Anxious About Not Having Received a Receipt Notice? Ask Emma

As USCIS continues to grapple with backlogs and extended processing delays, the issuance of receipt notices has also be impacted with some taking 3 weeks or longer to arrive by mail. Coupled with mail delivery issues at USPS, it has now become a challenge just to get the receipt notice in hand. It is no longer easy or expected to receive the receipt notice within a few short days. Receipt...

Biden Administration Will Rescind Travel Bans and Instead Require Proof of Vaccination

The President announced today that starting in early November adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States must be fully vaccinated. The White House will also rescind the current geographic COVID-19 related travel bans implemented for individuals from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India. US citizens are not subject to the rule meaning...

Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1B Has Been Vacated

On September 15, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California concluded that the January 8, 2021, DHS final rule entitled “Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions” must be set aside, because Chad Wolf was not lawfully appointed as Acting DHS Secretary at the time that DHS promulgated the rule. Related posts:...

USCIS Changes its Mind: H-1B Cap Start Date Can Be October 1 or Later

USCIS has now officially stated that H-1B cap-subject petition may have a start date of October 1 or later (and six months or less from the receipt date of the petition). Previously, USCIS required that the start date be only October 1. H-1B FAQ In FY 2021, USCIS rejected H-1B filings for stating a start date that is after October 1. Lawsuits were filed and USCIS lost. Those rejected were given...

Policy updates: Expedited processing clarifications; No denial without RFE; Some EADs will be issued for two years

On June 9, 2021, USCIS issued policy updates to improve the immigration system. Improvements are expected to continue under the Biden administration. USCIS is committed to modernizing the immigration system and operating it in a fair, efficient, and humane manner. Expedited Processing USCIS provided further guidance on when expedited processing may be warranted. Please see our post regarding...

Check your I-94 as soon as you arrive: CBP may not have given you the maximum duration of stay

When working on a beneficiary's H-1B extension, I-140, or I-485 filing, we would send a checklist to the beneficiary listing information and documents that we need to prepare the petition or application. One of the items listed is a copy of the most recent I-94. We often encounter a situation where the beneficiary is shocked to find out that their I-94 has already expired after downloading it...

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...

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...

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,...