The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released its spring 2019 regulatory agenda, highlighting the agency’s rulemaking priorities through 2019. While many of the agenda items appear to be carryovers from agendas past, they serve as continuing reminders of the Trump administration’s immigration-related goals.
Premium processing has historically been available for all H-1B applications filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, from time to time, USCIS has suspended premium processing. On March 19, 2019, USCIS announced that it would use a staggered approach to premium processing for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap filing season, with two distinct phases for those cases filed in the lottery conducted in April 2019.
Next year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is likely to implement its new electronic H-1B cap registration process, and the H-1B cap season as we know it will end. No longer will employers and attorneys be required to prepare entire petitions for every case submitted in the lottery.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced a plan to temporarily transfer approximately 750 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers from the Canadian border to the Mexican border to help address the influx of asylum seekers from Central America. The transferred officers are being reassigned from their posts along the 5,525-mile Canadian border, creating worries about the potential for travel delays at busy ports of entry.
The Visa Bulletin for June 2019 has been released by the U.S. Department of State. While most of the dates for employment-based preference categories will only gradually shift from the dates published in May 2019, the EB-1 category for India is set to retrogress by more than two years.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to stay the termination of temporary protected status (TPS) for Honduras and Nepal pending the outcome of Ramos v. Nielsen. In addition to the stay, DHS has also agreed to extend the validity of employment authorization documents for TPS beneficiaries from Nepal through March 24, 2020.
On May 16, 2019, President Donald Trump outlined, in broad strokes, his new immigration plan. The proposal delineates two primary goals: securing the U.S. border and protecting American workers. Most notably, the plan includes the introduction of a new “Build America” visa that would replace existing green card preference categories and limit family-based immigration in favor of a merit-based points system.
After a tumultuous filing period for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2019, employers that rely on H-2B seasonal workers received some good news. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to issue up to 30,000 additional H-2B visas for the second half of FY 2019, which runs through September 30, 2019.
After a seven-year hiatus, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed the practice of sending no-match letters (officially called Employer Correction Request notices). These letters notify employers when the SSA has found a discrepancy between SSA records and the information provided on the employer’s W-2 form.
President Donald Trump has nominated Mark Morgan to serve as the new director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Morgan spent 20 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation before being appointed chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the final months of the Obama administration.
President Donald J. Trump has issued a memorandum aimed at reducing the number of visa overstays in the United States. The administration says those overstays undermine the integrity of the immigration system and harm the national interest. The memorandum calls on the secretaries of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to propose a plan to address and reduce the number of foreign nationals who remain in the United States beyond their period of authorized stay.
A recent policy alert issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) highlights the conflict between federal and state laws when it comes to marijuana use.
The U.S. Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for May 2019, which shows slight progress in most employment-based preference categories.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to close all 22 of its international field offices over the next year.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its premium processing schedule for fiscal year (FY) 2020 H-1B cap cases.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed the selection process for H-1B cap subject petitions filed for fiscal year (FY) 2020. On April 10, 2019, the agency ran computerized lotteries for both regular cap petitions and those subject to the U.S. advanced degree exemption after determining it had received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the congressionally mandated quota for each category.
On March 28, 2019, President Trump extended the wind-down period for deferred enforced departure (DED) for Liberians through March 30, 2020.
There has been an increasing number of reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is refusing to process subsequent, or renewal, L-1 visa petitions presented by Canadian nationals at ports of entry (POEs) along the Canadian border.
Each month, foreign nationals await timely announcements from the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether they are eligible to move forward with the last stage of their employment-based or family-sponsored permanent residence (“green card”) process.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a breakdown of the top 10 reasons it issued requests for evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions in fiscal year (FY) 2018.
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published a bulletin highlighting the H-1B notice and posting procedures with which employers must comply if they elect to provide electronic notice of their intent to hire H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The bulletin places particular emphasis on compliance issues when third-party worksites are involved.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that premium processing will be available for the H-1B cap filing season for Fiscal Year (2020).
Part one of this two-part series outlined common considerations related to temporary work visas employers may have during the due diligence process of a merger, acquisition, or other corporate restructuring. Part two will cover key considerations for employers during a pre-close assessment of impacted foreign national workers—this time, regarding green card processing.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a fraud alert notifying the public of an ongoing phone scam whereby scammers dupe their victims into providing personal information and money.
Effective immediately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has resumed premium processing for all H-1B petitions.
On April 1, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020). With the filing window quickly approaching, employers now have only a limited amount of time to identify and prepare petitions for employees who require new H-1B visas to work in the United States.
In the context of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate restructurings, during the due diligence process, employers often overlook the immigration-related considerations related to impacted foreign national workers.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) processing times continue to lag compared to previous years, according to data recently released by the agency.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency is postponing the implementation of the revised Form I-539 and the new Form I-539A.