Effective October 19, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) premium processing fee will increase from $1,440 to $2,500 pursuant to the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, signed into law on October 1, 2020.
Chugh, LLP Partner and Attorney Diya Mathews provides an overview of two recent regulations from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor which are expected to have far-reaching consequences for employers of H-1B workers, green card holders, and other foreign workers.
A limited injunction issued by a federal district court blocks the United States government from enforcing the presidential proclamation which bans certain H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 prospective visa holders and their dependents from entering the US. The injunction is effective only for the case’s plaintiffs and members of plaintiff trade groups. The presidential proclamation still stands, with limited exceptions, nationwide through December 31, 2020. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) will likely appeal the ruling.
President Trump signed a law providing stopgap funding to the US government through December 11, 2020 while Congress continues to debate the fiscal year 2021 federal budget. The measure also expands the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) premium processing program to include many new types of employment-based cases and increases the cost of this service to $2,500 from $1,440. The law takes effect immediately, but USCIS’s implementation may take a few weeks.
A regulation set to increase United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fees on October 2, 2020 has been blocked by a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule would have led to significantly higher fees and new forms for many petition and application types, including H-1B, L-1, Adjustment of Status, and others. DHS will likely appeal the injunction.
United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new rule to limit F, J, and I nonimmigrant student visas to two years for citizens of 59 countries. If this rule is passed, affected international students would have to apply for an extension of stay to continue their studies beyond the two-year period, and fulfill related biometrics requirements again. Additionally, the rule would impose defined limits of stay for all F, J, and I visa holders. Students would be subject to unlawful presence rules for stays beyond their visa’s fixed period. The proposed rule is published in the Federal Register as of September 25, 2020 and will be subject to a 30-day comment period before DHS reviews feedback and issues a final rule.
Several employment-based immigrant visa cutoff dates have significantly advanced in the October 2020 US Department of State Visa Bulletin. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will use the Dates for Filing Visa Bulletin, which means that many foreign nationals are newly eligible to file for adjustment of status to obtain United States permanent residence, and the EB-3 immigrant visa cutoff date will significantly advance for Indian nationals