Final Rule for H-1B Visa Program

Effective April 1, 2019, the H-1B Visa Program will have new amended regulations. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption. It introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season. 

From the USCIS web site:

Effective April 1, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions (or registrations, once the registration requirement is implemented) submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations. Specifically, the change will result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education.

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions for FY 2020 on April 1, 2019. The reverse selection order will apply to petitions filed for the FY 2020 H-1B cap season. Petitioners may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary. USCIS will provide H-1B cap filing instruction on uscis.gov in advance of the filing season.

Importantly, after considering public feedback, USCIS will be suspending the electronic registration requirement for the FY 2020 cap season to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional. Once implemented, the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. USCIS expects that the electronic registration requirement, once implemented, will reduce overall costs for petitioners and create a more efficient and cost-effective H-1B cap petition process for USCIS and petitioners.

Additionally, USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation of the H-1B registration process in advance of the cap season in which it will implement the requirement. Prior to implementation, USCIS will conduct outreach to ensure petitioners understand how to access and use the system. Once implemented, USCIS will announce the designated electronic registration period at least 30 days in advance for each fiscal year it is required.

For more information on USCIS and our programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Linkedin (/uscis).

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

It’s Official: New York State Will Aid Undocumented Students

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has confirmed he will sign into law a new measure passed by the New York State Senate. The bill offers undocumented students access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

New York Democrats became a majority in the State Senate in November after a decade of being a minority. Immigration protections are now on the front of their agenda. The new bill constitutes a pro-immigrant countermeasure to President Trump’s federal immigration policies that have been seeking to undo the protections of The Dream Act, put into place by the Obama administration over ten years ago.

The provisions of the new law will include allowing undocumented residents to obtain state driver’s licenses and reducing maximum jail sentences for certain misdemeanors that could otherwise lead to deportation.

” The New York bill will affect an estimated 146,000 young people who were educated in New York public schools but have been ineligible to receive financial aid under federal and state law, according to analysis by the New York State Youth Leadership Council and N.Y.U. Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic. ” – notes the New York Times in an article yesterday.

Read the entire article HERE.

The Immigration Offices of Leslie I. Snyder, P.A. strive to keep our clients informed with the latest developments affecting US Immigration policies. We provide assistance on immigration issues ranging from family integration, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, business, employment, adjustment of status, citizenship.

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Lapse in Federal Funding Does Not Impact Most USCIS Operations

The current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the U.S. government does not affect USCIS’s fee-funded activities. Our offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend interviews and appointments as scheduled. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for benefit requests, except as noted below.

Some USCIS programs, however, will either expire or suspend operations, or be otherwise affected, until they receive appropriated funds or are reauthorized by Congress. These include:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program (not the EB-5 Program). Regional centers are a public or private economic unit in the U.S. that promotes economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Program will continue to operate.
  • E-Verify. This free internet-based system allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.
  • Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors. This program allows J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residence requirement after completing the J-1 exchange visitor program. The expiration only affects the date by which the J-1 doctor must have entered the U.S.; it is not a shutdown of the Conrad 30 program entirely.
  • Non-minister religious workers. This special immigrant category allows non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations to immigrate or adjust to permanent resident status in the U.S. to perform religious work in a full-time, compensated position.

(USCIS Advisory)

As always, contacting our firm to help you navigate through the uncertainty of your particular situation is also a safe bet. Our experience and expertise is sure to be one of your best allies.

Immigration Declines to Lowest Level in Over a Decade

New data analysis by the Pew Research Center shows the number of unauthorized immigrants in the US at its lowest in over a decade. The detailed article appeared on November 27th, 2018 on Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends

“There were 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007” – the analysis shows.

  • The sharp drop was mainly due to a sharp decline in the number of new unauthorized immigrants, especially Mexicans, coming into the country.
  • You can read the in-depth study HERE. Below are a few highlights that are worth noticing:
  • More than a million unauthorized immigrants have temporary protection from deportation
  • A rising share of unauthorized immigrants arrive legally, but overstay visas
  • Number of recent arrivals declines
  • Border apprehensions of Mexicans decline, but rise for Central Americans
  • About 5 million U.S.-born children live with unauthorized immigrant parents

Our Firm is ready to help with your immigration issue no matter where you are in the process. We stay on top of the latest immigration developments. An informed and up-to-date attorney is a powerful ally you will want to have. Please feel to contact us  by email or phone for your immigration related questions.

Actualizacion de las Politicas de USCIS

USCIS está actualizando las guías de políticas en el Manual de Políticas de USCIS para eliminar las referencias a Información Biográfica (Formulario G-325A). USCIS antes requería que aquellas personas que solicitaban ciertos beneficios de inmigración presentaran el Formulario G-325A junto con su solicitud o petición. USCIS ahora ha incorporado todas versiones del Formulario G-325A dentro de los formularios de USCIS que anteriormente lo requerían por separado. Ahora el Formulario G-325A solo se utiliza para peticiones de acción diferida para ciertos reclutas y familiares designados de cierto personal militar, veteranos, y reclutas. Por lo tanto, USCIS cambió el nombre de dicho formulario a “Formulario G-325A, Información Biográfica (para Acción Diferida)”. La guía actualizada en las Partes A, F, L, M, y O del Volumen 7: Ajuste de Estatus del Manual de Políticas elimina todas las referencias al Formulario G-325A.

Los interesados pueden revisar y enviar sus comentarios sobre la guía de políticas revisada hasta el 7 de noviembre de 2018. Por favor, visite el Alerta de Políticas para más información acerca de esta actualización.

Viste la página Comentario al Manual de Políticas para más información acerca de las revisiones y envío de comentarios de los grupos interesados.