On May 3, 2017, USCIS announced that it has completed data entry of all H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the FY2018 lottery. We continue to receive receipt notices for selected petitions. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected, together with their respective filing fees. USCIS has not provided a definite timeframe for returning these petitions, but has stated that it will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned. To read our full alert, click here.
USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.
The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.
Stay tuned for additional updates regarding the FY18 cap lottery selection.
Please contact an attorney with Mintz Levin’s Immigration Practice to discuss any questions you may have about H-1B sponsorship or alternatives to the H-1B visa.
In light of the general unavailability of H-1B visas due to the limited and inadequate H-1B visa quota, it is more important than ever that U.S. employers and highly skilled foreign nationals be able to take maximum advantage of exemptions from the quota. While exemptions to the quota are laid out in the immigration law, until now nuances and variations relating to these exemptions have been discussed only in USCIS policy memoranda and informal guidance. Programs that facilitate the employment in the U.S. of foreign entrepreneurs such as Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) programs rely heavily on the exemptions available in the immigration law, as do a myriad of private companies which depend on foreign talent to drive their business in the U.S. For all employers relying on exemptions from the H-1B quota, it is critical that the rules and parameters be crystal clear. Therefore, the publication by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on November 18, 2016 of a regulation clarifying and crystallizing prior policy and informal guidance is a welcome development. The regulation comes into effect on January 17, 2017, and I summarize it below. No one can predict with certainty whether the incoming Trump administration will allow the rule to stand or will take action to rescind it, so stay tuned for future postings on this topic.
In a final regulation published on November 18, 2016 which takes effect on January 17, 2017, DHS has clarified the requirements and parameters associated with cap-exempt employment of H-1B workers by nonprofit entities that are affiliated with or related to an institution of higher education or other cap-exempt institutions. This final regulation also clarifies that governmental research organizations, also exempt from the H-1B cap, include federal, state and local organizations whose primary mission is the performance or promotion of basic or applied research.
Late this spring, two lawsuits were filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about and challenging the administration of the H-1B visa lottery process.
The first lawsuit was filed by two immigration organizations – American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) – who “teamed up” to file a lawsuit requesting information about the lottery process.
The second lawsuit is a class action filed on behalf of two companies and their employees. This lawsuit claims that the H-1B lottery process is illegal because the language of the statute does not allow for a lottery. Continue Reading Lawsuits Question Procedure and Substance of H-1B Lottery
Practice Chair Susan Cohen and Of Counsel Bill Coffman have published annual guidance on travel for F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of H-1B petitions with change of status requests. Continue Reading Work and Travel Guidance for F-1 Students with H-1B Change of Status Petitions
The diversity visa green card lottery has been an important part of U.S. immigration law for the last 20 years. It allows 55,000 foreign nationals to immigrate each year and was implemented to fulfill the worthy goal of increasing the diversity of immigrants in the U.S. This policy is implemented each year after government analysis of the countries of origin of immigrants in other green card categories and then allocating the 55,000 green cards allowed by law amongst those underrepresented countries of origin.
There is another immigration lottery that occurs around this time of year for one of the most essential visa categories to U.S. business—the H-1B. You may have read my post on this subject last year, and unfortunately this year’s post looks quite similar, because almost nothing has changed. Continue Reading Immigration Policy By Lottery? Another Year, Nothing Changes.
USCIS announced that it completed the lottery for the new fiscal year’s H-1B cap cases. The agency also released the final (approximate) count of cap-eligible H-1B cases filed for FY2017; a new record of 236,000 cases were filed. This is an increase of approximately 3,000 petitions (1.3%) over the total number of filings last year. Continue Reading H-1B Cap Filings Break Record
This is part 2 of our analysis of the proposed rule published by DHS on December 30, 2015, addressing and extending employment flexibility for certain classes of nonimmigrants and prospective immigrants.
Proposed Rule Focus: Nonimmigrant Visas and EADs
In the previous post we focused on the potential benefits and consolidation of current policy for individuals already in the permanent residency process. This post will focus on the proposed policies for nonimmigrant visa holders who are not currently sponsored for an immigrant visa and employment authorization document changes. Many of the details in the proposed rule are currently executed under individual memos or practice. This rule addresses several of individually small issues, but taken together is intended to constitute an overall policy of increased flexibility and fairness in the U.S. job market for immigrant and nonimmigrant workers. Continue Reading DHS Proposes New Rule for Increased Job Flexibility: Part 2
As students and scholars change status from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status.
In 2014, Massachusetts created the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program (GEIR), a program meant to capitalize on the opportunities provided by concurrent H-1B employment. Under this program, universities partnered with the Commonwealth to provide foreign entrepreneurs with relevant, part-time employment opportunities that carried cap-exempt H-1B status. This part-time employment authorization then enabled the entrepreneurs to apply for a concurrent H-1B petition, which would also be cap-exempt, to allow them to work on getting their business off the ground.