COVID-19 Related Immigration Updates

23. Mar. 2020

As COVID-19 continues to alter immigration procedures and policies, ILG bring you the below updates:

  1. Premium Processing Suspended: Due to COVID-19, USCIS announced that effective immediately, and until further notice, it is temporarily suspending premium processing service for ALL I-129 and I-140 petitions.  This affects all I-129 petitions (all types of H-1B, L-1, TN, etc.) and all I-140 petitions (EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3). Petitions already accepted for premium processing prior to the announcement will still be processed within 15-days.
  1. Remote I-9 Temporarily Allowed: The Department of Homeland Security has just announced that, due to COVID-19, it is temporarily suspending the requirement to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. Instead, employers may inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., Skype, Zoom or other video communication) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents. Employers doing so must enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field.  For more info, see the DHS announcement. 
  1. Work From Home LCA Posting Flexibility: For employees working at new worksite within the same MSA (e.g., from home), posting up to 30 calendar days after the worker begins work at the new worksite location is allowed (as opposed to posting on or before starting at the new worksite).
  1. Additional Time for PERM Filing: Although PERMs must generally be filed within 180-days of the start of recruitment, DOL is granting an additional 60-days to file if recruitment began on or after 9/15/2019.  However, the filing must occur by 5/12/2020.  For example, if recruitment started on 9/15/2019 for a particular case, the application must typically be filed by 3/13/2020, but now can be filed as late as 5/12/2020.