News Updates

Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 19, 2020

21:36 16 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a press release announcing it will increase premium processing filing fees from $1440 to $2500.   The increase will take effect Monday, October 19.   The increase applies to all case types currently eligible for premium processing, with the exception of H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker or R-1 religious worker nonimmigrant petitions, which will increase to $1500. The increase is the result of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, which was signed into law on October 1, 2020.  The Act includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which allows USCIS...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 10.12.2020

22:03 12 October in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES 1.  DOL Issues Interim Final Rule Raising Prevailing Wages for Foreign Workers- DOL is increasing prevailing wages mandated for H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 and PERM labor certification applications by changing the manner of computation under the existing four-tier wage structure. 2.  DHS Revises Definition of H-1B 'Specialty Occupation,' Makes Other Changes- The rule amends the definition of a "specialty occupation" to implement USCIS' stricter interpretation of what constitutes a direct relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the position.  The rule also defines the employer-employee relationship and significantly restricts third party placements. 3.  USCIS Updates Guidance on TPS and Eligibility...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 10.05.2020

21:26 05 October in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Trump Block on H, L, J Foreign Workers - On October 1, 2020, a U.S. district judge ruled in NAM v. DHS against aspects of President Trump's June 22, 2020, Proclamation that blocked visa issuance to many foreign workers. USCIS Issues Guidance on Fee Rule Following Litigation - A U.S. district court in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al. v. Wolf, et al., temporarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing USCIS' August 3, 2020, fee schedule rule and changes to certain other immigration benefit request requirements. DHS Proposes Rule to Amend Affidavit of...

The October 2020 Visa Bulletin and Priority Date Advancement – FAQ

19:08 05 October in News Updates by Larrabee

The October 2020 Visa Bulletin is historic in many respects.  Most significant is USCIS's decision to accept employment-based I-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS) filings based on the Dates for Filing chart.  As noted by the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee, "This decision provides filing opportunities at a scale that has not been witnessed since the summer of 2007 when all categories abruptly became current." The below additional information may be useful for those strategizing on filing options as well as those anxiously awaiting their opportunity to file an AOS. 1.  Employment-based Preference Categories - October 2020 The...

2022 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY – ONLINE ENTRY PERIOD

18:17 01 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Begins at Noon EDT on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Ends at Noon EST on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 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 2022, 55,000 diversity visas will be available. There are various bills pending before Congress which call for the...

Court Enjoins USCIS Fee Increase Rule Due to Take Effect October 2, 2020

20:14 30 September in News Updates by Larrabee

On September 29, 2020, a California federal judge granted a motion for preliminary injunction, barring U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from increasing filing fees for immigration benefits two days before the rule was to take effect. The court based its holding on the following:  That acting Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf was likely improperly appointed; the Final Rule violates some procedural and substantive requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act; the Department of Homeland Security failed to consider important aspects of the problem; the Trump administration did not explain its shift in policy; and that by charging a fee for asylum...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 9.28.2020

22:45 28 September in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   October Visa Bulletin Shows Major Movement in Employment-Based Cases; USCIS Applies Filing Date Rather Than Final Action Date to Certain Adjustment Applications- USCIS issued guidance the same day stating that the Filing Date, rather than the Final Action Date, applies to employment-based I-485 adjustment of status applications. ICE Proposes a Fixed Time Period of Admission and Extension-of-Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Students, Exchange Visitors, Foreign Media Representatives - ICE proposes to amend its regulations by changing the admission period of F, J, and I individuals from duration of status to admission for a fixed time period. EAD Delays Due to...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 9.22.2020

19:15 22 September in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES   1.  DV-2020 Applicants Cannot Be Denied Visas Under COVID Guidance, Court Says - The order states that the government must undertake "good-faith efforts" to expeditiously process and adjudicate DV-2020 diversity visa and derivative beneficiary applications and issue or reissue diversity and derivative beneficiary visas to eligible applicants by September 30, 2020. 2.  Ninth Circuit Rules President Can End TPS - TPS beneficiaries from Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan could be required to leave the United States (or find another legal way to stay) by March 2021. Those from El Salvador, by far the largest group at an estimated 263,000, could be expelled...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 9.14.2020

22:23 14 September in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES    1. U.S. Revokes More Than 1,000 Visas for Chinese Students, Researchers - The revocations appear to result from President Trump's proclamation in May 2020 suspending the entry of certain students and researchers from China. 2.  When Is a Furlough Not a Furlough? - Despite USCIS backing off from plans to furlough thousands of employees nationwide, the agency is going ahead with furloughs of at least 800 private contractors who work for a contractor that provides services at the National Benefit Center in Missouri. 3.  Second Circuit Stays Preliminary Injunction in Public Charge Rule Challenge, Allowing USCIS to Move Forward - The U.S....