On June 17, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded two long-standing policy memoranda for adjudicating certain H-1B petitions and issued new policy guidance. This new policy change reduces some of the evidentiary burdens on employers when filing H-1B petitions. The policy guidance is effective immediately and applies to all H-1B petitions, including pending petitions, appeals, and denials.
On June 22, 2020 President Trump issued a presidential proclamation extending the earlier April 2020 proclamation which suspends H-1, L-1, certain J visa holders, and their dependents who are outside of the United States from entering or seeking admission into the country between June 24, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
The United States is experiencing high rates of unemployment due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic is particularly challenging for H-1B workers and their employers, since H-1B workers generally cannot collect unemployment insurance benefits if their position is terminated. This is because H-1B visas are tied to a specific employer. H-4 dependents, however, may be eligible for unemployment benefits in some states.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that there will be a delay in data entry and receipt notices for fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap petitions. Petitioners will not get their receipt notices until May 1, 2020 at the earliest.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B cap registrations during the initial registration period of March 1 – March 20, 2020 to meet the cap. USCIS will notify petitioners and attorneys of selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020. Only petitioners with selected beneficiaries may file H-1B cap-subject petitions during the 90-day window for filing.
Employers’ representatives and their attorneys must complete online H-1B visa registration on the myUSCIS web portal before it officially closes at 12:00 PM EST on Friday, March 20, 2020. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will run the H-1B cap lottery and notify employers of all selected beneficiaries by March 31, 2020.
H-1B visa season is now open! Employers can register their H-1B beneficiaries online at myUSCIS through March 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST. It is important to have your immigration attorney evaluate your prospective H-1B employees before online registration, so that you can ensure you only petition for employees that qualify. Once you have determined that a beneficiary qualifies, gather information required for online H-1B registration in advance. Unlike prior years, completed petitions are only required for H-1B beneficiaries that are selected in the lottery.
Many employers are aware that the H-1B visa sponsorship process will now begin with online registration with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for cap-subject cases. The new system allows employers to only submit completed applications for beneficiaries that have been selected in the H-1B lottery, saving them time and money. However, once a beneficiary is selected, tight deadlines on petition submissions will cause problems for employers who leave everything to the last minute. It is more important than ever to work with a trusted attorney to determine your candidate’s eligibility before online registration begins.