News Updates

New Social Media Question on U.S. Visa Applications

15:05 10 June in News Updates by Larrabee

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has updated its DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application and DS-260 immigrant visa application to include a question on social media identifiers.  The item requires applicants to use a drop-down list to indicate the social media platforms they have used during the five years preceding their visa application, and the username, handle, screen-name or other identifiers associated with each account.  The DOS is not requesting passwords and has confirmed it will only review information that users have allowed to be viewable to the public.  The new question is applicable only to visa application forms completed on...

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

19:34 17 May in News Updates by Larrabee

USCIS issued the following Press Release: May 17, 2019-  USCIS has completed data entry for all fiscal year 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random selection process, including those selected under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. As in previous years, we will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that we did not select and will issue an announcement once we are done notifying petitioners. Due to the volume of filings, we cannot provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions. We ask petitioners to wait to inquire about the status of their cap-subject petitions until they receive...

FY2020 H-1B CAP UPDATES

22:50 15 April in News Updates by Larrabee

Caps reached USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced on April 5 that it had received enough petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-1B regular cap of 65,000.    For a sense of how the filing numbers compare to prior years:  In FY2019, USCIS received 190,098 petitions; in FY2019, 199,000; in FY2017, 236,000. Lottery conducted On April 10, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption for fiscal year (FY) 2020. After completing...

USCIS Announces Changes to Premium Processing for FY2020 Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions

22:41 19 March in News Updates by Larrabee

What's new? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing on Tuesday, March 12 for all H-1B petitions.   Today USCIS announced exceptions for FY2020 Cap-Subject H-1B petitions (petitions which will be filed beginning April 1, 2019). Per  USCIS, premium processing will be offered in two phases during the FY 2020 cap season so USCIS can manage the premium processing requests without fully suspending it as they did in previous years. The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status; the second phase will include all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions. Cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a...

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...