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On June 17, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded two long-standing policy memoranda for adjudicating certain H-1B petitions and issued new policy guidance.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.