United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman Phyllis Coven released her Annual Report to Congress, revealing that the agency is facing an increasing backlog and delays in processing. USCIS is currently seeking additional funding beyond its fee model.
The United States Departments of Homeland Security, Labor, and State have released new regulatory agendas which include priorities and rulemaking timelines for each agency. All the agendas have been published in the Federal Register, except the State Department’s, which may soon be published in the Federal Register but is currently available on the Federal Office of Management and Budget’s website.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended its flexibility for students requesting Optional Practical Training (OPT) to accommodate for delays in the application process. The flexible policy originally applied to Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization filed through May 1, 2021, and has been extended to applications filed through October 31, 2021. The extension comes in response to growing delays in issuing receipt notices leading to shortened or lost OPT periods and rejections.
On July 28, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a second round H-1B lottery selection process for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The agency did not receive enough H-1B petitions during the initial filing period to meet the annual quota of 85,000 H-1B visas for FY 2022. Employers will have between August 2, 2021 and November 3, 2021 to file petitions for recently selected H-1B beneficiaries.
H-1B visas are employer-specific, which means that an H-1B visa holder can only engage in employment activities with their petitioning employer. Because there must be an employer/employee relationship between the H-1B visa holder and the petitioning employer, entrepreneurship can be complicated for H-1B workers.
If your employee did not get selected in the H-1B lottery this time around, there are a variety of other visa options available. Join Attorney Jacqueline Valle and Executive Manager Carmen Lopez for this nine-minute overview of alternate visa categories that your foreign national employee may qualify for.
By Gurshaan Chattha San Francisco, alongside other cities in the Bay Area, is home to some of the most prominent start-ups and global tech companies. Every year, companies in the Bay Area recruit the most talented and skilled individuals found globally. It can get competitive! Even more challenging, non-US nationals must get through an additional …
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they will open the fiscal year 2022 H-1B cap registration period from Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 12 PM EST through Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 12 PM EST. Petitioners and their legal representatives can submit H-1B visa registrations during this time.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon announce the registration process for the H-1B visa fiscal year 2022 cap season. It is unclear yet whether the agency will implement the October 2020 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule that would award H-1B visas based on wage level instead of the randomized lottery system.
During this prerecorded video presentation, immigration attorney Min Kim shares information about the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B cap season and alternative visa options available. He also covers some common challenges facing employers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what to do when an H-1B worker must work reduced hours.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a final rule that will replace the current randomized H-1B lottery selection process with a new H-1B selection process that prioritizes wages. Under the new rule, H-1B visas will be awarded based on prevailing wage levels, with priority given to workers that earn the highest salary based on their occupation and geographic area. The rule will be effective on March 9, 2021.
The United States government under the Trump Administration has promised since 2017 that it would change the definition of “specialty occupation” as used to determine H-1B visa eligibility. On September 3, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a new proposed interim final rule, “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program,” to the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). The new rule may make it more difficult for employers –especially staffing, outsourcing, and consulting companies – to sponsor employees on H-1B visas.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has performed a second lottery selection for H-1B cap-subject visas for fiscal year (FY) 2021. USCIS notified employers through registration selection notices on August 14, 2020 with the phrase “August 2020 Selection of Reserve Registration.” Employers will have through November 16, 2020 to file an H-1B petition for the beneficiary listed in the registration notice.
On June 25, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Department of Homeland Security v. Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam that a law limiting the ability of federal courts to review asylum seekers’ deportation orders was constitutional. In the future, asylees may be deported without getting the opportunity to have their deportation decisions reviewed again by the judiciary.
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.
The new H-1B registration process under myUSCIS goes live on March 1, 2020. Instead of filing complete petitions for every prospective H-1B employee, employers will now register their H-1B beneficiaries online – and only file completed petitions for those employees selected in the lottery. This system relieves companies of spending precious time and money on preparing petitions that aren’t selected. However, once the lottery runs, employers have a brief 90 days to complete H-1B petitions for selected individuals.
We strongly recommend that businesses evaluate prospective H-1B employees in advance to avoid delays, fines, and missed opportunities. Below are three crucial reasons you should work with an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your prospective H-1B’s qualifications.
Most of the requirements for the H-1B visa are set by law, but the details do change occasionally. The government hosts an annual lottery because there is a statutory cap on the total number of new H-1B visas allowed every year, and recent demand outweighs supply. Recently, the US government announced that the lottery format is changing.