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Immigration News Briefs

Provided by Humera Subhani Email Provided by Humera Subhani
March 2018
Immigration News Briefs

On April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B quota-subject filings for federal fiscal year 2019 (FY19). FY 2019 covers October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

There are 65,000 regular H-1B quota numbers plus 20,000 advanced-degree quota exemptions (U.S. master's quota) available per FY. The good news is that USCIS has confirmed that there will be no procedural changes for this quota season. USCIS was considering a type of preregistration for employers, but that will not be required for this season. Also, there is a good chance that USCIS may again suspend premium processing for cap-subject cases for this season.

The minimum filing period for H-1B quota cases is five business days. The quota remains open until filled. If there are enough cases to meet or exceed the quota in the first five days, the quota closes. In 2017, the percentage of H-1B approvals dropped to a historical low of 58%. So getting accepted in the lottery is only the first step: getting the H-1B approved is another matter. Two memos affect H-1B approvals.

The April 3, 2017 Memo implements a significant change to the adjudication of H-1B petitions for computer programming positions. It appears to affect all new H-1B petitions as well as Change of Employer (e.g. Transfer) petitions. Two main points:

• A designation that a position is Level 1, entry level position (as stated on the LCA), would likely contradict a claim that the proffered position is particularly complex, specialized, or unique compared to other positions within the same occupation. This provides a common basis of denial in recent cases.

• Even though the Policy Memo only discussed computer programming jobs, its impact extended to a wide range of occupations such as entry level business related positions, as well as some traditionally “easily approvable” positions in engineering.

The October 23, 2017 Memo eliminates the current practice of giving deference to prior approvals when adjudicating Form I-129 petition renewals, even where the facts of the petition remain unchanged. This appears to affect all H-1B renewal petitions, as well as L1 and E2 petitions. Two main points:

• Renewal filings face increased scrutiny by getting “re-adjudicated.”

• Be prepared to demonstrate and document all eligibility factors, as if this is a first-time filing. Also, comply with requirements in the April 3, 2017 memo.

Tips:

• You may have to obtain an Expert Opinion letter if it is a Level 1 position.

• Update your company information in VIBE, a system the USCIS routinely checks.

• Have the proper signatures, filing fees, and filing location.

• Use the current edition of all forms to avoid rejection.

[The article above contains additional material not in the print and digital issues.]

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR March 2018

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Mar11

22Mar11

2A

22Mar16

22Mar16

2B

01Mar11

01Mar11

3rd

15Dec05

15Dec05

4th

01Feb04

22Aug04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Dec08

Current

3rd

01Jan07

Current

Other

01Jan07

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - March 2018

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jan12

01Jan12

2A

01May17

01May17

2B

01Sep11

01Sep11

3rd

01Dec05

01Dec05

4th

22Jun04

22Jan05

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

08Feb09

Current

3rd

01Jan08

Current

Other

01Jan08

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletin-mar-18

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