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H-1B

USCIS Issues New Policy Guidance to Rescind Longstanding Memos for H-1B Visa Petitions

On June 17, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded two long-standing policy memoranda for adjudicating certain H-1B petitions and issued new policy guidance.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

H1-B Workers: Unemployment Benefits During COVID-19

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.

USCIS Completes Initial FY 2021 H-1B Cap Selection Process

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.

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Understanding Your H-1B Online Registration Status

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.

Important Dates for H-1B Online Registration

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.

Checklist: Online Registration for H-1B Petitions

As of March 1, 2020, the H-1B sponsorship process will now begin with online registration at myUSCIS for each H-1B employee. Instead of submitting petitions for every H-1B beneficiary, employers will only need to file petitions for those H-1B beneficiaries that are selected in the lottery.

New Game Plan for Cap H-1Bs: A New Registration Process

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.

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