Follow the Selection Notice: a U.S. Master’s Degree Holder May Nevertheless be selected under the Regular H-1B Cap

H-1B employers sometimes would ask why they are filing the H-1B under the regular cap when the beneficiary who won the H-1B loettery holds a U.S. master's degree. The simple answer: the selection notice says so. Note that during H-1B registration, the registration is simply requesting consideration for Master's Cap registration when a beneficiary holds a qualified U.S. master's degree. Whether...

Countries that are designated for TPS (as of May 2021)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a time-limited status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States when circumstances in their home country make it unsafe to return. The status is afforded to nationals from countries affected by armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions, and allows eligible individuals to...

Special Employment Authorization for Burmese F-1 Students

DHS will suspend certain requirements governing employment for Burmese F-1 students. This will provide relief to citizens of Burma who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so that they may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F–1 nonimmigrant student status. F–1 nonimmigrant...

Breaking: Designation of Haiti for TPS

On May 22, 2021, DHS announced the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. In laying down the basis for TPS, Secretary Mayorkas stated the following: “Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19...

Facial Masks no longer required at USCIS field offices

Updated Post May 27, 2021 USCIS issued a news release officially stating that "fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear a face covering. Individuals two years old and older who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a face covering." Original post May 20, 2021 On May 20, 2021, USCIS updated its webpage to reflect the new policy that face masks are no longer required for visitors who...

USCIS Wrongly Issues 10 YR Green Card Instead of 2 YR Conditional Green Card

Update August 25, 2021 USCIS continues to issue incorrect green cards to marriage-based applicants. A client just received a wrong card showing 10 years validity after completing the interview at the Baltimore Field Office. Not sure why the problem is not addressed by now at various field offices. Maybe officers are too used to approving employment-based green cards as they are dealing with a...

Biometric Appt may now be Rescheduled by Phone

On May 11, 2021, USCIS announced that Biometric Services Appointment may now be re-scheduled by calling the USCIS Contact Center (800-375-5283). Applicants must establish good cause for rescheduling and must call before the date and time of their original appointment to reschedule. It seems applicants may still reschedule by mailing back the biometrics notice with the box checked for...

Approval of Previously Denied EB-5 due to “Indebtedness”

In response to the class action lawsuit (Zhang v. USCIS),  USCIS provided certain relief to EB-5 investor clients who were adversely affected by USCIS’s “loan proceeds” policy. Under this policy, the Immigrant Investor Program Office (“IPO”) classified loan proceeds as “indebtedness” instead of "cash" and therefore denied the I-526 petitions of EB-5 applicants who invested...

Wages Get Updated on July 1, 2021

Every year on July 1st, wages get updated. It may go up or down. But generally, changes are minor compared to previous years. To find the wages for the current year and previous years, employers may visit the wage library. In our experience, wages sometimes do change substantially from one year to the next. The example below shows the wage for a Financial Analyst decreasing from $56,098 in 2019...

Breaking: USCIS to Eliminate Biometrics Requirement for I-539 filers starting May 17, 2021

On May 3, 2021, USCIS announced that it will suspend biometrics requirement for individuals filing Form I-539 to request an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2 and certain E nonimmigrants. The declaration was made in response to a lawsuit (Edakunni v. Mayorkas) challenging tH-4 and L-2 adjudication delays.  The biometrics suspension will apply to the H-4, L-2, and E-1, E-2,...