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Reminders for Foreign Students on OPT or Planning a Change of Status to H-1B

If you are an F-1 student who has applied for or is working on optional practical training (OPT) or who will be the beneficiary of a petition to change status to H-1B in this year’s H-1B cap filing season, make…

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USCIS Issues Further Guidance on Employment Authorization for E and L Spouses

Starting on or about April 1, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue spousal designation notices to E and L dependent spouses who possess valid Forms I-94 that were issued by USCIS before January 30, 2022 and therefore…

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April 2022 Visa Bulletin Update – USCIS to Honor Filing Dates for Employment-Based Categories

Next month, USCIS will accept employment-based adjustment of status applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the Dates for Filing listed in the State Department’s April 2022 Visa Bulletin. Employment-Based Priority Date Cutoffs for April…

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April 2022 Visa Bulletin – Advancement in EB-2 India; Other Categories Hold Steady

Most employment-based Final Action dates show modest or no movement in April. The EB-2 India Final Action date will advance by over two months, to July 8, 2013. EB-2 China will remain at March 1, 2019. EB-3 India and EB-3…

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DHS Designates Afghanistan for TPS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an 18-month designation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to take effect upon publication of an upcoming Federal Register notice. Afghan nationals eligible for this designation must have continuously resided in…

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FY 2022 Omnibus Spending Bill Funds Immigration Operations, Revives and Extends Several Key Immigration Programs

Last night, Congress passed an omnibus appropriations bill that will fund the federal government – including immigration operations – through FY 2022, which ends September 30, 2022.  President Biden is expected to sign the spending package into law. The appropriations bill will…

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FY 2023 H-1B Cap Registration Period Closes March 18

Employers and their immigration counsel have until Friday, March 18 at noon ET to submit registrations for the FY 2023 H-1B cap lottery. Employers should work with their immigration counsel to complete their review and approval of draft registrations as…

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Canada to Welcome Ukrainians Fleeing the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

As part of the Government of Canada’s response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is introducing new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to enter Canada temporarily or permanently. For Ukrainians who want to…

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Ukraine Designated for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.   “Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked attack on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing war, senseless violence, and Ukrainians forced to seek…

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DHS Designates Sudan and Extends and Redesignates South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status; Expands Employment Options for South Sudan Nationals in F-1 Student Status

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a new 18-month designation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), to take effect upon publication of an upcoming Federal Register notice. DHS has also extended and redesignated the neighboring country of South Sudan for…

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FY 2023 H-1B Cap Registration Begins

Employers and their immigration counsel may register foreign nationals for the FY 2023 H-1B cap lottery from today at noon ET through Friday, March 18 at noon ET. USCIS is expected to receive a very large number of online registrations…

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Regulation To Expand USCIS Premium Processing Program Clears Federal Review

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) final rule that would expand premium processing to include additional case types has cleared the Office of Management and Budget, putting it closer to publication and implementation. The regulation implements Congress’s October 2020…

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FY 2023 H-1B Cap Registration Begins Tuesday, March 1

Employers and their immigration counsel may register foreign nationals for the FY 2023 H-1B cap lottery between Tuesday, March 1 at noon ET and Friday, March 18 at noon ET. USCIS is expected to receive a very large number of…

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H-1B Cap Update – Employers May Now Create New Cap Registration Accounts

Employers can now set up new accounts in USCIS’s online H-1B cap registration system. If your organization wishes to sponsor foreign workers for H-1B cap employment in FY 2023, it must have a registration account. Existing registration accounts may continue…

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DHS Proposes New Public Charge Rule That Maintains Status Quo

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing a new public charge rule that would largely codify its existing policy on the public charge ground of inadmissibility. Consistent with longstanding policy, the new rule would deem a foreign national ineligible to…

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March 2022 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s March Visa Bulletin, Final Action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.EB-2: India will advance by four months to May 1,…

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USCIS Announces Registration Schedule for FY 2023 H-1B Cap Season

The FY 2023 cap registration period will open at noon ET on March 1, 2022 and will close at noon ET on March 18, 2022. All cap registrations must be drafted and submitted online during this period. Prospective H-1B cap…

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White House Announces Expansion of STEM OPT Program and Other Initiatives to Attract STEM Talent

The F-1 STEM optional practical training (OPT) extension will be expanded to 22 new degree fields, including economics and computer science, mathematical economics, data science, and data, business and financial analytics. STEM students in the J-1 exchange visitor program will…

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Starting January 22, COVID Vaccination Required for Non-U.S. Travelers Entering by Land or Ferry from Canada or Mexico

Starting January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States from Canada or Mexico by land or ferry for all purposes – including “essential” activities such as work, business or…

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February 2022 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s January Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including India and China, will remain current.EB-2: India will advance by nine weeks to July 8,…

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USCIS Extends and Revises COVID-19 Accommodations on RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through March 26, 2022

In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is further extending and revising its deadline extension policy for responses to various agency actions to March 26, 2022. The accommodations, which were initially announced in March 2020 as a means of minimizing…

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Southern Africa Travel Ban to Be Terminated on December 31

According to White House officials, President Joe Biden will lift the ban on travel from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe effective 12:01am ET on December 31, 2021.  A forthcoming presidential proclamation is expected to officially…

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State Dept. Expands and Extends Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Program Through 2022

The State Department, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has expanded and extended its nonimmigrant visa interview waiver program through December 31, 2022. U.S. consular posts are permitted to adopt interview waiver policies at their discretion; they are not compelled to implement…

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DHS Withdraws Regulation to Replace H-1B Cap Lottery with Wage Level Selection Process

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withdrawing a final regulation that would replace the current H-1B cap lottery system with a system of allocating the annual H-1B quota according to a priority system by wage level. The withdrawal will be published…

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ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Flexibility for Form I-9 Compliance Through April 30, 2022

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is extending until April 30, 2022 its relaxed enforcement of the normal requirement to physically inspect the original documents presented by new hires during the I-9 process and thus allow eligible employers to continue to implement remote I-9…

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