H-1B

Which Employers are Exempt from the H-1B Cap?

The regular H-1B cap visa lottery allots 65,000 H-1B visas to foreign skilled workers each year, with an additional 20,000 visas available for master’s degree holders. Employees can only receive an H-1B visa if their registration is selected in the lottery.

Federal Immigration Agencies Issue Regulatory Agendas

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.

USCIS Extends Accommodations for F-1 Optional Practical Training

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.

USCIS Conducts a Second Round Lottery Selection of H-1B Cap Visas for FY 2022

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.

Tips for Success this H-1B Cap Season

H-1B cap season is here for fiscal year 2022! In this video, Chugh, LLP Partner and Attorney Kirti Kalra joins Attorney Brittany Simmons to share a useful overview of the H-1B cap selection process. They also provide tips that every employer should keep in mind for a smooth sponsorship season.

Recent Developments in US Business Immigration Policy

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.

DHS Final Rule Will Select H-1B Beneficiaries Based on Wage Level, Replacing Randomized H-1B Lottery Selection Process

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.

US Government Seeking to Change H-1B Visa Eligibility Requirements

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.

USCIS Selects More H-1B Registrations in Second Round H-1B Cap Lottery

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.

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.

Three Reasons to Evaluate your H-1B Employees before Online Registration

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.

The Scope of H-1B Changes for 2020

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.

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