H-1B Ban Set to Expire March 31, 2021

Update April 1, 2021 DOS has just provided an update on its website. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance.  Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation...

H-1B Lottery Results 2021

Update3 March 30, 2021 We are all bit shocked by the lottery results. Our selection rate is just over 20% which is a record low. I don't believe we have ever touched 39% in all of the previous lottery years. So this made us pause a little and wonder what's really going on with the registration this year. We've checked with clients who did the registration on their own and it seems like so far...

Visa Bulletin Insights March 2021

Below are some takeaways from AILA regarding the Department of State's first "chat with Charlie" held on 3/17/2021 on the U.S. Department of State: Consular Affairs YouTube channel. This will be a recurring monthly segment where Charlie Oppenheim responds to the public’s questions regarding the Visa Bulletin. Debut of Chats with Charlie!The State Department’s inaugural engagement “Chats...

Potential Issues Faced by Returning LPRs after Extended Stays Overseas

Since the Covid Pandemic began last year, we have been bombarded with inquiries from lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who expressed unwillingness to return to the US and asked about potential consequences of staying outside the US beyond 6 months. An LPR Lives in the U.S. Permanently Before we begin the analysis, it's important to set the expectations first of what it means to be an LPR. When...

Statutes vs. Regulations vs. Memos vs. Tweets in Immigration Law

How do we determine what is law, what is the government’s interpretation or application of a law, or what is just the government’s opinion? Consider the source. STATUTES: Laws Passed by a Legislature, Usually by CongressStatutes are binding law and can create new rights or obligations. The Immigration and Nationality Act is a statute. Statutes may be challenged in court if they are...

Consulates May Waive Visa Interviews for Certain Renewals

As part of its efforts to accommodate applicants impacted by the covid pandemic and speed up its case backlog, the Department of State has been allowing some nonimmigrant visa interviews to be waived since August 2020. Before Covid, consular officers may waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification as long as the previous...

USCIS is Responding Quickly to Service Request Inquiry

We have been posting about the on-going delays affecting numerous case types since October 2020. USCIS Receipt Delays and Its Impact on Employment VerificationCIS Ombudsman Provides Case Assistance on Receipt Delays, Biometrics Appointment, EAD delaysUpdate on the Receipt Notice DelaysUSCIS Receipt Notice Update: N-400USCIS Receipt Notice Update: Final Two I-485 Receipt Notices Received (4...

Re-Designation of Syria for TPS

On March 18, 2021, DHS announced re-designation and extension of Syria for TPS. This means that current beneficiaries may extend their TPS until September 30, 2022 while first-time applicants may now apply if they had missed the previous registration period. Current beneficiaries Current beneficiaries will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status and have employment...

Some H-1B Petitions (Cap Subject) were Rejected Last Year Because the Petitions Included a Start Date After October 1

This is both shockingly absurd and sad. A lawsuit was filed (a copy of the complaint is attached below) recently by multiple petitioners whose H-1B petitions were rejected due to their requesting for a start date post October 1, 2020. Last year was the first year of the new bifurcated process of accepting cap subject H-1B petitions. The first phase is the lottery selection. And the second phase...