Trump prepares to unveil broad immigration plan but shows no signs of tempering hard line rhetoric

…Trump on Wednesday (5/15/2019) warned again about the dangers of undocumented immigrants, signaling no plans to temper his rhetoric even as he prepares to unveil a broad proposal aimed at balancing public perception of his administration’s hard line agenda.

Trump is scheduled to use a Rose Garden speech on Thursday to throw his support behind a plan developed by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to move U.S. immigration toward a “merit-based system” that prioritizes high-skilled workers. Several Republican senators are expected to attend, officials said.

H-1B Cap Has Been Reached for Fiscal Year 2020

April 5, 2019

USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS will next determine if we have received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.

The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2020 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;

  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. We encourage H-1B applicants to subscribe to the H-1B Cap Season email updates located on the H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Cap Season page.

EB-5 Modernization Regulations is under OMB Review as of 2/22/2019

The significant aspects of the EB-5 proposed regulation changes are:

1) Increase of minimum investment capital for NON-TEA projects to $1.8million, and for TEA located projects - $1.35million;

2) Removes the TEA designation authority from state agencies. DHS has been proposed to be the TEA designating authority;

3) TEA is based on high unemployment and incentivized with 25% reduction to the investment amount

After OMB review, the Final Rule will be published in the Federal Register. This can take a few months.

DHS Proposes Merit-Based Rule H-1B Visa Program

DHS announced a notice of proposed rulemaking, to be published in the Federal Register 12/3/18, which would add a registration requirement for cap-subject H-1B petitions, as well as propose to reverse the order by which it selects H-1B petitions under the cap and the advanced degree exempted petitions.

USCIS Now Accepting Copies of Negative O Visa Consultations Directly from Labor Unions

Effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions relating to a current or future O nonimmigrant visa petition request. O-1 and O-2 nonimmigrant visas are available to individuals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business, athletics, or the arts, and individuals with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and certain essential support personnel. A consultation letter from a U.S. peer group, labor organization, and/or management organization is generally required for petitions in the O visa classification.

Typically, a petitioner submits the necessary O visa consultation with the petition, and that process requirement remains unchanged. Director L. Francis Cissna recently met with several labor unions to discuss concerns they had with the consultation process for O visa petitions, in particular that some advisory opinions may be falsified by petitioners and submitted to USCIS as no-objections or favorable consultations, when in fact these were negative. The labor unions will now be able to send a copy of a negative consultation letter to USCIS so that it can be compared to the consultation letter submitted to USCIS by the petitioner.

Labor unions should send copies of negative O nonimmigrant consultation letters to UnionConsultationMailbox@uscis.dhs.gov. To make sure USCIS matches the letters to the correct petitions, labor unions should include the last five digits of each beneficiary’s passport number in the consultation letters. Note that only copies of negative consultation letters should be sent to USCIS in the manner described above for O petitions.

After six months USCIS will analyze the data collected to identify areas for improvement in the consultation process. Additional information on O nonimmigrant visas is available on the O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement page.

Visa Bulletin for August 2018 Shows Backlogging/Oversubscription in EB-1 Category

OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF AUGUST 2018 EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

WORLDWIDE, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, AND PHILIPPINES EMPLOYMENT-BASED FIRST (E1) PREFERENCE:  As readers were advised in item F of the July Visa Bulletin, there continues to be an extremely high rate of demand for E1 numbers, primarily for USCIS adjustment of status applicants. Therefore, pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, it has been necessary to impose an E1 Final Action Date for the month of August, with this date being imposed immediately. This action will allow the Department to hold worldwide number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2018 annual limits.  

The implementation of the above mentioned dates will only be temporary, with the dates returning to Current status for October, the first month of fiscal year 2019.

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2019

On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2019.

USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced on April 6, that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 and the master’s cap of 20,000. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees unless the petition is a prohibited multiple filing.

 

USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Cap

Demonstrating a critical demand for educated foreign workers in the United States, the annual H-1B cap was reached on April 6, 2018.  This is the 6th year of H-1B cap being reached within the first week of filing acceptance.  

USCIS has reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019.

USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.

The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings (PDF, 119 KB).

EB-5 Regional Center Program gets Extended (again) without Any Changes

SEC. 204. Section 610(b) of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (8 U.S.C. 1153 note) shall be applied by substituting “September 30, 2018” for “September 30, 2015”

This language refers back to Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-395) Section 610 (PDF page 47), which established the regional center program. The 2018 Appropriations Act does not include the EB-5 Reform Act, or other EB-5 changes. It just extends the borrowed time until we get a good piece of EB-5 legislation.

H-1B VISA PROGRAM AND TRUMP: HOW HIGH-SKILLED IMMIGRANTS ARE BEING THREATENED BY PRESIDENT’S ADMINISTRATION

The Trump administration’s once-rumored restrictions to the H-1B visa program have begun to take effect.

They’re causing a shakeup particularly in the United States tech industry because the temporary, non-immigrant work document enables companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers in fields that require technical and theoretical expertise.