Starting May 1, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start producing and issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) and the Employment Authorization Document (EADs). (more…)
Many of our readers are aware that as of April 7, 2017, USCIS had received a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions to fill the annual H-1B quota. As USCIS has been issuing receipt notices for the H-1B cap cases which are being selected for processing, we wanted to provide an update as to how long will H-1B petitioners and applicants wait to hear whether their H-1B petition has been selected for processing under the H-1B cap.
Many of our readers are aware that as of April 7, USCIS had received a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions to fill the annual H-1B quota. This year’s number of filings is at an all-time high, meaning that about 1 in 3 H-1B cap applications will be selected for review. As USCIS is starting to issue receipt notices for the H-1B cap cases which are being selected for processing, we wanted to provide an overview of the alternative visa options for those H-1B employers and employees whose H-1Bs did not get selected under the H-1B cap lottery. (more…)
Our office just learned that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has completed the intake and processing of all of the fiscal year (FY2018) H-1B cap petitions. According to USCIS, there were over 199,000 H-1B cap petitions filed during the April 3rd-7th filing period. This indicates that the number of H-1B cap filings this year is slightly lower than the number of H-1B cap filings during last year’s cap season (236,000); nonetheless, this marks continuing very strong H-1B cap demand. The H-1B cap lottery has also been completed. (more…)
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that, as of Friday, April 7th, they have received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the annual H-1B cap for the 2018 fiscal year (FY2018). According to USCIS, they have received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for beneficiaries with U.S. master’s degree and more than the 65,000 general H-1B cap petitions. As a result, any cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS after April 7, 2017 will be rejected. (more…)
Very Short and Busy H-1B Cap Filing Season Expected: April 3rd to April 7th (Five Business Days); H-1B Lottery Likely; Last Call for H-1B
As we are going into the peak of the H-1B cap season, our office receives many inquiries about the duration of the H-1B filing season this year or, in other words, when will the H-1B cap be reached? So far we have been able to compare demand with prior H-1B filing seasons and we knew that this would be a very busy and very short H-1B filing season. According to our sources (which include clients, peer law firms and government agencies), we expect that the H-1B cap be reached in the first five business days of April with the number of filings over the first five business days far exceeding the available number of H-1B visas. This means that there is almost a guarantee that there will be a random lottery to allocate the available H-1B visas (65,000 regular cap in addition to 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher cap) among all filings received in the first five business days of April. (more…)
USCIS has announced that effective April 3, 2017, they are temporarily suspending premium processing for all H-1B petitions for a period of up to six months. This surprising announcement comes in light of the anticipated heavy demand and number of H-1B “cap” filings and also to allow the government an opportunity to catch up on long-delayed H-1B processing times. (more…)
On April 3, 2017 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting applications for one of the most popular U.S. work visas, H-1B, for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Our intelligence and past experience suggest that this year’s H-1B cap season will be very short — five business days. Our office is already preparing a number of H-1B applications for our clients and we urge employers to prepare for a very short H-1B season by identifying and initiating H-1B sponsorship cases now.
On November 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification which is available to use starting immediately. Starting Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016 N. Until then, they can continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013 N or the new version.
Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
Other changes include:
- The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
- The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
- A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
- A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.
The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.
Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.
How Can We Help
The Capitol Immigration Law Group can provide various levels of internal I-9 compliance audits and on-site employee training as well as training materials and guidance for performing regular audits and training. We can provide immigration compliance training and auditing to meet an employer’s specific needs. We encourage all employers to be mindful of their compliance requirements and to proactively and regularly audit their compliance before a government agency does. We also invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics. We also invite you to contact us if our office can be of any assistance or you have any questions or comments.
During the election campaign, President-elect Trump put immigration at the center of his agenda and platform and made a commitment to the voters to take immediate steps relating to immigration upon taking office on January 20, 2017. There are certain immigration-related steps that can be done immediately upon taking office, by executive action, and there are certain steps which require congressional approval. Our office seeks to provide our initial thoughts on what immigration-related changes we may expect during the Trump presidency. (more…)