U.S. companies, universities and associations have combined to file two lawsuits against the Trump administration’s new H-1B visa regulations, which was meant to make it virtually impossible for U.S. employers to hire high-skilled foreign nationals or sponsor them for permanent residency.
Changes from USCIS continue at a rapid pace and without adequate warning. Today, USCIS announced that the increase in premium processing fee (as required by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159) signed into law on Oct. 1st will take effect on Oct. 19th.
On October 8th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are set to publish two interim final rules impacting the H-1B program and the prevailing wage system.
Updates for Week of September 28th: Floodgate Opens for I-485 Filings, Filing Fee Increase Halted, New H1B & PERM Regulations on the Horizon
The most significant development this week was the historic forward movement of the October 2020 Visa Bulletin, which opened up a floodgate for I-485 filings by applicants, many of whom have waited years to file.
The U.S. Dept. of State (DOS) just released the October 2020 Visa Bulletin, which confirmed a significant advancement in the “Dates for Filing” chart and a smaller forward movement in the “Final Action Dates” chart.
On August 25th, USCIS announced that it will be able to delay the furloughing of 13,000 employees (nearly 70% of workforce) previously scheduled to begin August 30th. USCIS now expects to be operational at least through September 30, 2020.
Due to delays in the production of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), employers may temporarily use Form I-797, Notice of Action (Approval Notices) informing an applicant of approval of an EAD, as evidence of employment authorization (Form I-9, List C #7 document).
After completing the first lottery in March, USCIS selected additional registrations to fill remaining spots of the 85,000 H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2021 (beginning October 1, 2020).
USCIS is almost entirely fee-funded and the agency has fallen into a severe budget deficit. On July 31st, USCIS announced that revised fees will go into effect on October 2, 2020.