USCIS Announces Second Round of H-1B Cap Registrations for FY 2024

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced that they will conduct a second random selection of H-1B cap registrations for the fiscal year (FY) 2024. This comes after an initial random selection was carried out in March 2023, from which only the selected petitioners were eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The decision to proceed with a second...

Delays at Vermont Service Center in Processing Filing Fees and Issuing Receipt Notices

Update March 29, 2023 Since the delay began in late January, Vermont is still experiencing delays in processing payment issue receipt notices. Original Post March 7, 2023 We started noticing delays in getting back receipt notices around the end of January. On March 3, 2023, USCIS confirmed they are experiencing delays due to filing volumes and intake delays. The delay is still ongoing as of the...

Unlawful Presence for H-1B Beneficiaries in F-1 Status

If you are an H-1B beneficiary and have recently received a denial or denial of a change of status, know that unlawful presence (ULP) for F-1 students will begin to accrue on the day after the request is denied (date of H-1B decision). (ii) Nonimmigrants Admitted for Duration of Status (D/S). If USCIS finds a nonimmigrant status violation while adjudicating a request for an immigration benefit,...

USCIS No Longer Recognizes ACICS-Accredited Schools Impacting Some STEM OPT, H-1B and I-140

On August 19, 2022, the US Department of Education no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. On November 1, 2022, USCIS announced how the loss of recognition will impact certain immigration benefit applicants. Students from impacted schools should contact their DSO immediately and discuss how to maintain their status....

New Policy Guidance on 3/10 Year Unlawful Presence Bars – May Serve the 3/10 Year Bar Inside the U.S.

On June 24, 2022, USCIS issued new policy guidance regarding the effect of returning to the United States during the statutory 3-year or 10-year period after departure or removal. In general, a noncitizen is inadmissible under INA 212(a)(9)(B) if the noncitizen accrues more than 180 days of unlawful presence, departs or is removed (whichever applies), and again seeks admission within 3-years (if...

H-1B Receipt Notice Delays at the Vermont Service Center

Update July 15, 2022 The good news is that we have already received approvals for some of the H-1Bs affected by the receipt delay. Update July 1, 2022 First Vermont, now California is experiencing unusual delay in issuing H-1B receipt notices. Interestingly, Vermont has been transferring workload to California since June to address its own delay and speed up the intaking process. Update June 22,...

Is the New Estimated Case Processing Time Better than Before?

On May 5, 2022, USCIS announced changes to simplify and improve how the agency communicates case processing time data to the public. Users can now immediately find the processing time information for their particular type of case, rather than seeing an aggregate of all related case types. Additional changes include: Adding drop-down options for form categories will help narrow results to only...

Waivers of interviews for certain Nonimmigrant Visas until 12/31/2022

On December 23, 2021, the Department of State has authorized consular offices through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for additional visa types including temporary workers applying for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q who meet certain conditions. Consular officers have the discretion to waive the interview requirement for individuals applying for these visa types that...

Healthcare workers may request expedited processing of their pending Form I-765s (EADs)

Update 10/20/2022 On 10/20/2022, USCIS extended this flexibility. If you're a healthcare/childcare worker and have a pending I-765 that has been pending for over 90 days, you may request expedited processing. See below for definitions of a healthcare/childcare worker. Original Post 12/28/2021 On December 28, 2021, USCIS issued guidance allowing healthcare workers to request expedited processing...