Chugh, LLP attorney Suneeta Dewan appeared on the NYLESA podcast to discuss the use of the E-2 Treaty Investor visa by family members of United Nations (UN) staff who would like to remain in the United States when the UN employee leaves the country on an assignment.
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On June 17, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded two long-standing policy memoranda for adjudicating certain H-1B petitions and issued new policy guidance.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.