New Prevailing Wage Request Form and Other Updates from DOL

The new Form ETA-9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination is set to go live on May 3, 2021. DOL held a webinar on April 27, 2021, regarding the new changes to the form. A presentation slide may be downloaded here. Any saved drafts that haven't been submitted will be deleted on May 3, 2021. Other updates include: Processing time for PERM and prevailing wage determination is not...

Check with the Officer about the Sealed Medical Exam during Interview

USCIS updated the rules in 2018 regarding how long a sealed medical exam report(I-693) stays valid. The rules are quite simple and straightforward: When did civil surgeon sign?I-693 retains evidentiary value throughNo more than 60 days before applicant filed underlying benefit application with USCIS2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693After applicant filed benefit application with USCIS2...

ICE Will Continue to Allow Distance Learning in Excess of Regulatory Limits

F-1 students can breathe a sigh of relief. ICE will continue to allow students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the ongoing covid pandemic. Please note that the guidance only applies to students who were actively enrolled at U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and are otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status, whether from inside the U.S. or...

Finally – USCIS is Reverting Back to Pre-Trump Policy of Giving Deference to Prior Determinations

Great news for petitioners and beneficiaries of H-1B and other nonimmigrant work categories. USCIS just announced that it has revised its policy manual and reverted back to the previous practice of giving deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests. This totally makes sense. Why challenge an extension when the underlying facts have not changed and in most cases have...

Expediting a Pending I-765 EAD

Update 6/11/2021 USCIS has clarified the circumstances under which it will consider expedited requests (ER). NBC is processing expedited request (ER) of EADs very quickly. Call USCIS customer service for ER and ask to speak to Tier 2 officer. Tier 2 will call back in a week or so. Provide financial loss docs. Most are approved without any docs. If doc is requested, some examples include a letter...

I-485 EB Processing Update

Update September 3, 2021 We received EAD / AP approval on 08/26/2021 for an employment-based I-485 filed on October 23, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on 08/16/2021. This I-485 was filed concurrently with I-140 EB3 and as such filed at the Texas Service Center. Among I-485s filed in October, cases filed at the Texas Service Center are processed slower than National Benefits Center. PD:...

USCIS Processing Update: H-4 / H-4 EAD

Update August 26, 2021 This is a standalone H-4 filed on September 15, 2020 and got approved after 11 months. We currently do not have any pending H-4s that were filed in 2020. Update August 23, 2021 We received H-4 and H-4 EAD approvals which were filed on February 4, 2021. The applicant completed H-4 biometrics on May 14, 2021. Principal received H-1B approval on February 18, 2021. Update June...

Special Employment Authorization for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 Students

DHS just released notices that it has suspended certain requirements governing employment for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 students. These notices provide relief to citizens of Syria or Venezuela who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing...

Dual Nationality and TPS

The DHS may grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of certain countries who have experienced or are experiencing ongoing civil strife, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. In March 2021, President Biden designated Venezuela and Burma for TPS. We often hear questions about dual nationality as some nationals of TPS-designated countries are also...

Follow the H-1B Selection Notice

We are currently in the filing phase of this year's cap-subject H-1B season. As we send out completed forms for review and signature, we often receive questions about how the beneficiary was selected in the registration lottery. During H-1B registration, a beneficiary may qualify for the Master's cap exemption as long as they have or will have attained a US master's degree at the time of H-1B...