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Executive Summary

The Trump Administration has introduced long-anticipated changes to the H-1B visa program for highly-skilled foreign workers, aimed at tightening eligibility for STEM talent working at major US employers, including by imposing a rigid requirement that any job offered to an H-1B worker require a single specific degree in a subspecialty, and that each

COVID-19 developments, including the White House ban on green card applications made at US consulates abroad, economic changes, and reduced cross-border travel, reduced the volume of applications for immigrant visas in recent months, creating excess supply in employment-based (EB) immigrant quotas.

As a result, the US Department of State (DOS) adjusted the EB quotas to allow certain individuals who previously faced lengthy waits of up to multiple years to file for adjustment of status (AOS) to US permanent residency in the month of October 2020.


Continue Reading Executive Summary: The Gate to US Permanent Residency Opens in October 2020

On August 3, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (“EO” or the “Order”) directing the heads of all agencies that enter into contracts to review the impact of contractors and their subcontractors employing H-1B visa holders on the wages and employment opportunities of US workers. Specifically, the EO directs all federal agencies to review

On July 18, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued an extension of a temporary policy allowing certain employers to conduct remote review and inspection of I-9 documentation for new employees. The policy was set to expire on July 19, but has now been extended through August 19, 2020. The extension provides employers with additional

On Sunday, July 19, 2020, a temporary Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy allowing employers to conduct remote reviews of I-9 supporting documentation is set to expire. Unless the policy is extended, many employers will once again be required to conduct in-person inspections of new employees’ documentation, raising concerns about employers’ ability to comply

Some 70% of the 20,000 employees of US Citizenship & Immigration Services, the agency within Homeland Security that adjudicates visa-related benefits for all foreign workers, could face furloughs starting as early as August 3, 2020, unless Congress provides $1.2 billion in emergency funding. This budget shortfall was caused by a dramatic decrease in the number

Beginning on March 17, 2020, the Schengen Member States as well as the four Schengen Associated States (collectively the “Member States”) temporarily restricted all non-essential travel from third countries into the European Union.  These restrictions extended until July 1, 2020, when the EU Council recommended that Member States begin to permit entry from travelers residing

President Trump signed an executive order, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to pause for 60 days the issuance of new immigrant visas to applicants who are outside the United States.  The order, which takes effect at 11:59 pm Eastern

Employers who employ international talent, including graduates of US university programs, have been preparing for the annual H-1B “cap subject” petition filing process since early this calendar year.  H-1B petitions for specialty occupation workers who are graduating from university programs, moving to the United States for the first time, or transitioning from a different visa category to the H-1B, are subject to an annual quota of 65,000, with an additional pool of 20,000 reserved for graduates of US advanced degree (master’s or higher) programs.

This year, USCIS launched an Electronic Registration Process for the first time, requiring employers to pre-register their H-1B candidates and pay a $10 per-candidate registration fee. The registration period opened on March 1, and will close at noon ET on March 20, 2020. By this point in the process, with only two working days before the close of the period, employers need to verify and check that their H-1B registrations all reflect the status of “submitted” in the government database.
Continue Reading As March 20 Fast Approaches, Where Do Your H-1B Cap Cases Stand?