U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to take a big first step toward the implementation of its new electronic registration system for fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B cap cases (those subject to the annual quota).
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended New Yorkers’ eligibility to apply for or renew their enrollment in four Trusted Traveler Programs (TTPs) administered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The suspension went into effect on February 5, 2020, in response to New York’s Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, commonly called the “Green Light Law.”
On February 2, 2020, the United States joined a growing list of countries that have implemented travel restrictions for those at risk of transmitting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
On January 31, 2020, the Trump administration expanded the list of countries affected by Presidential Proclamation 9645, more commonly referred to as “Travel Ban 3.0.” Nigeria, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Tanzania have all been added to the list after failing to meet minimum U.S. security standards.
On January 30, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin implementing the new public charge regulations on February 24, 2020. The regulations broadly expand the list of public benefits that can be considered, as well as the discretion given to immigration officers when deciding whether someone is “more likely than not” to become a public charge.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it would begin accepting electronic registrations for H-1B candidates subject to the annual quota for fiscal year (FY) 2021 on March 1, 2020. The registration period will run through at least March 20, 2020. USCIS intends to notify selected registrants no later than March 31, 2020.
On January 4, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) detained and questioned more than 60 individuals of Iranian descent at a Washington State border crossing as they attempted to return to the United States from Canada. According to news reports, CBP officers questioned a number of the travelers about their families, military backgrounds, and ties to Iran.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently adopted new policy guidance altering the way immigration officers evaluate criminal sentences and make good moral character determinations. These changes may impact a foreign national’s eligibility for certain immigration benefits, including admissibility as a visa holder, permanent resident, or naturalized citizen.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) in early 2020 with a new preregistration system being implemented starting March 1, 2020.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will implement the new electronic H-1B registration system for the upcoming cap season. Employers seeking to file cap-subject H-1B petitions will be required to electronically register each candidate for selection in the fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) lottery.
On November 26, 2019, a federal court in Oregon issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration from implementing a presidential proclamation that would have required immigrant visa applicants to provide proof of health insurance.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new fee schedule designed to mitigate an approximate $1.3 billion shortfall in the annual budget of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). According to DHS, immigration fees would increase by a weighted average of 21 percent across the board. In reality, however, the fee changes would not affect all immigration benefits equally. Fees for some commonly used classifications are set to go up significantly.
On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument on the legality of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that provides work authorization and protection from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. The roughly 80-minute session focused on two primary questions: whether the Court had the authority to review DHS’s decision to end DACA and, if so, whether the decision was legal.
On November 2, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the Trump administration from enforcing a recent presidential proclamation requiring health insurance for immigrant visa applicants.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that on December 2, 2019, its premium processing fee will increase from $1,410 to $1,440 for certain employment-based petitions.
The Trump administration’s public charge rule is on hold, at least temporarily. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State each introduced a version of the rule. Both versions were scheduled for implementation on October 15, 2019, and would have established expansive new tests to be used by those agencies when determining if certain visa applicants were likely to become public charges—a determination that would generally make them inadmissible to the United States.
According to a proclamation issued by President Donald Trump on October 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of State will begin issuing immigrant visas only to those foreign nationals who will have health insurance once admitted to the United States, or who can prove that they have the financial means to cover their own medical expenses.
On October 11, 2019, the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York ordered a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of President Donald Trump’s .
The U.S. Department of State has released the October 2019 Visa Bulletin, the first for fiscal year 2020. As anticipated, many of the final action dates have rebounded after retrogressing in August and have returned to dates similar to those seen in the August 2019 Visa Bulletin.
Implementation of the rule rescinding H-4 work authorization has been delayed yet again. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the proposed rule is not expected to be published in the Federal Register until spring 2020 at the earliest, but even that time frame may be aspirational.
There have been an increasing number of reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has begun conducting workplace site visits for F-1 students employed pursuant to optional practical training (OPT) in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. While ICE has had the authority to conduct on-site inspections since 2016, it has not exercised that authority until recently. Given this new development, companies that employ STEM OPT workers are encouraged to be prepare in case ICE visits their workplaces.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to charge employers a $10 registration fee—per H-1B candidate—to participate in its mandatory electronic H-1B registration system.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has instructed employers to continue using the current version of the Form I-9 beyond the form’s August 31, 2019, expiration date.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has had a change of heart. Instead of closing all 23 of its international field offices, as originally planned, the agency recently announced that it would keep seven offices open.
On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final version of its public charge rule in the Federal Register. According to a statement by DHS, the rule is intended to formalize the way in which the agency determines if an individual applying for a nonimmigrant visa or adjustment of status (to obtain a green card) is likely to become a public charge—a determination that would generally make the person inadmissible to the United States.