Liz LaRocca

Liz LaRocca

Liz LaRocca is an immigration attorney in Steptoe’s Washington office.  Her experience includes assisting clients in a variety of industries, including engineering, IT, biotech, healthcare, sports, entertainment, and telecommunications.  Ms. LaRocca has significant experience in PERM labor certifications and employment-based adjustments as well as nonimmigrant petitions for multinational executives, specialized knowledge employees, treaty investors, individuals of extraordinary ability, skilled workers and other professional employees with or without advanced degrees.  She advises clients with regard to the intricacies of nonimmigrant visa petitions, and the preparation of immigrant based petitions and naturalization cases.  Ms. LaRocca has broad experience drafting appeals, waivers, court motions and briefs, and represents clients at USCIS interviews and in court proceedings.  She has in depth experience representing corporate clients in merger and acquisitions, I-9 audits, and E-verify compliance.  She also represents clients in complex immigration cases, consular processing and immigration ramifications of criminal charges.

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Dreamers face Uncertain Future as DACA Unwinds

On September 5, 2017, President Trump released a statement confirming his decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program. DACA was created via executive action in June 2012 under President Obama to benefit a group of undocumented foreign nationals commonly referred to as “Dreamers.” The effective date of the program rescission … Continue Reading

U.S. Visa Operations across Russia Temporarily Suspended

On August 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced the suspension of all U.S. nonimmigrant (temporary) visa (“NIV”) operations across Russia, effective August 23, 2017. Visa interviews will resume on a limited basis on September 1, 2017. This action arises from the Russian government’s cap on personnel at the U.S. Mission to Russia. … Continue Reading

Why Employers Should Care about Form I-9 Changes

If they don’t already, U.S. employers must view Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, as more than just a form. Changes to the form reflect changes in law, regulation, policy and technology. Employers must monitor Form I-9 developments and learn to read between the lines. After several years without changes, the United States Citizenship and Immigration … Continue Reading

Challenge to Travel Ban: Latest Developments

On February 3, 2017, a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued in response to legal challenges to President Trump’s immigration and travel-related Executive Order (EO), “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”  The TRO halts the 90-day travel prohibition against citizens and nationals of seven designated countries.  The TRO has survived … Continue Reading

President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order: Travel Warnings

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”  The order is one of three immigration-related EOs the President issued between January 25 and January 27.  This particular EO has implications for ALL international travel to the United States by foreign … Continue Reading

New International Entrepreneur Regulation Facilitates Start-Ups

On January 17, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final regulation meant to facilitate entrepreneurship and job creation in the United States.  The new regulation permits qualified founders of start-up companies to enter the US to establish and grow their businesses.  It aims to help overcome the barriers entrepreneurs face in the … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Season has Arrived: Advance Preparation for April 3 Filings

H-1B cap case preparation season has begun!  Employers should start well in advance of the limited five-day April filing window if they are filing initial H-1B petitions for current or prospective employees.  For fiscal year 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions on Monday, April 3, 2017.  … Continue Reading

Entrepreneurs and Investors Granted Improved Immigration Option

President Obama’s 2014 administrative actions incorporated directives for changes aimed at establishing needed avenues for entrepreneurs and investors within the existing immigration categories.  In late December 2016, an important and promising action item intended to open US immigration opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors was finalized.  This new action item is the clarification of the National … Continue Reading

ESTA Application Requests Social Media Identifiers

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently added a request for social media identifiers as part of the screening process for the visa waiver program (VWP).  This is a unique security screening tactic for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), marking the first time DHS has requested social media identifiers for immigration benefits or … Continue Reading

How Employers Can Prepare for Trump Era Immigration Changes

A great deal of information is circulating through the legal press speculating about the changes the Trump administration will bring to the immigration benefits and enforcement landscape.  The overall direction of immigration changes under the new administration is clear, but the legal specifics are not yet defined.  With inauguration less than a month away, employers … Continue Reading

Employers Must Use Revised Form I-9 Starting January 22, 2017

The USCIS has released a newly-revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The revised form contains enhancements intended to facilitate computerized completion. As of January 22, 2017, employers must use only the revised edition, dated November 14, 2016. Until that time, employers may use either the new, November 14, 2016, edition or the prior … Continue Reading

TN Visa Category Faces Uncertain Future

Throughout the Presidential campaign, President-Elect Trump pledged to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), often referring to it as the “worst trade deal in history.”  Unless he is able to successfully renegotiate the terms of NAFTA with Mexico and Canada, Trump threatens, he plans to withdraw from the agreement.  Mr. Trump’s threat could … Continue Reading

Cuba: Immigration Challenges in Both Directions

Some travel restrictions between the US and Cuba have been relaxed with the October 17, 2016 changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR).  Despite this easing, travel to Cuba continues to be highly regulated for US Citizens, US permanent residents (green card holders), and foreign nationals within the US.  On the other hand, Cubans … Continue Reading

Enrollment Begins for Chinese Business and Tourist Travelers

In anticipation of the November 29th enrollment mandate for Chinese “B” visa holders, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched their Electronic Visa Update System (eVUS.) Chinese passport holders with 10-year B-1 and/or B-2 visas for business and/or personal travel to the U.S. must also have a valid eVUS enrollment to travel to the … Continue Reading

Global Talent – A Recruitment Option for Smaller and Start-Up Companies

All companies face challenges in locating and hiring the right talent. For start-up and small companies, securing employees with needed skills is vital for growth, profitability, and even survival. In a competitive market, business prospects are uncompromising in their expectations and requirements. Thus, companies at all stages of development must be able access the entire … Continue Reading

DUI Charges Can Interfere With Travel

The holiday season is a popular time for travel and celebration.  Both activities relate to a US Department of State (DOS) policy that can interfere with foreign nationals’ international travel.  Foreign nationals who have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DUI) or related charges may have their visa stamps revoked under DOS authority.  This policy, … Continue Reading

USCIS Publishes New Rule to Welcome International Entrepreneurs

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published in the Federal Register a rule which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses here in the United States. The rule, entitled “International Entrepreneur Rule,” seems to … Continue Reading

E-Verify to Deactivate User Accounts

On August 1st, E-Verify will begin deactivating user IDs that have not been accessed for 270 days. This announcement was apparently prompted by USCIS’ anticipated changes to the user requirements. On May 20, 2016, USCIS published a 30-day notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment on proposed changes to the E-Verify program. Among the … Continue Reading

India Next Member of the US Global Entry Program

On June 3, 2016, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the Consular, Passport and Visa Division, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin the membership procedure for the U.S. Global Entry Program. The two countries would like to complete India’s entry into the Global Entry Program within … Continue Reading

USCIS Fraud Site Visits Target Executives and Managers

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fraud unit, known as the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS), plans to expand the number of site visits for this fiscal year. The expansion of the site visit program comes in response to an August 2013 report released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s … Continue Reading

CBP Enhances ESTA to Address Past Travel to Iran

On February 23rd as part of the continued implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) had been enhanced to include questions that would address travel eligibility to the U.S. for an individual who has … Continue Reading

April 1 Will Mark the Start of the H-1B Cap Season

The H-1B cap season is fast approaching.  For fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017), US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin accepting cap subject H-1B petitions on Friday, April 1, 2016.  This is the earliest date for which an employer may file a petition to be received by USCIS requesting H-1B employment with a start … Continue Reading
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