Given the recent increase in ICE raids upon worksites and other venues, it is extremely important that employers and individuals know their rights in enforcement situations. Please review the following brochures and print a copy to keep with you.
In the past when an I-539 was filed simultaneously with an H-1B petition that requested premium processing, USCIS as a courtesy would typically adjudicate the I-539 in about 15 days as well. However, because of the new biometrics requirement for all I‑539 applicants, USCIS has discontinued this practice. Currently, USCIS processing time for an I-539 is 3-8 months, depending upon where the case is filed. In some cases, it may be strategically advantageous to consular process for a new H-4 visa as opposed to filing the I-539. Discuss what is best in your situation with the attorney.
The Final Action Dates chart must be used for employment-based preference filings. The Dates for Filing chart must be used for family-based preference filings. Applicants in the F2A (family) category may file using the Final Action Dates chart for August 2019.
Reports indicate ICE will be targeting up to 2,000 family units with removal orders in the following ten locations: Atlanta; Baltimore; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; and San Francisco.
USCIS will begin premium processing on Monday, June 10, for all remaining FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petitions.
Beginning in May 2019, I-94 numbers will be alphanumeric. Currently, I-94 numbers are 11 digits long and only contain numbers. I-94 numbers will remain at 11 characters but will follow the format of 9 digits, followed by a letter in the 10th position, and a digit in the 11th position.
On May 20, USCIS will begin premium processing for FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status on their Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. So, if you have already received an electronic receipt for your H-1B petition, the 15-day clock will not begin until 5/20/2019.
Employers who did not file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, concurrently with an FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petition requesting a change of status must wait until premium processing begins on May 20 to submit Form I-907.
Denials for H-1B skilled worker visas jumped to a 10-year high in the first quarter of 2019.
The denial rate was 24% in FY2018, quadrupling from 6% in 2015. It never exceeded 8% from 2010 to 2015, the Obama years.
On April 10, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption for fiscal year (FY) 2020.
USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the filing period.
Premium processing will be offered in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season so USCIS can best manage the premium processing requests without fully suspending it as in previous years. The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other FY 2020 cap-subject petitions.