News Updates

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions on March 12, 2019

22:51 11 March in News Updates by Larrabee

What's new? Today USCIS announced that it will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions.   Premium may now be included with any new H-1B filings, or interfiled with any H-1B petitions currently pending adjudication with USCIS. If an employer would like to add a premium request to any H-1B filing, please advise your LAC attorney. How does premium processing work? If an employer submits a premium processing request, together with the requisite $1410 filing fee, USCIS will guarantee a response within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request "or your money back."   The response may be an approval, denial,...

FY2020 H-1B CAP FILING DEADLINE APPROACHING

23:24 25 February in News Updates by Larrabee

Annual Filing Window The filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2020 (10/1/19 to 9/30/20) cap or quota number will open on Monday, April 1, 2019.    As with prior years, we anticipate demand will exceed supply within the first week, which will mandate a lottery to determine which petitions will be selected to proceed to adjudication.   All petitions received at USCIS from Monday, April 1 through Friday, April 5 will be included in the lottery.    Last year 190,000 petitions were filed for the 85,000 visas available.  We anticipate similar volume this year. It is important to initiate any cap subject petitions now to ensure timely filing. Premium...

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions Filed on or before 12/21/2018

23:40 19 February in News Updates by Larrabee

What's new? Today USCIS announced it will accept premium processing requests beginning on Tuesday, February 19th for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018. How does premium processing work? If an employer submits a premium processing request, together with the requisite $1410 filing fee, USCIS will guarantee a response within 15 calendar days of receipt of the request "or your money back."   The response may be an approval, denial, or request for additional evidence.   If USCIS issues a request for additional evidence, the premium processing clock stops, and will re-start at Day 1 when the response to the request is received...

DHS Confirms Changes to H-1B Lottery Process

15:02 31 January in News Updates by Larrabee

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Confirms Changes to H-1B Cap / Lottery Process The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule today which amends regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions.  The Final Rule will be published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2019. WHAT WILL CHANGE?   U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reverse the order by which it selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption   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...

USCIS to Resume Premium Processing for FY2019 H-1B Cap Petitions

23:41 25 January in News Updates by Larrabee

What's new? Today USCIS announced it will accept premium processing requests beginning on Monday, January 28th, for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 H-1B cap petitions.   This refers to H-1B petitions submitted in April 2018 which were selected in the lottery, but are still pending final adjudication with USCIS. Whom does this help? The opportunity to add a premium processing request to cap cases still pending from last year may be particularly beneficial for F-1 students whose "cap-gap" work authorization ceased on September 30, 2018.    These students have been unable to work pending adjudication on their H-1B petition, which if approved would have taken effect on...

FY2020 H-1B CAP FILINGS

15:33 11 January in News Updates by Larrabee

The filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2020 (10/1/19 to 9/30/20) cap or quota number will open on Monday, April 1, 2019.   That will be the first day USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for the 2019 H-1B cap.  The start date of employment for approved petitions is October 1, 2019. What changes have been proposed this year? H-1B Cap Registration.  USCIS recently proposed a rule that would change the way H-1B "cap" petitions are filed and selected.  Currently, a fully completed petition must be filed for consideration in the random selection process that takes place in April of each year.  USCIS is proposing to change the process...

2018 Year In Immigration – Summary of Key Policy Changes

23:35 21 December in News Updates by Larrabee

This year brought many key immigration policy changes in the employment-based immigration arena and 2019 is expected to be no different. H-1B Petitions: Interpretation of "Specialty Occupation". A more narrow interpretation of the positions that qualify as a "Specialty Occupation" continues to result in the issuance of Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny and Denials for certain occupations. Immigration regulations define a "specialty occupation" as one requiring the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of at least a Bachelor's Degree in a specific specialty or its equivalent. The...

NAFTA Renegotiations – Update

18:08 10 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Below is a brief update on the renegotiations of NAFTA that have taken place between the U.S., Canada and Mexico: On September 30, 2018, the U.S., Canada and Mexico reached an agreement, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  This agreement is not yet finalized as there are a number of procedural steps that will need to take place in each country before it can be implemented as law.  In the meantime, all provisions of NAFTA remain in effect. On the immigration front, there were very minor changes made and at this point in the renegotiation process the USMCA will not change...

2020 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY – ONLINE ENTRY PERIOD

21:26 03 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Begins at Noon EDT on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 Ends at Noon EST on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card or DV Lottery) provides immigrant visas each fiscal year for persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Essentially, this program provides certain nationalities with the opportunity to win the chance to apply for a green card, without having to qualify in one of the family-based or employment-based categories. For fiscal year 2020, 50,000 diversity visas will be available. There are various bills pending before Congress which call for the...

Approved and Pending H-1B Cap Petitions as of October 1, 2018

21:42 28 September in News Updates by Larrabee

October 1st marks the date when H-1B petitions filed under the annual cap are set to take effect.  This year is somewhat different as a large number of H-1B petitions remain pending with USCIS.  Below are some important reminders for approved H-1B petitions and options for petitions that remain pending. Reminders for Approved H-1B Petitions         Work authorization must be re-verified on Form I-9 to reflect an employee's H-1B status.       F-1 students are not normally subject to Medicare and Social Security withholdings, but H-1B nonimmigrants are.  Therefore, adjustments to payroll withholdings may be required for F-1 students whose status...