February

Blog Posts in February, 2019

  • DHS Tightens Rules to Detect Child Marriage

    Although the latest immigration news reports have focused on national security matters, especially after President Trump declared a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, the Department of Homeland Security announced new rules to track child marriages through immigration. Currently, federal immigration laws do not establish a minimum age requirement for an ...
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  • FY 2020 H-1B Cap Season Begins on April 1, 2019

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020) starting April 1, 2019. The H-1B employment visa is reserved for temporary professional workers filling specialty occupations, which require at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in a field directly relevant to the job. The H-1B employment visa is ...
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  • USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Filed on or before Dec. 21, 2018

    USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, Feb. 19, for all H-1B petitions filed on or before Dec. 21, 2018. If you received a transfer notice for a pending H-1B petition, and you are requesting premium processing service, you must submit the premium processing request to the service center now handling the petition. You should also include a copy of the transfer notice with your premium ...
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  • USCIS Extends Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

    On August 28, 2018, USCIS announced that they will be extending the previously announced suspension of premium processing for H-1B quota petitions and that the suspension of premium processing will also be expanded to include other H-1B petitions. Importantly, the expanded temporary suspension will apply to ALL H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers (except for those ...
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  • Alternatives to H-1B Visa

    H-1B Quota (FY 2019) USCIS received 190,098 H-1B Quota petitions for the fiscal year 2019 in the first week of April 2018. On April 11, 2018, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the Master’s Cap exemption. As USCIS will issue about 85,000 H-1B visas under the FY-2019 H-1B ...
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  • USCIS completes processing of 2019 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

    USCIS has completed processing all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. USCIS cannot provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions, due to the high volume of filings. USCIS has asked petitioners not to inquire about the status ...
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  • Introduction of "I-Squared" Bill and proposed H-1B reform

    On January 25, 2018, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2018. The bill aims to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize additional visas for well-educated aliens to live and work in the United States. If enacted, the bill, known as “I-Squared,” would make significant changes to the U.S. employment-based immigration system. ...
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  • USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Cap

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 6, 2018 that the annual H-1B quota for the regular 65,000 Bachelor’s Degree Cap and the 20,000 U.S. Master’s Degree Cap has been met for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. As per the regulations, all H-1B applications received within the first five days of the Cap have to be counted towards the lottery. USCIS has not yet announced ...
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  • What's Happening with H-1B Visas?

    USCIS Not Considering H-1B Visa Rule Changes President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative aims to stop hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, predominantly Indian IT professionals, from keeping their H-1B visas while their green card applications are pending. The goal is to impose new restrictions to prevent abuse and misuse of H-1B visas, aside from ending the provision of ...
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  • USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for all H-1B Petitions Effective Immediately

    On October 3, 2017, USCIS announced that premium processing was once again available to all Petitioners seeking H-1B visas. H-1B visas allow skilled workers in certain specialty occupations to temporarily work and reside in the United States. When a request for premium processing is made and the requisite fee is paid, USCIS has 15 calendar days during which to make a decision on the application. ...
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  • Do I Qualify for an H-1B Visa?

    An H-1B Visa is for temporary specialty workers who meet specific requirements and immigration regulations. To qualify for an H-1B Visa, you must do the following. Basic Requirements You have to be coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. Jobs that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, are considered specialty ...
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  • Uncertainty Surrounds the H-1B Visa Program

    The H-1B Visa has helped thousands of foreign workers secure gainful employment here in the United States. The program offers work visas for jobs that require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Those who have obtained an H-1B Visa often see this milestone as the start of a long and hopefully permanent stay in the U.S. However, since the election of ...
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  • USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

    On May 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it had completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process or lottery. USCIS will now begin the process of returning all unselected H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS is unable to provide an exact time frame for returning these petitions, due to the high volume of filings. USCIS has ...
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  • USCIS to resume H-1B Premium Processing for Physicians

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed for medical doctors under the Conrad 30 Waiver program, as well as interested government agency waivers on Monday, June 26, 2017 The Conrad 30 program addresses the shortage of qualified doctors in medically underserved areas and allows certain medical doctors to stay in the United ...
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  • USCIS Rescinds Policy Memorandum Regarding H-1B Computer Related Positions

    On March 31, 2017, USCIS announced that “Computer Programmer” positions may no longer qualify as a specialty occupation for H-1B visa purposes. In doing so, USCIS rescinded a prior policy memorandum (dated: December 22, 2000) entitled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions” by former director of the USCIS Nebraska Service Center, Terry Way. USCIS has declared that the guidance provided ...
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  • President Trump to sign Executive Order targeting H-1B Visa's

    President Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to the H1-B visa program that brings in high-skilled workers. The President plans to sign an order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American,” that will commission the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to review and propose new rules regarding the H-1B visa program, with the aim that H-1B visas are ...
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  • USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2017 that the annual H-1B quota for the regular 65,000 bachelor’s degree cap and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree cap has been met for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. USCIS has not yet announced the exact number of H-1B applications received. Once all the H-1B applications are counted, USCIS will share this information in the ...
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  • 9 Common USCIS Form Mistakes

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) applications can be complicated and meticulous. There is plenty of room for error when it comes to filling these forms out. Any mistakes made on your applications can result in the delay or denial of your visa. The following are the most common mistakes made when filling out USCIS paperwork: Forget to sign the document - A form could be returned or ...
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