Sep 17, 2021
On Wednesday, a California federal judge struck down a controversial Trump-era rule which aimed to change the H1-B lottery system from the current random selection process to one based upon prioritizing those with higher salaries. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White joined a growing list of federal judges who have found that former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf was not lawfully appointed as Acting Secretary, and therefore lacked any authority to implement the new January 2021 rule. Learn more in this blog.
Aug 2, 2021
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 29, 2021 that it conducted a second round of H-1B registration selections for the Fiscal Year 2022 H-1B Cap. Registrations selected through this lottery will be eligible for H-1B petitions to be filed on their behalf. USCIS also announced that the H-1B petition filing window for these selections is open from August 2, 2021 through November 3, 2021. Learn more.
Jun 17, 2021
In a reversal from USCIS’ usual opaqueness on the H-1B Cap Process, the Service recently offered insights into exactly how many H-1B Cap Registrations have been selected since the new filing system went into effect in March 2020. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 7, 2021
Presidential Proclamation 10052, suspending H-1B, H-2B, J and L admissions, expired March 31, 2021. Ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) public health travel restrictions remain in place requiring travelers from certain areas to qualify for national interest exceptions. U.S. Consulates are still operating at reduced levels and will have to work through backlogs as the pandemic ends. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 20, 2021
Restrictions on travelers from Schengen Area countries, the UK/Ireland, and Brazil, set to expire on January 26, 2021, though Biden expected to reinstate. Elevated standard for H-1B employer-employee relationship may be sidelined as a “midnight regulation” and would be subject to legal challenges, though may have slightly stronger chance of surviving in some form. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 8, 2021
In November 2020, we reported on the Trump administration’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making, announcing a major change in the process for filing cap subject H-1B petitions. The new proposed selection process prioritizes registrations based on wage level, thus giving priority to those registrations by employers who are paying the highest prevailing wages. Following the mandatory notice and comment period, the government has announced that the final rule will go into effect, without modification, on Friday, January 8, 2021.
Jan 4, 2021
Late on December 31, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation continuing Proclamations 10014 and 10052, which suspended the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proclamations have been continued until March 31, 2021. Learn more in this blog.
Dec 10, 2020
Medical associations and hospitals are joining forces with immigration groups to advocate for legislation that will address the healthcare worker shortage by allowing unused immigrant visas to be allocated to highly skilled foreign workers: doctors and professional nurses. However, in order for this bill to pass a bipartisan solution must be reached.
Oct 30, 2020
The Trump Administration has announced a major change in the process for filing cap subject H-1B petitions. The proposed rule would replace the current random selection process by which USCIS selects H-1B registrations for filing of H-1B Cap-subject petitions with a system that prioritizes the selection of H-1B registrations by first selecting registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage level that the proffered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code and area(s) of intended employment. Learn more in this blog.
Oct 7, 2020
On October 7, 2020 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an Interim Final Rule (IFR) designed to tighten the H-1B visa program (and other Labor Condition Applications visa processes) in order to make it more difficult for employers to displace U.S. workers. Learn more in this blog.
Aug 14, 2020
Second round of selections underway for those Registrations still on file from March 2020. At this time it is unclear how many additional Registrations will be selected or for how long the second round will run. Selected Registrations will have 90 days to submit full Petitions requesting employment as early as October 1, 2020. Premium Processing available at this time.
Jun 25, 2020
• Changes now in effect.
• Canadians and Bermudians excluded from Executive Order by virtue of being visa exempt.
• All foreign nationals with presently valid H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visa holders also excluded, even if they have not entered the United States as of June 24.
• Other questions still remain.
Jun 23, 2020
-Changes go into effect 12:01AM EST on June 24, 2020 and unless lifted or enjoined will remain in place through at least December 31, 2020.
-Suspends admission of H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 nonimmigrants and their dependents who are outside the United States and who do not have valid visas or other valid travel document as of the effective date.
-Also extends existing suspension of immigrant visa issuance through December 31, 2020, subject to previously announced exceptions.
-Individuals seeking a change to one of the affected statuses within the United States or who have a valid visa are not covered by the Executive Order are able to continuing processing.
-Does not include Lawful Permanent Residents,spouses/children of U.S. Citizens, essential workers in food supply chain, and other individuals whose admission would be in the “national interest.”
-Other nonimmigrant workers (E-3, TN, H-1B1, O, P, etc.) are not included.
-Many questions remain with respect to interpretation and implementation.
Jun 21, 2020
Proposed suspension of issuing H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B Visas for the remainder of 2020. Would not impact individuals within the United States, unclear how it will impact those who already have these visas. Broad exceptions for foreign nationals whose admission would be in the national interest. Will update after reviewing the signed Executive Order.
Apr 1, 2020
A Rhode Island restaurant group challenged a USCIS denial and won H-1B “specialty occupation” status for its General Operations Manager, an Indian national, in federal court. Learn more in this press release.
Mar 18, 2020
H-1B Premium Processing will not be available when filing period opens April 1, 2020. It should be available for Petitions requesting a change of status from F-1 to H-1B no later than May 27, 2020, and for all others no sooner than June 29, 2020. For now, suspension only applies to FY2021 H-1B Cap Petitions. Unclear how COVID-19 will affect Premium Processing availability more generally. Learn more in this blog.
Jun 10, 2019
Beginning June 10, 2019, USCIS will accept Premium Processing for all Petitions selected in this year’s H-1B Cap Lottery. Learn more in this blog.
Apr 9, 2019
On Friday, April 5, 2019, USCIS announced that it once again reached the limit for H-1B Petitions submitted under the Fiscal Year 2020 Regular Cap, and which arrived at the Service between April 1 - 5, 2019. Learn more in this article.
Mar 12, 2019
Effective March 12, 2019, USCIS will resume accepting Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions. Learn more in this blog.
Jan 17, 2019
Late last week, USCIS took another step towards revamping the H-1B Cap Lottery. As we reviewed in December, the agency proposed a rule that would create an online pre-registration system and reverse the order of Cap selections. Following the end of its comment period in early January, USCIS has now forwarded the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget, and intends to review and respond to public comments in the coming weeks.