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....

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,...

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 02/06/2023 Slight improvement in processing times. Some recent samples showing 5 months among extension cases which also include transfers and amendments. Update 01/27/2023 Still at 6 months at Vermont involving extensions. Update...

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,...