Immigration Update

Aug 2, 2021 | Immigration Updates

In this edition, read about a second random selection of H-1B registrations, relief for certain OPT applicants, and the DHS’ announcement on the registration process for Haitian TPS.

USCIS Conducts Second Random Selection from Previously Submitted FY 2022 H-1B Cap Registrations

More H-1Bs!  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 29, 2021, that it needed to select additional H-1B registrations to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2022 quota. On July 28, 2021, the agency selected additional previously submitted electronic registrations using a random selection process. The petition filing period based on registrations selected on July 28 will begin on August 2 and close on November 3, 2021. Individuals with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details of when and where to file. Registration selection only indicates that petitioners are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions; it does not indicate that the petition will be approved. USCIS conducted an initial random selection in March 2021 of electronic registrations submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap and of beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption. The initial filing period for those selected for FY 2022 was April 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021.

Details: USCIS alert, July 29, 2021, https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-conducts-second-random-selection-from-previously-submitted-fy-2022-h-1b-cap-registrations  

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Consent Order Provides Interim Relief to Certain Applicants Filing I-765s for OPT and STEM OPT

Under a court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. USCIS said the extension includes applications received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. Applicants can file Form I-765 up to 120 days before the program end date if the application is received by October 31, 2021.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 as filed on the original filing date if the original, timely filed application was received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021 and USCIS subsequently rejected it. For USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date, refiled applications must be received by November 30, 2021.

Details: USCIS notice, July 29, 2021, https://bit.ly/3yjS4P3

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DHS Announces Registration Process for Haitian TPS

The registration process for Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will open on August 3, 2021, when the Federal Register notice is published. The 18-month initial registration period runs from August 3, 2021, through February 3, 2023. Those who wish to request TPS under the Haiti designation must file an application, including approximately 55,000 current TPS Haiti beneficiaries whose TPS-related documentation was automatically extended at least through October 4, 2021, in compliance with court orders who must file a new TPS application under this designation to retain their status. An estimated 100,000 additional individuals can file initial applications for TPS if otherwise eligible. To be eligible, individuals must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the United States since July 29, 2021. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas modified the date from what was previously announced “in light of recent events in Haiti, including the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.” DHS said that those “who attempt to travel to the United States after July 29, 2021, will not be eligible for TPS and may be subject to expulsion or removal.”

Details: Haiti TPS designation, Federal Register notice (unpublished), DHS, https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-16481.pdf

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