. Workers from Discrimination and Combat Fraud

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fis

cal Year 2019 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

Former Tech Staffing Company Owner Sentenced to Prison for Visa Fraud

USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2019

Senators Introduce Bill to Increase the Number of H-1B Visas

As Tax Time Approaches so do the Scammers: Beware

Bloomberg News: More Scrutiny, Enforcement for Employment Visas

New Push for Merit-Based Immigration System

USCIS to Begin Accepting Applications Under the International Entrepreneur Rule

The rule was published in January 2017 and originally scheduled to take effect in July 2017; however, the effective date was delayed.  A federal court recently issued a decision vacating the postponement. Under this rule DHS may use its parole authority to grant a period of authorized stay on a case-by-case basis to foreign entrepreneurs who demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide significant public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth and job creation.

Trump administration plans to wipe out H-4 employment authorization

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing Availability for all H-1Bs

New Streamlined Process to Apply for Employment Authorization and Social Security Number Simultaneously

FAQ on Presidential Proclamation on Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas for People from Certain Countries

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for FY 2018 Cap-Subject Petitions and the U.S. Masters Cap Allotment:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cap. The FY 2018 cap has been set at 65,000 visas. Premium processing has also resumed for the annual 20,000 additional petitions that are set aside to hire workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher educational degree.  

H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, academic research, and accounting. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-day processing time. If the 15- calendar day processing time is not met, the agency will refund the petitioner’s premium processing service fee and continue with expedited processing of the application. This service is only available for pending petitions, not new submissions, since USCIS received enough petitions in April to meet the FY 2018 cap. 

In addition to today’s resumption of premium processing for H-1B via petitions subject to the FY 2018 cap, USCIS previously resumed premium processing H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers and for certain H-1B petitionsthat are not subject to the cap. Premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions, such as extensions of stay.

USCIS plans to resume premium processing for all other remaining H‑1B petitions not subject to the FY 2018 cap, as agency workloads permit. However, remaining petitioners may submit a request to expedite their application if they meet the specific agency criteria. USCIS review​s all​ expedite requests on a case-by-case basis, and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.​

USCIS will release future announcements when we begin accepting premium processing for other H-1B petitions, not subject to the FY 2018 cap.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).

DHS FAQ on DACA rescission

AILA: Beware of new DACA Scams.

ICE Issues Statement on People Impersonating ICE Agents in Houston: 


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hurricane Harvey Rumor Control

Rumor: I’m an undocumented immigrant, I cannot go to a shelter because I will be reported to ICE or CBP.

Fact: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has stated that it is not conducting immigration enforcement at relief sites such as shelters or food banks. In the rare instance where local law enforcement informs ICE of a serious criminal alien at a relief site that presents a public safety threat, ICE will make a determination on a case-by-case basis about the appropriate enforcement actions. More information is available at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) joint statement.  The Federal Government strongly encourages all persons to follow the guidance of local officials and seek shelter regardless of their immigration status.

Most shelters are managed by local communities, the Red Cross, and other voluntary agencies. American Red Cross’ humanitarian mission is to feed, shelter, and provide other forms of support without regard to race, religion, or citizenship status. The Red Cross will not ask people to show any form of identification in order to stay in their shelters.  In order to receive some Red Cross services, such as meeting with a caseworker to facilitate disaster recovery, they will need to verify a person’s pre-disaster address. For people who don’t have government-issued identification, the Red Cross can usually do this through alternative means, such as a copy of a utility bill.

USCIS to Expand Interviews, Including Employment-Based Adjustment of Status Cases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.

Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:

  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
  • Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.

Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types.

“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”

Conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States.  USCIS will meet the additional interview requirement through enhancements in training and technology as well as transitions in some aspects of case management.

Trump Endorses Senate Skills-Based Immigration Bill

How the H-1B Program is Holding Up Under Trump

State Department Announcement on Implementation of the Travel Ban Executive Order Following the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 Decision

Scam Alert:  DHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam to Obtain Personal Information

FAQ: The real impact of Trump’s H-1B Executive Order

Trump Issues Executive Order that Requires Full Review of the Employment Based Visa Programs and Singles Out the H-1B Program for Particular Scrutiny

USCIS Reaches FY2018 H-1B Cap

Know Your Rights:

Home Visits from I.C.E.

Public Stops by I.C.E.

Workplace Raids by I.C.E.

The following is a collection of Department of Homeland Security Issues Fact Sheets and Q&As Explaining February 21, 2017 Executive Orders:

Fact Sheet: Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

Fact Sheet: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

US Department of Homeland Security announces suspension of all actions implementing the affected section of the executive order travel ban.

U.S. Customers & Border Protection webpage FAQ regarding President Trump’s executive order regarding the travel ban for nationals of certain countries. 

USCIS statement of continued adjudications of applications relating to persons covered by the travel ban. 

USCIS reminders on tax identity theft awareness: and


Be aware of phone scams where callers claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and threaten to have a person arrested or deported for owing taxes.

 Don’t be tricked. Even if you do owe taxes, the IRS will never:

  • Call and demand immediate payment over the phone; 
  • Demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone; or
  • Threaten to call the police or immigration authorities.  

If you get a call like this, report it online to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or call 800-366-4484. Also, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

To learn more about tax scams, watch this video and read this IRS Tax Tip Sheet. If you think you owe taxes, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and they may help you arrange a payment plan. 

Visit for more information on common scams targeting immigrants.

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service published a Final Rule today: Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers

The rule provides benefits for beneficiaries of both employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa programs, including the following: improved processes and increased certainty for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and nonimmigrant workers; greater stability and job flexibility for those workers; and increased transparency and consistency in the application of DHS policy related to affected classifications. Many of these changes are primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents, while increasing the ability of those workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with current employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.

The rule will go into effect in 60 days.

DHS Proposes New International Entrepreneur Rule

August 2016 Visa Bulletin

USCIS Announces Final Rule Expanding Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Presence to All Those Statutorily Eligible

August 8th is the deadline to apply to add 7 months of Optional Practical Training to a 17 month STEM OPT extension

Supreme Court Deadlock in United States v. Texas

The Supreme Court’s 4 to 4 decision in United States v. Texas means the lower court’s injunction will stand, blocking implementation of the expanded version of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) and the Deferred Action for Parents of American Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The original DACA program implemented in 2012 is not affected.

Former ICE Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Falsifying Documents in Immigration case

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2017

USCIS Announces FY 2017 H-1B Cap Reached

From American Immigration Council:  Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Welcoming Cities:  Lessons from Chicago, Dayton, and Nashville

CBP Issues FAQ on Implementing the Changes to ESTA Visa Waiver Program

US Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Challenging Expanded DACA and DAPA Programs

DHS Publishes Final Rule Affecting Highly Skilled Workers in Certain Classifications

January 2016 Visa Bulletin

Pro-immigration Group Launches 2016 Reform Blitz

New Security Measures Announced for Visa Waiver Program

Judge: Texas can deny birth certificates for U.S.-born children of some immigrants

Immigration Is Good for Economic Growth. If Europe Gets It Right, Refugees Can Be Too

What Politicians Get Wrong About Immigration

An immigration policy for the next 50 years

USCIS posts updated instructions for using the DOS Visa Bulletin

November 2015 Visa Bulletin

From the New York Times:  Miscalculation on Visas Disrupts Lives of Highly Skilled Immigrants

The U.S. State Department has issued a revised version of the Visa Bulletin for October 2015, changing several dates in the "Dates for Filing" charts for family and employment-based cases.  Under the revised charts, many people who would have been eligible to file Adjustment of Status applications under the previously issued September 9th version of the Visa Bulletin no longer will be eligible to file on October 1st.

The World has Changed Since 1990, U.S. Immigration Policy has Not: Policy Brief from National Foundation for American Policy

What the Candidates Said About Immigration During the Republican Debate

STEM OPT Rule in Trouble

USCIS Announces Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability for Applicants Waiting to File Adjustment of Status

Visa Bulletin October 2015

Why Trump Believes His H-1B Plan is Serious

How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Move the US Economy Forward

DHS Secretary Johnson Announces Security Enhancements for Visa Waiver Program

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designation for Nepal

U.S. Ranks 9th out of 38 Countries in Migrant Integration Policy Index Results

The Controversy Over Immigration And New Trade Authority

Our Immigration Policies Are Telling Foreign Students To 'Get Out' After They Graduate

High Skilled Immigration Boosts Native Wages

Immigration Reform May Have a Chance in Washington

Immigration Relief Measures for Nepali Nationals

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, the time frame for returning these petitions is uncertain. USCIS asks petitioners to not inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the petitions have been returned.

USCIS Completes H-1B Cap Lottery Selection

USCIS received nearly 233,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions during the first five business days of April.  USCIS will begin premium processing those cases that were filed under premium processing and selected in the lottery no later than May 11, 2015

May 2015 Visa Bulletin

H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2016


Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Case Involving Doctrine of Consular Non-Reviewability

Beginning May 26th DHS to extend employment eligibility to certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based permanent residence

Shutdown Looms as Dems Block DHS Funding Bill

Expanded DACA Program on hold:

Top 2016 Republican Fundraisers to Push for Immigration Action

Senate at Impasse on DHS Funding as Shutdown Looms

Consumer Advisory—The President's New Deferred Action Programs Only Protect SOME Undocumented People

Beginning February 18, 2015 USCIS will accept applications under expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


myE-Verify Expands to 16 More States, Including Texas

IMPORTANT: Consumer Advisory Regarding Deferred Action

Spanish Language Advisory Circular (Esp.)

U.S. Supreme Court Take Two Immigration Cases in New Term

November 2014 Visa Bulletin is Here.

Employment-Based 2nd Preference for India is retrogressing to February 15, 2005.  The bulletin also give projections for movement in the upcoming months.

State Bar of Texas Resources on Immigration

USCIS Announces Launch of New myE-Verify to Allow Employees to Create Secure Personal Accounts

Immigrants' Job Prospects Are Best in Switzerland, America


State Department announcement to changes in visa application fees

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Consular Non-reviewability Doctrine in Din vs. Kerry

Supporters say immigration law could pass — with a GOP Senate

Beware of Telephone Scammers Posing as USCIS Agents

USCIS has received numerous reports of scammers pretending to be USCIS agents and asking for personal information and money over the phone:

USCIS FAQ on Implementing the Supreme Court's Ruling on DOMA for Same-Sex Couples

Customs and Border Protection Announces Rollout of New Automated I-94 

USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification

On Monday, May 6, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Individuals will now be required to submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit.

A group of Senators has introduced the “Immigration Innovation Act of 2013” or “I-Squared Act of 2013” (S.169). This bill would provide many needed reforms that would benefit highly-skilled immigrants as well as the businesses that rely on the talent of such workers. Among other things, the bill would:

·      Increase the annual H-1B cap with a market-based escalator adjustment mechanism so that the cap can move as demand increases,

·      Uncap the existing exemption for H-1B applicants holding advanced degrees from a U.S. school;

·      Provide employment authorization for spouses of H-1B workers;

·      Provide a grace period for terminated H-1B workers to change or extend status;

·      Exempt certain categories of applicants from the employment-based permanent residency cap, including U.S. STEM advanced degree holders, and dependents of employment-based permanent resident applicants;

·      Provide recapture and roll-over mechanisms so that unused permanent resident visa numbers are not lost;

·      Eliminate per-country annual limits for employment based applicants;

·      Use fees from the H-1B and employment-based permanent residency programs to promote STEM education and worker retraining.

The “I-Squared Act of 2013” was introduced by Senators Hatch (R-UT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rubio (R-FL) and Coons (D-DE).

President Obama Issues Proposal for Immigration Reform

Deferred Action Process Announced for Certain Young People Between the Ages of 15 and 30

Eligible individuals must:

·         Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16

·         Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012

·         Have maintained continuous residence

·         Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors

·         Be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran

·         The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.

Click for Deferred Action Policy memo.

Click for Deferred Action Policy fact sheet.

E-1 Treaty Traders / E-2 Treaty Investors

The E-1 visa allows a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation to come to the United States for the purpose of engaging in international trade. The trade may consist of goods or services, but it already must be in existence at the time of the visa application, and must be substantial—that is, a continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time.  Additionally, the trade must be principally between the treaty country and the USA, such that over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the United States and the trader’s treaty country. The individual E-1 visa holder must be coming to the United States to work with the trading enterprise in either an executive or managerial capacity or in a position requiring skills that are essential to the enterprise.

The E-2 visa is also for nationals of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, but it can be used to come to the United States to develop and direct the operations of a bona fide enterprise in which the visa holder has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. In the case of an alien investor he or she must own at least 50% of the enterprise or have operational control. There is no bright-line test for what constitutes a “substantial” amount of capital invested. Rather, substantiality is determined by considering factors such as the amount invested in comparison to the total amount required to purchase an existing business or establish a new viable enterprise. The business also must be one that is or will be active and operating to provide goods or services for profit. Additionally, the business cannot be “marginal”--one which lacks the present or future ability to generate more than a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. Employees of the E-2 investor organization may also come to the USA to hold a position in an executive or managerial capacity or in a position requiring skills that are essential to the enterprise.

Recent Bills to Improve the Immigration Process for Entrepreneurs and Members of STEM Fields

Recognizing the need to attract scientific and technological talent to the United States, legislators have recently introduced a variety of new bills to ease the visa and permanent residency process for such workers.


Senator John Cornyn has introduced Senate bill S.3185 “Securing the Talent America Requires for the 21st Century Act of 2012” or “STAR Act”.

This bill would create a new EB-2 immigrant visa subcategory for certain STEM Master’s and Ph.D. graduates of U.S. schools, with a streamlined labor certification process, and access to an additional 55,000 immigrant visa numbers. In addition, this bill would allow any EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 applicant to file an application for adjustment of status before a visa number becomes available, and would provide for the carryover of unused employment-based visa numbers from one fiscal year to the next.


In December 2011, Senator Michael Bennet introduced  S.1986 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Visa Act of 2011 to create a new permanent residency category for students graduating with advanced degrees in specialties in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to enable eligible undocumented students enrolled full time in a STEM field of a U.S. institution of higher education to apply for temporary student visas.

See: and

 The bill would also make changes to the H-1B and L-1 visa program as well as the EB-5 program for foreign investors.


Introduced by Senator John Kerry, S.565, the STARTUP VISA Act, would provide visas and a permanent residence opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs in the following situations:

·        Where a U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor a new business venture of a foreign national with a minimum investment of $100,000, and where two years later, the startup company has created five new American jobs and either raised over $500,000 in financing or is generating more than $500,000 in yearly revenue;

·     Where an H-1B worker or a graduate from U.S. university in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science has an annual income of at least $30,000 or assets of at least $60,000 and a U.S. investor commits investment of at least $20,000 to the person’s business venture, and where within two years the new company has created three new American jobs and either raised over $100,000 in financing or is generating more than $100,000 in yearly revenue;

·     Where a foreign entrepreneur has a business that has generated at least $100,000 in sales from the U.S. and within two years has created three new American jobs and either raised over $100,000 in financing or is generating more than $100,000 in yearly revenue.

The “investor” must be a U.S. citizen who has made at least two equity investments of at least $50,000 every year for the previous three years, or a qualified government entity.

 Federal Agencies Establish National Initiative to Combat Immigration Service Scams:

Advisory regarding latest immigration case reviews - Avoid fraud! 

Click here for more information from USCIS on avoiding immigration scams.  

Click here to file a complaint in English or Spanish at the Federal Trade Commission web site.