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...

H-1B Processing Update

We are starting a new post to track the processing timeframes of non-premium H-1B cases. Please check out a related post on Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium. Update 01/21/2022 Processing time of H-1B extensions continues to stay at 4 months. See some examples below. Note that H-1Bs subject to RFEs will take longer. Below are some examples. One is an H-1B1 extension and the other is an initial...

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

Update 12/21/2021 Official statement from USCIS regarding its decision to withdraw the H-1B selection final rule which would have changed the way H-1B registrations are selected by prioritizing those with high wages. Update 12/10/2021 The Biden Administration will no longer defend this Trump-era rule that prioritizes H-1B lottery selection to those with high salaries. See the article "H-1B Visa...

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...

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...

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...

Perpetual H-1B? Almost

Seasoned H-1B status holders are familiar with the regulations that allow them to extend their stay beyond the standard 6-year maximum period. We regularly see H-1B workers from India who have been in H-1B status for well over 10 years. Section 104(c) of AC21 provides that DHS "may grant" a three-year H-1B extension beyond the six-year maximum if the H-1B worker has an approved I-140 petition,...

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...

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...

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...