USCIS confirmed this morning through publication of a final rule that it would change the order in which it runs the annual H-1B visa lottery to maximize selection of candidates with US Master's degrees.Read More
Recent third party intervention has ensured that litigation over the H-4 EAD will move forward. Immigration Voice, a group representing high-skilled foreign nationals, filed a Motion to Intervene with the federal court where the case has been pending (“held in abeyance”) since March 2017 due to government delay. That motion was granted on December 17, 2018, and the Court has ordered the case to move forward. Opening briefs are due in January 2019.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision (Ma v. Sessions) earlier this month, upholding the removal order of an H-1B worker whose timely filed H-1B extension petition was denied and whose following application for permanent residence based on employment also was denied. The court reasoned that the H-1B worker was not eligible for permanent residence because he had more than 180 days of unlawful status by the time he had filed his application for permanent residence. The H-1B worker argued that he was in lawful status while his H-1B extension petition was pending because the regulations automatically extend work authorization during this time and that he only started accruing unlawful status once his extension petition was denied. The court disagreed. It held that such work authorization does not constitute “lawful status” and that the H-1B worker had ceased to be in lawful status once the underlying petition had expired. As such, the H-1B worker had well over 180 days of unlawful status at the time he applied for permanent residence and was not eligible for any relief.Read More
USCIS announced today that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for most H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers beginning September 11, 2018. USCIS expects that the suspension will last until February 19, 2019.Read More
USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions effective April 2, 2018. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. USCIS will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap, such as extensions and change of employer petitions.Read More