Friday, February 26, 2021

PRESIDENT BIDEN RESCINDS PRESIDENTIAL PROCLAMATION PROHIBITING ENTRY OF IMMIGRANTS DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC

On February 24, 2021, President Biden rescinded Presidential Proclamation 10014. PP 10014 prohibited the issuance of most immigrant visas (green cards) at US Embassies and Consulates due to possible economic harm to the US during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

All consular processed green card cases put on hold due to PP 10014 will now resume processing. However, many US embassies are still operating on reduced staff, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we anticipate that there will continue to be delays in obtaining green card interviews at Embassies and Consulates.

Although PP 10014 has been rescinded, Presidential Proclamation 10052 (PP 10052) suspending the entry of nonimmigrant workers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic remains in place. Specifically, PP 10052 applies to applicants applying for H-1B, H-2B, L-1, J-1, H-4, L-2, and J-2 visas for entry to the US.

In addition, the Department of State (DOS) updated its guidance related to National Interest Exemptions for individuals subject to PP 10052. The eligibility requirements have not changed, but the DOS has provided further details of which nonimmigrant visa applicants can qualify for National Interest Exemptions. PP 10052 is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

MARCH 2021 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the March 2020 Visa Bulletin. This is the sixth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2021. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

Employment-
based

All Other

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

01AUG20

01AUG20

C

2nd

C

15JUL16

15JAN10

C

3rd

C

08FEB18

01JUL10

C

 

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS will be using the Table A: Final Action Dates chart for I-485 employment-based filings. A beneficiary must be current on the above Table A chart in order to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status applications.

MU Law Analysis

Both the Philippines and Worldwide (All Other) EB-3 continue to be current. Our opinion remains that these categories will stay current for the foreseeable future.

India EB-1 moved ahead 7 more months, which is about a year since December. India EB-2 and EB-3 each showed more progress than usual, but the progress is still underwhelming.  These slow progressions, along with the large number of India EB-2 and EB-3 filings in October, November, and December, probably means that we should only expect 1-4 week movements in India EB-2 or EB-3 for at least the rest of 2021.

China EB-2 and EB-3 again both moved forward by a few weeks, a trend that should continue. China EB-1 again showed more progress than expected moving ahead seven months.  This may be because of declining rates of visa issuance out of the American posts in China.

  

Monday, February 15, 2021

REMINDER: H-1B CAP: LOTTERY AND REGISTRATION UPDATES

MU Law will be hosting a free webinar for our clients and friends on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central). Interested clients and friends can register for our webinar by clicking on the link below.

REGISTER HERE

Join us for this FREE webinar to learn more about:

-      The H-1B CAP timeline for registration submissions

-      The H-1B Wage-Based Lottery Selection Rule now *canceled*

-      Recap of DOL Wage Rule and promo Alternative Wage Surveys

-      The H-1B Rule Requiring End-Clients to file LCAs or H-1Bs now *canceled*

 

PLEASE JOIN US! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

H-1B CAP: LOTTERY AND REGISTRATION UPDATES

MU Law will be hosting a free webinar for our clients and friends on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 2PM Eastern (1PM Central). Interested clients and friends can register for our webinar by clicking on the link below.

REGISTER HERE


Join us for this FREE webinar to learn more about:

-      The H-1B CAP timeline for registration submissions

-      The H-1B Wage-Based Lottery Selection Rule now *canceled*

-      Recap of DOL Wage Rule and promo Alternative Wage Surveys

-      The H-1B Rule Requiring End-Clients to file LCAs or H-1Bs now *canceled*

 

PLEASE JOIN US! 

Friday, February 5, 2021

USCIS Delays Wage-Based H-1B Lottery until 2022

In January 2021, the USCIS issued a final rule that would replace the random H-1B cap lottery with a wage-based H-1B selection process. This January 2021 rule was set to go into effect on March 9, 2021 and would apply to the upcoming H-1B cap season (filed in April 2021 for Fiscal Year 2022). However, the USCIS has delayed implementing this rule until December 31, 2021. This means that for the H-1B cap lottery in April 2021, even if there are multiple lottery drawings, none of the drawings will be done under the wage-based selection process.  All lottery drawings in 2021 will be random.  

The new wage-based selection process would select the H-1Bs filed at the highest OES prevailing wage level, starting with Level IV, for the job classification and location of employment.  If there are more than 85,000 Level IV H-1B petitions filed, then the USCIS would hold a lottery just for the Level IV wage petitions.  If there are fewer than 85,000 level IV wage petitions, then the USCIS would run a lottery of the Level III wage petitions for the remaining H-1B spots available. The wage-based selection process then continues for Level II and I, until 85,000 petitions have been selected. 

The USCIS announced February 4, 2021 that the USCIS will delay implementing the wage-based selection process because the USCIS does not have adequate time to develop and test the new wage-based selection process for the 2021 H-1B lottery.  At present, the USCIS plans to have the rule implemented for the H-1B cap season in April 2022 (Fiscal Year 2023).


Monday, February 1, 2021

PRESIDENT BIDEN PROPOSED US CITIZENSHIP ACT OF 2021

 President Biden has announced the US Citizenship Act of 2021, an immigration plan that could impact many immigration laws.  At this time, President Biden’s plan is not law, but only a proposal.  Although President Biden has promised many changes to immigration laws, these changes will take time to be implemented. 

Once President Biden’s plan is introduced into Congress, either in the House of Representatives or the Senate, as a bill, the bill must successfully pass three steps before it becomes a law:

1. Pass the House of Representatives and the Senate. The bill must be voted for by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives (the House) and the Senate.

2.Conference Committee. If the House and the Senate pass different versions of the bill, the bill must be amended so that there is only one version of the bill. Once the bill has been amended, both the House and Senate must again pass the bill.

3. Be signed by the President. Once a bill is signed by the President, the bill  becomes a law.

As of today, the US Citizenship Act of 2021 introduced by President Biden is still only a plan and must be introduced to Congress as a bill and successfully pass these three steps before it becomes a law.