News Bytes

Posted on: December 2nd, 2019
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USCIS Announces H-2B Cap Reached for First Half of 2020

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has reached the cap of 33,000 H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of fiscal year 2020, which spans from October 1st to March 31st. November 15th was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-1B worker petitions which request an employment date beginning before April 1, 2020. Therefore, USCIS will reject all new cap-subject petitions received after November 15th which request an employment date beginning before April 1, 2020.

USCIS will continue to accept cap-exempt H-2B petitions, including:

  • Current H-2B workers who are in the United States and want to petition for an extension of stay and, if applicable, either make augmentations to the terms of their employment or change employers;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing;
  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam from November 28, 2019, until December 31, 2029.

For more information, view the USCIS H-2B cap count page.


USCIS Issues Three AAO Adopted Decisions to Clarify Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification

On October 11, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) clarified its requirements for the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. For clarification purposes, USCIS issued three Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) adopted decisions. USCIS made the following clarifications based upon the three adopted decisions:

  • The petitioner is required to have been a juvenile under relevant state law at the time of issuance of the juvenile court order;
  • USCIS requires evidence of a court’s intention to provide relief from abuse, neglect, or abandonment outside of solely a statement of the juvenile’s dependence upon the court; and
  • USCIS will not require evidence of the state court’s authority to place a petitioner in the custody of an unfit parent in order to make a qualifying determination regarding parental reunification for purposes of SIJ classification.

USICS reopened the 30-day comment period for the proposed rule, Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions, accepting comments through November 15th, 2019. These adopted decisions went into effect on October 15th and is applicable to pending and future petitions.

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.


USCIS Implements Price Increase on H-1B Visa Registration

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule requiring a non-refundable $10 fee for each H-1B registration form submitted by petitioning employers once the electronic registration system is put in place. Once the system is implemented, petitioners who seek to file H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those who are eligible for the advanced degree exception, will be required to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period.

Beginning December 9, 2019, the final rule, entitled “Registration Fee Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens,” will go into effect, and the fee will be required when registrations are submitted. Pending the completion of testing of the system, USCIS plans on implementing the registration process for the Fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process.

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.


USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an adjustment it is making to its premium processing fee for certain employment-based petitions. Beginning on November 29, the premium processing fee will increase from $1,410 to $1,440 or Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien. USCIS based this fee increase on the amount of inflation which has occurred since the implementation of the premium processing fee in June 2001 through August 2019 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.

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