U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced a Temporary Final Rule that will increase the 180-day automatic extension period for some Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) to 540 days beyond the EAD’s expiration date. The rule, which was published as a response to massive USCIS delays in processing EAD renewal applications, became effective immediately on May 4, 2022, and will remain in effect until October 27, 2023.
In order to benefit from the new rule, an applicant must have timely filed an EAD renewal application and fall within an eligible ...
Last week, USCIS announced the H-1B visa cap registration deadlines for FY2023. Registration is mandatory for employers wishing to sponsor a candidate for an H-1B visa in the FY2023 H-1B cap cycle. Registration is an annual electronic process through which USCIS receives registrations from employers for the H-1B lottery. USCIS has historically conducted a random H-1B lottery because more visas are requested each year than are available. Registrants are selected at random for an opportunity to fill one of the H-1B cap positions.
The H-1B cap registration period for Fiscal Year 2023 ...
On October 7, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced an Interim Final Rule titled, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” would go into effect on October 8, 2020. The rule would have amended the regulatory scheme used to calculate prevailing wages for foreign workers being sponsored for an employment-based Green Card through the PERM process as well as the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 nonimmigrant visa programs. In effect, the rule would have resulted in significant increases to the mandatory ...
Last month, President Joe Biden (“President Biden”) wrapped up his first 100 days as President of the United States – focusing on a myriad of issues from the Coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”) to America’s immigration system. Inasmuch as immigration affairs remained at the forefront under the previous administration, America’s immigration system continues to be a pressing topic for the Biden administration. President Biden has taken various actions and positions on key immigration issues, many of which could significantly impact businesses that regularly ...
On June 22, 2020, the Trump Administration announced Presidential Proclamation 10052 (“PP 10052”), which suspended the issuance of many H, J, and L visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. The ban was originally set to expire on December 31, 2020, but the Trump Administration extended the effective date through March 31, 2021. PP 10052 was implemented as a measure to protect workers in the United States amid high unemployment rates caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many foreign nationals were prevented from applying for a visa to enter and work in the United States ...
Earlier this year, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation restricting foreign nationals from entering the United States on certain temporary work visas through at least December 31, 2020 (“the Proclamation”). On October 1, 2020, a California District Court issued an order barring the government from enforcing the visa ban, but only against several large corporate associations and their members. The associations include the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, Technet, Intrax, Inc., and the National ...
The White House recently issued a Presidential Proclamation restricting foreign nationals from entering the United States on certain temporary work visas. The original Proclamation provided the suspension and limitation on entry would apply to foreign nationals attempting to enter the United States on (1) an H-1B or H-2B visa; (2) a J-1 visa if participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program; and (3) and L-1 visa (both managerial/executive and specialized knowledge). On June 29, 2020, the administration issued a second ...
On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation restricting foreign nationals from entering the United States on certain temporary work visas. Just two months earlier, on April 22, 2020, the administration temporarily suspended the entry of most foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States as Lawful Permanent Residents (also known as Green Card holders). The articulated reason for both directives is to protect U.S. workers from job competition during the economic recovery related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is Restricted?
The Executive Order ...
On May 29, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the phased resumption of Premium Processing. Premium Processing allows employers to obtain expedited decisions on certain immigration filings by paying an additional $1,440.00 fee. Because USCIS can take months to process petitions, Premium Processing is heavily utilized by many employers to avoid delays in employing specialized foreign national workers. USCIS suspended Premium Processing in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS began accepting Premium ...
On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order restricting immigration to the United States with the stated intent of protecting U.S. citizens from job competition and preserving medical resources as the economy aims to reopen following the COVID-19 crisis. The President initially indicated an intent to suspend all immigration, but the final Executive Order was much more limited.
Effective April 23, the order temporarily suspends the entry of those seeking to enter the United States as new Lawful Permanent Residents (more commonly known as Green Card holders) for 60 ...
It’s official, almost. Implementation of the new H-1B filing process for 2020 is fast approaching and more details have been released. DHS published a notice in the Federal Register on January 9, 2020, which officially announced the process.
Under the new system, employers, or their legal representative, will complete an online registration process, at a cost of $10.00 per petition, which requires basic information about the company and the requested H-1B beneficiary. Information such as employer legal name, employer identification number, country of birth and citizenship ...
As 2019 draws to a close and millions of people contemplate their resolutions for the new year, USCIS made good on their promise and announced the implementation of a new H-1B filing process for 2020. USCIS originally announced the change in early 2019, but delayed implementation. The new process significantly changes the H-1B petition timeline and requires employers to prioritize foreign national hiring decisions earlier than previous years.
In the past, employers seeking to sponsor foreign nationals for H-1B visas prepared and filed full visa petitions in the first five ...
The second installment of the Summer Green Card Series explained the function of the Visa Bulletin. In the third installment, we cover how to read the Visa Bulletin and answer some common Visa Bulletin-related questions.
How to Read the Visa Bulletin
The above figure is the Visa Bulletin’s Final Action Date Chart for July 2019, which USCIS indicated should be used to determine whether a foreign national is subject to a filing backlog. Applicants must first determine their employment-based category. The applicant must then look to their corresponding country of origin. The ...
Now that the April 1, 2019 H-1B visa deadline has passed, thousands of employers may find themselves looking for an alternative to employ valuable foreign workers. While not receiving as much media popularity as the H-1B program, there are various alternative approaches to avoid disruption with respect to foreign labor such as the E-2 and L-1 visa. Each visa program has separate requirements that are important to keep in mind when establishing an appropriate immigration strategy.
The L-1 Intracompany Transferee
The L-1 Intracompany Transferee visa is available to employers with ...
While students across the country are getting ready for spring break, school districts are already preparing to hire teachers for the next academic cycle. Many districts are suffering from a nationwide teaching shortage and are increasingly turning to foreign nationals to fill open positions. Federal immigration laws now permit certain school districts to file H-1B petitions throughout the year which has drastically reduced some of the challenges of hiring and retaining qualified teachers.
School districts have long utilized the H-1B visa to employ foreign nationals because ...
With April 1, 2019 and the H-1B cap deadline quickly approaching, employers seeking to use H-1B workers in third-party worksite arrangements will likely continue to see increased scrutiny from USCIS. Third-party worksite scenarios often arise where the company that petitions for an H-1B beneficiary places the beneficiary at a client’s place of business to complete projects for the client or as part of a joint project between both entities. In 2018, USCIS released a policy memorandum specifically aimed at reeling in employers who were stretching the limits on the H-1B ...
In early January, the Burr & Forman, LLP immigration team outlined a major change to the H-1B visa lottery system proposed by the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"). Last week, DHS issued the final H-1B rule, which is effective April 1, 2019.
The most drastic change to the H-1B lottery system is the electronic registration requirement. Importantly, DHS has suspended mandatory electronic registrations until the FY 2021 H-1B period (which begins April 1, 2020) to ensure the system is fully functional before the requirement goes into effect. As a result, H-1B lottery filings will ...
Hear from Jon Eggert on the special green card rules as it relates to Colleges & Universities. For questions, please contact Melissa Azallion or Jon Eggert of McNair's immigration team at (843) 785-2171.
Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly skilled foreign professionals submit their petitions to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the hope of receiving an H-1B number. Since 1990, Congress has limited the number of H-1Bs made available each year. The current annual statutory cap is 65,000 visas, with 20,000 additional visas for foreign professionals who graduate with a Master's degree or Doctorate from a U.S. college or university. However, this cap has been reached quickly in recent years.
The H-1B is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa category that allows ...
After months of anticipation, it appears the first major H-1B program-related change will be the recession of employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses. The change should have the largest effect on Chinese and Indian nationals who comprise the highest percentage of current H-4 work authorized beneficiaries.
Spouses and children of H-1B visa holders receive H-4 status so they can remain in the United States with their H-1B beneficiary relative. Historically, individuals in H-4 status were not granted work authorization. In 2015, the Obama Administration implemented a ...
With changes in late 2017, many employers are gearing up for H-1B season on April 1, 2018. The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to work in occupations that require at least a U.S. Bachelor's Degree (or foreign equivalent) in a specific academic field. The H-1B visa is one of the most sought after employment visas because it provides a natural spring board to an employer-sponsored green card.
Immigration regulations limit the number of H-1B visas available each year to 85,000 with 20,000 available slots set aside for individuals holding at least a U.S. Master's Degree. The H-1B visa is ...
While students across the country are heading back to finish the school year, school districts are already preparing to hire teachers for the next academic term. Districts are suffering from a nationwide teaching shortage and are increasingly turning to foreign nationals to fill open positions. A fairly new immigration rule effective January 2017 provides certain school districts with unlimited access to the H-1B visa throughout the year and has drastically reduced some of the challenges of hiring and retaining qualified teachers.
School districts have long utilized the H-1B ...
Qualifying dependent spouses of certain H-1B visa holders (H-4 spouse) have enjoyed the benefits of applying for work authorization since 2015 when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented a rule supported by the Obama administration permitting them to obtain employment authorization documents.
Since then, USCIS has approved more than 100,000 work authorization applications for H-4 spouses. However, the "Buy American, Hire American" initiative signed under the Trump administration may soon bring an end to the popular benefit, and this ...
The H-2B visa program allows businesses in the United States to sponsor foreign nationals for a temporary visa to work in nonagricultural jobs. The H-2B program is popular among employers in the hospitality, tourism, and landscaping industries to fill positions that would otherwise remain vacant due to U.S. labor shortages during times when employers are particularly busy. There is a Congressionally mandated limit of 66,000 H-2B visas available each year. Historically, a legal provision known as the "Returning Worker Exemption" allowed foreign nationals counted towards the ...
In early August, President Trump voiced support for a bill introduced earlier this year by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) to effectively overhaul the current immigration system. The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act has similarities to other points-based immigration systems, such as those in Canada, Australia, or the newly implemented system in China. The RAISE Act is "merit-based," focusing heavily on advanced-level, skills-based employment and education (with financial investments also a consideration), and a ...
With the increased focus on foreign language programs-particularly the popularity of immersion programs in which the foreign language is used for instruction rather than as the subject of instruction-schools districts are increasingly turning to foreign nationals in order to fill employment needs. There are other hard-to-fill positions in school districts where foreign national hires are more prevalent as well. While positions such as teachers normally qualify for H-1B visas, the uncertainty surrounding whether a petition will be selected in the annual 85,000 H-1B visa ...
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to take action in its efforts to deter fraud. Lawful Permanent Resident cards, more commonly referred to as "Green Cards," have undergone at least 5 changes since their post-World War II debut, and Employment Authorization Cards ("EADs") have borne at least as many. On May 1, 2017, USCIS began issuing redesigned cards with enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features that should be generally agreeable to HR staff, yet an impediment to would-be scammers.
The new features on the cards include the ...
USCIS has concluded the H-1B lottery and data entry operations for FY2018. Many hopeful petitioners and beneficiaries have already received the coveted I-797C Receipt Notice confirming their selection; however, some do not yet know their fate. Students on F-1 visas who have neither received a Receipt Notice nor a rejected petition may feel they are at an impasse. For these cases, qualifying students may continue to benefit from the automatic "Cap-Gap" extension until a rejection notice, or, more hopefully, a Receipt Notice, is received.
The Cap-Gap rule allows F-1 students for ...
Each year, thousands of employers file H-1B visa petitions for foreign nationals seeking to obtain temporary work authorization in professional jobs which requires at least a Bachelors' Degree in a specific field. On April 7, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it reached the congressionally mandated cap for H-1B visas for the 2018 fiscal year and would institute a lottery to select petitions for adjudication. The number of H-1B petitions filed in 2017 declined for the first time since 2013, but the number of filings were still more than double the number of ...
On March 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would suspend premium processing, often referred to as fast tracking, for all H-1B petitions. The suspension takes effect on April 3, the start date of the new fiscal year filing period.
What has changed
The H-1B visa program is one of the most popular and scrutinized visa classifications used for professionals. This fiscal year, the USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions for 65,000 available H-1B slots.
The program enables U.S. companies to tap into a global network of foreign ...
While the Executive Order ("the Order") issued by President Trump on January 27, 2017, and temporarily halted by the District Court in the Western District of Washington and subsequently by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, has been highly publicized for temporarily banning certain foreign nationals from the United States, it could also could impact business travelers from a variety of countries in a number of ways. Foreign nationals often use the business visitor (B-1) visa to enter the United States for short periods to engage in business activities that do not rise to the level of ...
Advocates, employers, and employees are in a state of suspense in anticipation of potential changes to the H-1B program. The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to be employed in certain "specialty occupations," which are generally defined as positions requiring, at a minimum, a U.S. Bachelor's degree (or the foreign equivalent) in a specific academic field. Congress has established a limit of 65,000 H-1B visas per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 H-1B visas reserved for candidates with U.S. advanced degrees (such as a Master's degree or higher). This does not include H-1B ...
One of the biggest drawbacks for employers trying to utilize the H-1B visa program is the numerical cap. The current law limits the number of H-1B visas available to 65,000 annually with an additional 20,000 available to those with a U.S. Master's Degree. USCIS regularly receives more than triple the cap number in H-1B petitions each year, resulting in the implementation of a random lottery system to determine who receives a visa. Despite the odds, the H-1B continues to be the visa classification of choice for many employers due to the advantages it provides for foreign national ...
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced an executive action program on immigration that will likely impact businesses and families in the coming months. Key provisions of the program are summarized below.
The President expanded and modified the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program. Under the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, undocumented parents of children who are either United States citizens or lawful permanent residents as of November 20, 2014 may apply for work authorization for a three year period. To ...
There have been significant updates to the I-9 Form that was proposed last year. This article summarizes the new updates to the I-9 Form, M-274 Handbook and ICE Audit Update.
New I-9 Form
On March 8, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published the long-awaited, revised Form I-9. USCIS initially proposed the new form in March 2012 and has spent the past several months reviewing thousands of comments about the proposed changes. The key changes on the new form include expanding the form from one to two pages; a slightly ...
There have been significant and recent developments in immigration law that will likely impact businesses in South Carolina and North Carolina in 2013. This article summarizes both federal and state immigration developments.
On the Horizon - Will There Be a New I-9 Form in 2013?
In March 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a new I-9 form and invited public comments until Fall 2012. USCIS continues to review thousands of comments and will likely release final changes to Form I-9 in the coming months. The most significant proposed changes include ...
- Domestic Visa Renewal Could Return in 2024
- Revised I-9 Becomes Mandatory November 1, 2023
- Employment Authorization Documents Associated with Adjustment of Status Now Valid for Five Years
- USCIS to Revert to 180-day EAD Automatic Extension Starting October 26, 2023
- DHS Advances Remote I-9 Document Pilot Program for Non-E-Verify Employers
- DHS Announces Remote I-9 Document Procedure for E-Verify Employers
- Alternative Financing Sources for Developers: EB-5 And E-2 Investors
- New CDC COVID-19 Test Requirement for Air Passengers from China, Hong Kong, and Macau
- Small Change in the Child Status Protection Act Will Have Significant Impact on Immigrant Families
- FY2024 H-1B Cap Registration Period to Open March 1st, 2023
- Worksite Compliance - I-9 and E-Verify
- Business Visas - H, L, E and Beyond
- Immigration Law Insights
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- Trump Administration and Immigration Impact
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