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 ...
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 ...
On February 14, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made a small change in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) that will have a significant impact on the lives of many immigrant families.
To understand how this works, take the example of an employer sponsoring a foreign national for lawful permanent resident status - the foreign national’s spouse and children, under the age of 21, are also eligible to participate in the process to receive residency. However, the application process can take years, and in many cases, children have turned 21 during the process ...
It is no secret that certain sectors of U.S. employers have engaged in significant layoffs over the last six months. Meta—the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp—laid off more than 11,000 employees in November alone. Meta and other tech companies regularly use the H-1B visa program to sponsor foreign national workers. In fact, Meta is listed as an H-1B dependent company, meaning at least 15% of its workforce is employed by virtue of nonimmigrant work visas. Many economic experts expect the layoff trend to continue in 2023, but demand for workers remains generally ...
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 ...
Beginning October 1, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all applicants applying for lawful permanent residence (i.e. green card) with some exceptions. Specifically, all green card applicants who receive their medical examination from a designated civil surgeon/panel physician (“Physician”) on or after October 1, 2021 must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation of vaccination. This change will impact applicants who have their Physician complete Form I-693 ...
The Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record is a document U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issues to all persons entering the United States except U.S. citizens, returning Legal Permanent Residents, and immigrant visa holders. It is important that nonimmigrants keep track of their I-94 record because it controls how long they can remain in the United States. For nonimmigrant workers, CBP officers typically issue an I-94 to match the period of immigration status approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, there are instances where an I-94 will be ...
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 ...
COVID-19 has affected nearly all areas of immigration, including the speed at which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) is able to produce the Employment Authorization Document (“EAD card”). Thousands of foreign nationals must typically have the EAD card “in hand” to begin or continue lawful employment. In a settlement reached last month (Subramanya v. USCIS, 7/22/20), up to 75,000 foreign employees may find relief from the delayed card production.
USCIS has historically printed and mailed EADs within 48 hours of approval; however, in ...
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced July 6, 2020 that the flexibility granted to nonimmigrant students in F-1 or M-1 status to continue their studies online due to the COVID-19 crisis will be modified for the fall 2020 semester. Federal regulations normally allow students to take one class or three credit hours online per full course load with limited exceptions. When schools had to close in the spring and/or summer terms to comply with state or local regulations, SEVP provided guidance in March on how to proceed with online or alternative learning procedures for ...
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 ...
Effective March 20, 2020, USCIS announced it has suspended all I-129 and I-140 Premium Processing requests. Petitions not receipted in by March 20th will have the I-907 Premium Processing application and $1,440.00 fee returned, although properly submitted I-129 and I-140 petitions will continue to be processed. This announcement follows the suspension of Premium Processing on all FY 2021 Cap-Subject H-1B petitions just days earlier. In recent years, it is not uncommon to see several categories, including H-1B Cap-Subject petitions, H-1B extensions, and other non-immigrant ...
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 ...
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 ...
The current government shutdown does not affect the vast majority of USCIS's activities. Their offices are open, and interviews and appointments are proceeding as normal. USCIS continues to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests with only a few exceptions. The USCIS programs that will face disruption until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress are the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program (not the EB-5 Program, it continues to operate), E-Verify, Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors (not a shutdown of the program ...
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 ...
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 ...
On October 1, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") began phasing-in interviews for all employment-based green card applicants. Interviews have always been mandatory, but historically USCIS has waived the interview requirement for employment-based petitions when the beneficiary applies for a green card while already lawfully admitted in the United States.
The interview mandate is directly related to President Trump's "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" Executive Order and applies to all ...
Most employers have now implemented the use of the highly publicized, newly revised Form I-9 which United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mandated as the only acceptable Form I-9 version (rev 11/14/16) effective January 22, 2017. Another change is around the corner, however, and USCIS released another Form I-9 version on July 17, 2017. The newest version of Form I-9 must be used beginning September 18, 2017.
Initially, some thought the changes to the most recent version would pertain to a new Department of Homeland Security rule proposed by the Obama ...
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 ...
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 ...
- 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
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