News Updates

USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap

21:10 07 April in News Updates by Larrabee

H-1B CAP FOR FY2018 REACHED LOTTERY WILL BE CONDUCTED  As expected, today USCIS announced that the H-1B cap for FY2018 has been reached for both "regular" and "master's" cap cases.  USCIS Reaches FY 2018 H-1B Cap All cap-subject petitions received at USCIS between Monday, April 3, 2017 and Friday, April 7, 2017 will be entered into a random lottery for the available visas.    Petitions selected in the lottery will proceed to adjudication.   If approved, the earliest effective date of H-1B status will be October 1, 2017.  USCIS continues to accept H-1B petitions which are not subject to the cap.   Please see press release for additional information. Lottery...

Potential Changes to H-1B Adjudications

14:32 06 April in News Updates by Larrabee

On March 31, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum: Rescission of the December 22, 2000 "Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions."  However, while the title references "computer-related positions," the content of the memo is focused on the specific occupation of "Computer Programmer."  What is the potential change? We initially viewed this as "no news," as most practitioners have not filed H-1Bs for an entry level computer programmer for years.  This was specifically because there was ongoing concern, despite the 12/22/00 USCIS memo, regarding whether the occupation was specialized enough to qualify for an H-1B.  While...

The Future of H-4 EADs

14:25 06 April in News Updates by Larrabee

There has been a fair amount of concern regarding whether Employment Authorization Documents will continue to be available to spouses of certain H-1B visa holders under the current administration. Below is an overview of the current status. Ongoing litigation The litigation, Save Jobs USA v. DHS, initiated in April 2015 challenging the legality of the H-4 EAD regulation is ongoing.   On April 3, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked the court to hold the case in abeyance for up to six months, saying the Trump administration needs time to decide on revising the rule.   This is a reversal of position, as...

USCIS Announces Increase in H-1B Site Visits

22:27 03 April in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS Announces Initiative to Increase H-1B Site Visits and Additional Measures to Detect Abuse of the Program Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will be taking additional measures to detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.   As noted in the Press Release, USCIS will target three types of employers for site visits: -    Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer's basic business information through commercially available data; -    H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and -    Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization's location. LAC's Answers to...

USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

15:56 06 March in News Updates by Larrabee

Effective 4/3/17 USCIS WILL SUSPEND PREMIUM PROCESSING FOR ALL H-1B PETITIONS Premium processing may be unavailable for up to 6 months https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-will-temporarily-suspend-premium-processing-all-h-1b-petitions Q&A: 1.To which cases does this apply? This applies to ALL H-1Bs -- cap subject, cap exempt, extensions, etc. filed on or after 4/3/17 2. What if I had a cap exempt H-1B that was filed with premium before 4/3/17? Then USCIS will honor the premium request. 3. Does this change when we (employer/ employee) will find out if a cap-subject case is selected in the lottery? Yes. The advantage to adding a premium processing request to a cap-subject case is earlier notification if your case is selected...

Revised M-274, Guidance for Completing I-9, Now Available

16:03 17 February in News Updates by Larrabee

Revised M-274, Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing Form I-9 Now Available  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published an updated version of the M-274, Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing Form I-9, revision date 1/22/17. The M-274 was updated to include information about the changes in EAD extensions (please see our update of 2/2/17), and to reflect other changes consistent with the latest version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form.    (dated 11/14/16; required for use as of 1/22/17). M-274, Revision Date 1/22/17 Table of Changes for Revised M-274 As a reminder, as of January 22, 2017, employers must use the new version of the...

9th Circuit Court Decision: TRO Remains in Effect

23:51 09 February in News Updates by Larrabee

A federal appeals court in San Francisco has refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday wouldn't block a lower-court ruling that suspended the ban and allowed previously barred travelers to enter the U.S. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible. The above means that the temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order remains in effect until further notice. Status remains as previously advised:  http://larrabee.com/status-of-12717-executive-order-on-immigration-update-as-of-2717/ <-- Back to News Updates...

Status of 1/27/17 Executive Order on Immigration – Update as of 2/7/17

16:54 07 February in News Updates by Larrabee

Update as of 8:00 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, February 7, 2017 "TRAVEL BAN" REMAINS SUSPENDED Court Grants Nationwide Temporary Restraining Order in Response to Washington State and Minnesota's Challenge to President Trump's Executive Order Courtesy of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):     On February 3, 2017, a federal court in Seattle granted Washington State and Minnesota's emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in its challenge to President Trump's January 27, 2017 Executive Order (EO)  imposing a travel and refugee ban.  In accordance with the court's ruling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected...

Update as of 2/2/17: Travel Implications of Executive Order

00:05 03 February in News Updates by Larrabee

Update as of 2/2/17: Travel Implications of Executive Order DUAL NATIONALS 2/2/17:  The U.S. Department of State (DOS) Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued an emergency alert confirming that the Executive Order of 1/27/17 does NOT restrict the travel of dual citizens with a valid U.S. visa if they hold a passport of a non-restricted country.  Further, the alert states that embassies and consulates will continue to process visa applications and issue visas to otherwise eligible applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country, even if they hold dual nationality from one of the seven restricted countries.   Example:   A citizen...

Update: Automatic EAD Extensions

20:16 02 February in News Updates by Larrabee

AUTOMATIC EAD EXTENSIONS PROVIDED BY THE "HIGH SKILLS BILL" 2/1/17 Updates:  I-9 guidance now available USCIS reverses position; EADs timely-filed before 1/17/17 now grandfathered   Background On Jan. 17,2017, a final rule, "Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers," went into effect. This regulation implemented one of the Obama Administration's directives to address some of the issues related to the lengthy delays in the employment-based permanent residency process.   For example, Indian nationals in the EB-3 category face an approximately 12-year wait for an immigrant visa to become available to complete the green card process. One of the provisions of the rule provides for the automatic 180-day extension of...