Articles Posted in nonimmigrant visas

Biden Administration is withdrawing the USCIS Final Rule Strengthening H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program!

Last week, the new White House Chief of Staff, Ronald Klain issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies within the Federal Government and directs them to freeze any pending regulatory changes until reviewed. This Regulatory Freeze calls for 1) all rules pending at the Federal Register that have not been published must be immediately withdrawn and 2) agencies must “consider” postponing the effective dates for regulations that have been published, but not yet taken effect, for 60 days from the memo’s date. As a result, the USCIS Final Rule Strengthening H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program will be withdrawn along with others. As we find out more on this subject, we will post it!

 

Whitehouse.gov, 1/20/21, Briefing Room Memorandum: Regulatory Freeze Pending Review

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that they have published a notice in the Federal Register listing the countries that are eligible for the H-2A and H-2B temporary immigration programs for 2021!

For 2021, DHS working with the Department of State (DOS) have agreed to:

  • Add the Philippines to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2B program;

USCIS announced that they have published the final rule in the Federal Register, implicating the Trump Administration’s modifications to the H-1B Visa Program! These changes will affect H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize (increase) wages!

Joseph Edlow, USCIS Deputy Director for Policy stated, “The current H-1B random selection process makes it difficult for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the program to compete for the best and brightest international workforce, and has predominately resulted in the annual influx of foreign labor placed in low-wage positions at the expense of U.S. workers.”

For complete details, please review USCIS News Release, “USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages”.

USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for First Half of FY 2021

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, USCIS announced that it has reached the H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2020. November 16, 2020 is now the “final receipt date” for cap-subject H-2B worker requesting employment start dates before April 1, 2021. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determined that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of H-2B workers for the first half FY2021. USCIS continues to accept petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated H-2B cap.

The exceptions are listed below:

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 11/9/20

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2021 (October 1 – March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (11/9/20); 27,455 beneficiaries have been approved and 5,455 are pending for a total of 32,910.

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 11/5/20

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2021 (October 1 – March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (11/5/20); 24,181 beneficiaries have been approved and 5,558 are pending for a total of 29,739.

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 10/26/20

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2021 (October 1 – March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (10/26/20); 20,326 beneficiaries have been approved and 2,845 are pending for a total of 23,171.

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 10/13/20

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2021 (October 1 – March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (10/13/20); 18,273 beneficiaries have been approved and 2,152 are pending for a total of 20,425.

The Trump administration announced additional immigration reforms on Tuesday, October 6th, making it more difficult for skilled foreign workers to acquire visas, specifically, the H-1b visa. The rule will take effect in 60 days and was done without a public comment period! It was done as an interim final rule (IFR), in order to speed up the process.

Changes made by the new rules:

  • Narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” by redefining and updating regulations

The Trump administration announced additional immigration reforms on Tuesday, October 6th, making it more difficult for skilled foreign workers to acquire visas, specifically, the H-1b visa. The rule will take effect in 60 days and was done without a public comment period! It was done as an interim final rule (IFR), in order to speed up the process.

Changes made by the new rules:

  • Narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” by redefining and updating regulations
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