iCERT Operational Again After Malfunction
On January 1, 2019, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) experienced a malfunction following an unprecedented surge in H-2B temporary labor certification filings on the first day of the program's semi-annual filing period. After being offline for several days, DOL brought the iCERT system back online on January 7, 2019.
iCERT is th...
Other Immigration Impacts of the Government Shutdown
As the federal shutdown continues, most immigration functions remain operational. In a , we noted which functions of USCIS were affected by the shutdown. Until the U.S. Congress and President Trump reach an agreement on the unresolved portions of the FY 2019 federal budget or an interim measure, the shutdown will continue to impact s...
USCIS Launches Online Fee Calculator to Curb Incorrect Fee Payments
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a new to provide assistance in calculating fee amounts when filing forms with USCIS using an agency lockbox facility. A list of forms that are processed at USCIS lockbox facilities can be found .
The Online Fee Calculator was created to help reduce the am...
Temporary End to the Partial Government Shutdown
The United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a spending measure that temporarily ended the partial government shutdown through February 15, 2019.
As mentioned in , a handful of by the partial government shutdown. With this temporary spending measure, functions that lapsed due to the shutdown, including the E-Verif...
USCIS Opens Premium Processing for Pending FY 2019 H-1B Cap Cases
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will be cases starting on Monday, January 28.
for FY 2019 H-1B cap cases and was expected to remain suspended through February 19, 2019. Premium processing remains suspended for H-1B change of employer, amendment, and non-cap subject change of statu...
DHS Announces Changes to the H-1B Cap
On Thursday, January 31, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that will make significant changes to the H-1B cap process. As mentioned in a , the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been working on a proposal to make changes to the H-1B cap process.
DHS May Publish Proposal to Rescind H-4 Employment Authorization
Since March 2015, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) program for spouses of H-1B beneficiaries (H-4) has been in place, offering H-4 spousal work authorization. However, in early 2017, the Trump Administration announced its intentions to review and reconsider the H-4 EAD program.
Prior to that date, in April 2015, a group...
U.S. State Department Reducing H and L Visa Interview Locations in China
Beginning on March 1, 2019, the : the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, and the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai. As such, H and L visa interviews will no longer be conducted at the U.S. Consulates located in Chengdu or Shenyang.
The reduction of the number of locations where H and L visa interviews are conducted...
Reminder: FY 2020 H-1B Cap Begins on April 1, 2019
The H-1B cap season for fiscal year 2020 will begin on Monday, April 1, 2019. As expected in previous years, the H-1B cap demand is anticipated to be high this cap season as well.
How can H-1B employers prepare for this H-1B cap season?
H-1B employers should reach out to their business immigration law firm, suc...
USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions Filed on or Before December 21, 2018
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that it will resume premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed on or before December 21, 2018.
Back on September 11, 2018, that it was extending a previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for H-1B cap petitions and expanding the suspension...