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Potential Improvements in Processing Times for Certain Nonimmigrant Applications

We are anticipating improvements in processing times for certain nonimmigrant applications. As of May 17, 2021, USCIS has temporarily suspended the biometrics requirement and the $85 fee for certain I-539 applicants, citing extreme delays due to temporary closures and capacity limitations brought on by COVID-19 safety protocols. This temporary suspension is expected to continue until May […]

Do H-1B Workers Displace American Workers? It’s Not a Zero-Sum Game

With the reduction in available U.S. jobs due to the pandemic and a slowdown in hiring, ways to create “good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced” are a high priority, as President Joe Biden told Congress in April. It is often said that H-1B workers displace American workers and that restrictions on foreign workers create American […]

‘Dreamers’ and Farmworker Bills Pass House; Fate in Senate Uncertain

On March 18, 2021, two bills that would create a legalization pathway for “Dreamers” and for farmworkers (H-2A temporary agricultural workers) received bipartisan support and passed in the House of Representatives. Passage in the Senate is uncertain, however. According to observers, prospects for both bills in their current form seem dim. Some believe that the […]

FY 2021 H-1B Cap-Subject Nonselection Notices Issued

According to reports, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) appears to have finished selecting H-1B cap-subject lottery registrations for fiscal year (FY) 2021 (Oct. 1, 2020-Sept. 30, 2021). Employers and counsel who have not yet been notified can check their accounts in https://my.uscis.gov/ for a Form I-797C, Registration Nonselection. (The nonselection notices include a typo […]

DOL Proposes to Delay Effective Date of H-1B/PERM Wage Rule Until May

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has proposed to delay the effective date of a Trump administration rule, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” The implementation of the rule published in January will now be delayed until May 14, 2021. The notice states […]

USCIS Rescinds 2017 Policy Memorandum on H-1B Computer-Related Positions

On February 3, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded PM-602-0142, “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions.’ ” USCIS said its officers should not apply the rescinded memo “to any pending or new requests for H-1B classification, including motions and appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B classification,” […]

Good News for H-1B Applicants as Biden Administration Delays Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1Bs

Many H-1B applicants were extremely concerned about the prior administration’s proposed wage-based section system that would disadvantage recent U.S. graduates and certain professionals in favor of applicants with the higher paid jobs. DHS has indicated it will delay the effective date of the final rule titled “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File […]

H-1B Registration Announced

USCIS announced today that the initial registration period for H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern time on March 9 and run through noon Eastern time on March 25. During this period, employers will be able to complete petitioner and beneficiary information and submit the registrations. A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted. If USCIS receives more […]

Judge Rules STEM OPT Program Lawful

On January 28, 2021, a U.S. district court judge issued a summary judgment order finding that the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students) program is a valid exercise of authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This means that both the 12-month OPT and STEM OPT extension programs are […]

Office of Foreign Labor Certification To Reissue Certain Prevailing Wage Determinations

On January 20, 2021, a U.S. district court issued a modified order governing the manner and schedule in which the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will reissue certain prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) that were issued from October 8, 2020, through December 4, 2020, under the wage methodology for a related […]

DOL announces new rule that will raise prevailing wage levels in July

Briefing: The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a new rule that will raise prevailing wages at all levels in a phased period beginning July 2021. The rule would take full effect for some employees a year later, and full implementation for visa holders extending their statuses to wait for an available green card would […]

DHS Issues Final Rule to Modify H-1B Cap Lottery with Selection Process Based on Wage Level; New Administration Likely to Reverse Course

On January 8, 2021, new rules will be published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) impacting the H-1B visa lottery to be held in March 2021.  The “midnight” regulation is scheduled to take effect on March 9, 2021. While this could impact future cap seasons, WR believes that the rule is unlikely to take […]