USCIS Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extension Petitions

The USCIS announced today that it will suspend Premium Processing of H-1B extension petitions from May 26, 2015, through July 27, 2015, in order to implement the new H-4 spouse employment authorization rule in a timely manner.  Premium Processing will still be available for H-1B petitions subject to the H-1B cap, and for all other immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions for which the service is available.  H-1B extension petitions filed before May 26, 2015, but still pending as of that date, will not be processed under Premium Processing.  Refunds will be issued for those filings.

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Not Everyone Supports Expansion of Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouses

In February 2015 USCIS unveiled a new regulation permitting certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization starting on May 26, 2015. This regulation has been well received by H-1B workers and their spouses, and U.S. companies that seek to attract and retain highly skilled H-1B workers. However, as could be expected, certain individuals and organizations that oppose the expansion of legal immigration benefits have come out against the regulation.

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Federal Court Allows DOL To Continue H-2B Processing for Another Month in Pérez v. Pérez

On April 15, 2015, the day its previous order was due to expire, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida extended its permission for the Department of Labor to process H-2B wage and labor certification applications for another month, through May 15, 2015.

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USCIS Announces Count for Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Petitions

As widely anticipated, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced yesterday that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet both the regular cap (65,000) and the advanced degree cap (20,000) for Fiscal Year 2016.  USCIS received close to 233,000 petitions during the FY2016 filing window, which ran through the first five business days of April.  By comparison, the USCIS received 172,000 for FY2015.

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CPB Now Offers Email Addresses for "I-94 Correction Requests" at Some Deferred Inspection Sites

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), which controls admission of travelers to the United States, maintains more than 70 “Deferred Inspection” offices where travelers may request correction of  I-94 Arrival Records they believe were issued incorrectly.

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USCIS Announces That H-1B Cap Has Been Reached for Fiscal Year 2016, Lottery Planned

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received sufficient H-1B petitions (regular and advanced degree cases) to reach the statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2016 (10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016).

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DOL Issues FAQs On H-2B Processing After Perez v. Perez

On March 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new FAQs providing more details on the latest developments in the ongoing federal court case challenging DOL's authority to issue and implement regulations for the H-2B temporary worker program.

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DOL and USCIS Resume H-2B Processing

On March 17, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services announced it will resume H-2B processing, but will continue to suspend premium (expedited) processing until further notice.

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DOL and DHS Announce Next Steps for the H-2B Program

On March 16, 2015, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Homeland Security jointly announced that they intend to release a joint Interim Final Rule by April 30, 2015, to resolve the agencies’ suspension of H-2B processing following a Florida federal court decision in Pérez v. Pérez.  See our blog entry of March 9, 2015, for details on that decision.  DOL also announced it will seek interim relief from the decision so that it may continue H-2B processing in the interval before the Interim Final Rule is promulgated.

In the joint statement, DOL and DHS acknowledged that “hardship” has resulted from the halt in H-2B processing and committed to “moving as quickly as possible” to issue new regulations that will be consistent with the decision in Pérez v. Pérez.

USCIS and DOL suspend H-2B Processing Following Florida Court Order

As of March 5, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has temporarily shut down its processing of H-2B petitions and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has stopped accepting or processing applications for H-2B prevailing wages and temporary labor certifications due to a Florida federal court’s decision in Pérez v. Pérez.

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