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US Immigration News

   

Update: Proposal to repeal the H-4 EAD will be published in November 2018

The Fall regulatory Agenda of the Department of Homeland Security states that the proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD will be published in November 2018. DHS previously had announced the new regulation would be published in February 2018. This was then pushed back to June 2018 and now to November. It is likely the rule will in fact be published shortly. This will be a proposed rule to eliminate the H-4 EAD. It will not end the H-4 EAD immediately. There will be a period allowed for public notice and comment, and then DHS will publish a final rule….

USCIS extends suspension of premium processing for most H-1B petitions

On August 28, 2018, USCIS announced that it was expanding and extending the suspension of premium processing for many categories of H-1B petitions. The suspension is predicted to last through February 19, 2019. Only the following categories of H-1B petitions will still be eligible for premium processing: (1) extensions of stay without change with the same employer filed at the Nebraska Service Center; and (2) Cap-exempt petitions filed at the California Service Center where the employer is a cap-exempt employer, or the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution (such as a university). Premium processing will NOT be…

Update on third Trump travel ban

***UPDATE*** On June 26, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the third Trump travel ban (as described below) in its entirety. The Supreme Court decision, including the inspiring and furious dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, may be found by clicking here. As of October 24, 2017, all provisions of the second Trump travel ban (Travel Ban 2.0) have expired. Due to the federal court injunctions issued by federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, many of these provisions were never enforced, at least against persons with significant ties to persons or organizations in the United States. Also…

USCIS continues to process DACA renewals

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to process renewals for current and previous DACA recipients. Despite the cancellation of DACA by President Donald Trump in September 2017, federal district courts in both the Second Circuit and Ninth Circuit have issued orders keeping DACA in place. Appeals are pending in both courts. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to expedite the appeals of these cases. All eligible persons with current or previous DACA classification should file for renewals now while the court orders remain in effect. It is not necessary to wait until six months before your DACA expires. If you have…

H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2019

USCIS announced on April 6, 2018 that the H-1B cap has been reached for both the 65,000 “bachelor’s cap” visas as well as the additional 20,000 visas for persons holding U.S. master’s degrees. As a result, USCIS held a lottery to determine which petitions will be accepted, and which will be returned to the petitioners. A total of 190,098 petitions were received. This is down from 199,000 the previous year. USCIS selects about 100,000 petitions in all to account for denials and withdrawals. Therefore, the chance of success for any given applicant is around 50% to 60%. Master degree applicants…

Trump administration proposes to repeal H-4 EAD regulation

On December 20, 2017 the Trump administration released its regulatory agenda for the coming year. Included in the agenda is a new regulation to repeal the H-4 EAD. The H-4 EAD allows the spouses of certain H-1B workers to obtain open work permits. In most cases this is limited to H-1B employees with approved I-140s. According to the regulatory agenda, a proposed rule will be announced in February 2018. A proposed rule does not take affect immediately. There must first be a period of notice and comment. It is possible the proposed rule will not be introduced at all, or…

Trump cancels DACA program to outrage of millions

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be cancelled. Sessions’s announcement was a hate-filled blistering attack on Dreamers, referring to them as criminals, and accusing them of stealing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Opposition to the announcement was immediate and continues to grow across the country. We call on all decent minded Americans to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to demand the passage of new legislation to restore the DACA program including a path to permanent status for DACA recipients. In a…

“Hire American” – What does it mean for H-1Bs?

On April 18, 2017 President Trump signed a new executive order described as “Buy American and Hire American.” News accounts and presidential speeches suggested the new Executive Order would severely restrict the availability of H-1B visas. This order came out just a few days after completion of the H-1B filing season and the H-1B lottery, when H-1Bs were already in the news. During the campaign, Trump had threatened to abolish the H-1B program entirely. In reality, the new Order does not change the existing H-1B program in any way. The only specific reference to H-1Bs stated: “In order to promote…