Today, April 5, 2019 USCIS announced the Agency has received a sufficient number of petitions projected as needed to reach the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. USCIS announced that the Agency will next determine if the Agency has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.
The following report has been shared by Jasmine Rios, Law Clerk with KNG regarding the effects we have witnessed due to the government shutdown:
The government shutdown began in December of 2018 and unfortunately, it’s effects are transcending into the 2019 new year.
Government officials and agencies are directly affected by the lapse in funding and, as to be expected, those individuals and businesses that depend on those agencies are seeing its adverse effects as well. Immigration firms and their clients are not exempt from the ripples that the government shutdown has caused. As our business continues to strive in aiding our clients in their immigration matters, those adverse effects are becoming evident.
Today, USCIS twitted “We’re open! The government shutdown doesn’t affect our scheduled interviews and appointments because they’re funded by fees. If you have an appointment, come into our office.” However, in the past few weeks, we have been unable to receive adequate case updates because USCIS and CBP have been unable to maintain their websites due to lack of funding or able to answer phone calls.
Specifically, CBP has provided the following within their website: “Notice: Due to the lapse in federal funding, this website will not be actively managed. This Website was last updated on December 21, 2018 and will not be updated until after funding is enacted.
As such, information on this website may not be up to date.
Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.”
Meanwhile, several cases sent to Service Centers sit at the postal office waiting for pick-up by USCIS.
Although the deadline has been met, we await to see what the effects of the backlog will be when the shutdown ends.
As the government shutdown persists please forward any questions, concerns, you may be facing by commenting below or contacting us.
The KNG Law team will update as any new information develops.
Today Jan. 2, 2019, is the last day to submit comments to the new proposed registration requirement for cap-subject H-1B petitions. If you are affected, either as an H-1B Petitioner, H-1B employee, or representative of any respective parties, I encourage you to voice your opinions via the open comment period, open until 11:59PM EST time. Your personal comment can be shared here.
To read more on the proposed rule released by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) please take a look here.
For inspiration, here is KNG Law’s comment to the proposed rule.
The iCERT Portal System is currently unavailable.
Today the Department of Labor (DOL) experienced a system disruption on the agency’s online iCert Portal. It appears the entire website is shut down, which currently prevents employers and their representatives from submitting forms such as the labor condition application required for H-1B and other nonimmigrant visas. DOL indicates that the disruption may occur for a few days and will update users tomorrow, January 3 with new information.
KNG Law will be monitoring the issue and will update here accordingly with further information.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) during a designated registration period.
On August 9, 2018 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised final policy memorandum (PDF, 129 KB) related to unlawful presence for F, M, J status holders after considering feedback received during a 30-day public comment period that ended June 11, 2018.
On July 30, 2018 USCIS released and update indicating the agency will delay the implementation of their new policy (released June 28, 2018) authorizing the agency to begin initiating removal (deportation) proceedings for certain individuals seeking immigration benefits by issuing notices to appear (NTAs). A shift from previous policy that did not authorize the agency to initiate NTAs.
Today, July 13, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a policy memorandum (PDF, 113 KB) (PM) that provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators regarding their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility.