DHS Limits Scope of DACA—No New Applications, Restrictions on Advance Parole, Shortened Renewals

On July 28, 2020, only six weeks after the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, DHS issued a memorandum announcing plans to limit the scope of the DACA program, pending a comprehensive program review by the Trump administration.

Initiate Petitions Now–H-1B Cap Filing Date Quickly Approaching

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.

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019 on April 2, 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) starting April 2, 2018. Because April 1, 2018 falls on a Sunday, USCIS will accept cap-subject petitions for the year starting on the following business day, Monday, April 2, 2018. Employers should identify any current or future employees who may require new H-1B visas to work in the United States.

Return of Petitions Not Selected in the H-1B Lottery Triggers “Cap Gap” Considerations

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 3, 2017, that data entry for the FY2018 H-1B visa lottery has been completed and that petitions not accepted under the lottery selection process will be returned. For cases for which an official receipt has not been issued, the returned petition is considered the official notice that the case was not selected in the lottery. This official notice from USCIS is critical for many employers with employees relying on “Cap Gap” for work authorization because the notice will determine when an impacted employee will lose his or her work authorization.

USCIS to Accept Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY2017 Beginning April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016 marks the opening of the filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota, commonly known as the “H-1B cap,” can be submitted on this date for an employment start date of October 1, 2016 or later. To prepare for the FY 2017 H-1B filing period, employers should identify current and future employees who will need H-1B visa status to be legally employed in the United States. Employers should take this action as early as possible to help ensure they are prepared to file all needed petitions on the opening day of the filing period.

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016

The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date of October 1, 2016 or later. In preparation for the opening of the FY 2017 H-1B filing period, employers are strongly encouraged to begin identifying current and future employees who will need H-1B visa status to be legally employed in the United States. Individuals currently holding F-1 student or J-1 trainee visas, individuals seeking to change to H-1B status from another visa status (such as L-1, TN, O-1, or E-3), and individuals outside of the United States commonly require a cap-subject H-1B petition to be filed on their behalf.