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H-4s No Longer Simultaneously Adjudicated With H-1Bs Due To New I-539 Biometrics Requirement

  It has always been the policy of USCIS to simultaneously adjudicate H-1Bs and H-4s filed concurrently. However, the new I-539 biometrics requirement promulgated in March of this year has resulted in a change to this practice. We have heard from colleagues that H-4s are no longer necessarily being adjudicated at the same time as[…]

U.S. Considering Possible H-1B Quota for Indian Nationals

The U.S. is apparently considering imposing a percentage cap on H-1B visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally. It appears that India would be the first victim of such a policy, if it were ever promulgated. The threat comes in the wake of heightened tensions between the two countries, particularly over[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

Premium Processing Begins for Remaining H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions on June 10

  USCIS announced today that they are resuming premium processing for all remaining cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those filed consular processing, starting on June 10th. Employers wishing to upgrade their cap-subject H-1B petitions to premium processing (and receive a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days) may do so starting Monday. Premium processing still remains[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

USCIS Updates Rejection Criteria for Form I-129

  USCIS has announced that it is expanding its rejection criteria for Form I-129 to include those petitions that do not list the petitioner’s or applicant’s name and primary U.S. office address in Part 1 of the form. As good general practice, be extra careful and double and triple check all forms and information prior[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

DHS Proposing Rule to “Strengthen” the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program

Changes are coming on the H-1B front, and likely none of them good. The Department of Homeland Security will be proposing a rule that, among other things, will attempt to revise the definition of specialty occupation, revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship, and craft additional requirements designed to ensure employers pay the requisite[…]

Watson Immigration Law News Update

Texas Service Center to Begin Accepting Form I-129 for Certain H-1B Petitions

USCIS announced today that the Texas Service Center will begin processing certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions. In addition to this announcement, USCIS also switched up other filing addresses and procedures. For example, prior to this announcement, all H-1B petitions requesting a continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer were adjudicated at the[…]

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2020 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions

USCIS has just announced that it has completed data entry and processing for all H-1B cap-subject petitions which were selected in the lottery for fiscal year 2020. They will now begin the process of returning those H-1B petitions which were, unfortunately, not selected this year. While receipt notices may still likely trickle in for the[…]

U.S. Secretary of Labor Proposes to Increase H-1B Filing Fees

The Trump administration continues its attack on the H-1B visa program on all fronts. Earlier this month, while testifying before a Congressional Committee on the annual budget of the Department of Labor, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta proposed increasing filing fees for H-1B visa petitions. The proposed fee increase would take place on October 1,[…]

USCIS Commemorates Second Anniversary of Buy American and Hire American Executive Order

Below is a list of policies and regulations that USCIS has enacted since Buy American and Hire American (BAHA) went into effect. Despite its seemingly benign and lofty ideals of “[protecting] economic interests of U.S. workers” and “[preventing] fraud and abuse” BAHA’s reality has been little more than furthering the not-so-secret policy of this administration[…]

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

USCIS has just announced that, effective tomorrow, March 12, 2019, they are resuming premium processing for all H-1B petitions.   Copied from USCIS:   USCIS will resume premium processing on Tuesday, March 12, for all H-1B petitions. If you received a request for evidence (RFE) for a pending petition, you should include the RFE response with the[…]