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USCIS recently implemented a new temporary rule that reinstates the opportunity for a 540-day Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) extension for certain foreign nationals seeking to renew their EAD. USCIS had implemented a similar automatic EAD extension in May 2022 but reverted back to a 180-day automatic extension period on October 26, 2023. The new rule took effect on April 8, 2024. 

USCIS announced the temporary rule to prevent gaps in employment authorization and documentation during the renewal process. The increased extension is welcome news for many foreign ...

Cost increases due to inflation have become a norm over the last two years, and immigration fees are no exception. USCIS announced that effective April 1, 2024, fees for certain immigration benefits will be adjusted for the first time since 2016. The agency is 96% funded through filing fees, and USCIS anticipates the increases will assist with operational costs to avoid the accumulation of future backlogs in case processing.

Of particular note is the increase in filing fees for nonimmigrant work visa petitions. I-129 filing fees for a typical H-1B petition will increase from $460.00 ...

Employers wishing to sponsor a candidate for an H-1B visa in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 are approaching an important time of year. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the H-1B cap lottery registration period will open on March 6, 2024, at noon Eastern Standard Time and close on March 22, 2024, at noon Eastern Standard Time. USCIS also announced several changes that will implemented in this year’s registration process.

H-1B cap lottery registration was introduced in FY 2021 and is an annual electronic process through which USCIS receives ...

Posted in: Immigration

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced all available visas in the Fiscal Year 2024 H-1B lottery program have been utilized. Each year, 65,000 H-1B visas are available for positions requiring at least a U.S. Bachelor’s degree. An additional 20,000 visas are available to foreign nationals who have earned at least a U.S. Master’s degree and are sponsored for an H-1B eligible position. Registrants were selected at random for an opportunity to fill one of the H-1B cap positions. The H-1B program is regularly used by U.S. employers to ...

Posted in: Immigration, USCIS

Foreign nationals often coordinate travel abroad to coincide with the holidays. December can be one of the busiest times of year for visa processing at U.S. Consulates and Embassies abroad. Here are a few helpful considerations to make foreign national holiday travel a little less stressful. 

Do I have a valid passport?

While seemingly obvious, an immediately expiring passport can cause a multitude of issues for foreign national travelers. Initially, U.S. Consulates and Embassies may require a passport to have a specific amount of validity in order to issue a visa. Additionally ...

Posted in: Immigration

The Department of State (DOS) appears primed to renew the practice of domestic visa renewal for at least some foreign nationals in 2024. DOS sent a Federal Register notice titled Pilot Program to Resume Renewal of H-1B Nonimmigrant Visas in the United States for Certain Qualified Noncitizens to the White House for review last month. While the full scope of the program will not be known until publication, the notice is expected to outline criteria for participation in a pilot program that would allow some H-1B workers to renew their visas without exiting the United States. Employers can ...

Posted in: Visa
Tags: H-1B Visa

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has instituted a revised Form I-9 that is mandatory for all employers, starting November 1, 2023.

USCIS announced the new version in August, in part to aid with the implementation of the new alternative I-9 remote document verification procedures. More information on the new remote document verification procedures is available here. Moving forward, use of the prior I-9 version, dated October 21, 2019, may subject an employer to penalties. Employers that utilize an electronic I-9 system should contact their provider to ...

Tags: 1-9, USCIS

In an effort to address the ongoing Employment Authorization Document (more commonly known as an “EAD”) processing backlog, USCIS recently announced it would lengthen the maximum validity period for certain EAD categories to five years. The change is welcome news to many employers and foreign nationals who may have experienced gaps in work authorization due to processing delays over the last several years.

One of the EAD categories affected by the change is pending Adjustment of Status Application beneficiaries. Adjustment of Status is the final step in the Green Card process ...

On May 4, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a rule temporarily increasing the Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) automatic extension period for certain renewal applicants. Under the temporary rule, the automatic extension was increased from 180 days to up to 540 days to address historically long processing times. 

USCIS recently announced plans to revert back to 180-day automatic extensions, starting October 26, 2023. The following criteria must be satisfied to qualify for the automatic extension:

  • The applicant must be renewing their ...
Posted in: Immigration

Last month, DHS announced E-Verify employers would be eligible to utilize an alternative remote document verification procedure when completing Section 2 of Form I-9, starting August 1, 2023. Only a few days later, DHS published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on a pilot program that would allow employers not enrolled in E-Verify to utilize remote examination procedures as well.

The proposed new rule would largely track the new rule for E-Verify employers, details of which are available here: DHS Announces Remote I-9 Document Procedure for E-Verify Employers | Burr ...

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