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Green and Spiegel U.S. Blog

Jun 17, 2021

USCIS Releases Figures for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 H-1B Cap Selections

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

H, L, J-Visa Holders No Longer Suspended from Entry into the United States but Most Noncitizens Remain Subject to Travel Restrictions

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

Trump Administration’s Last Immigration Actions – Lifting Travel Restrictions and Expanding the Definition of H-1B Employers

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

Final Rule Signals Major Change in H-1B Selection Process

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

H-1B, L-1 Restrictions Extended through March 31, 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

Biden Administration: Expansion to the Ability of Physicians and Nurses to Obtain Permanent Residence and Reduction of H-1B Restrictions

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

Trump Administration Proposes Major Change in H-1B Selection Process

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

U.S. Government Issues New Rules Tightening H-1B and Other Employment Based Immigration Programs

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

ALERT – USCIS COMMENCES SECOND ROUND OF H-1B LOTTERY SELECTIONS

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

UPDATE: Canadians, Bermudians, and All Current Visa Holders Exempt from Latest Executive Order

Quick Takeaways: • 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

UPDATE: White House Suspends Issuance of H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B Visas for Remainder of 2020

Quick Takeaways: -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

ALERT: White House Expected to Imminently Issue Executive Order Affecting H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B Visas

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

Green & Spiegel Attorneys Earn Approval of H-1B in Federal Court Hospitality Management is a “Specialty Occupation”

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

Premium Processing Suspended for FY2021 H-1B Cap

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

Premium Processing Now Available for All FY2020 H-1B Cap Petitions

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

Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Regular Cap Reached

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

H-1B Premium Processing Is Back

Effective March 12, 2019, USCIS will resume accepting Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions. Learn more in this blog.

Jan 17, 2019

UPDATE: New H-1B Cap Regulations Making Progress

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.

Dec 5, 2018

A Potential H-1B Sea Change: DHS’ Proposed H-1B Electronic Registration System

On December 3, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a proposed rule that, if adopted, will fundamentally alter the H-1B Cap process, replacing the current lottery with an electronic registration system that has the potential to save time, money, and headaches for all H-1B stakeholders.

Jul 25, 2018

Analysis: USCIS Issues Two Policy Memoranda that Could be Significantly Detrimental to Business Immigration

On June 28, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Policy Memorandum in PM-602-0050.1 regarding when the agency will issu...