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DHS Issues New Edition of Form I-9 As New Remote Verification Option Takes Effect for E-Verify Employers

The new edition of Form I-9, dated August 1, 2023, will become mandatory for all employers on November 1, 2023. Through October 31, 2023, employers may continue to use the previous edition, dated October 21, 2019. The new form does…

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DHS Reduces ESTA Validity Period for Hungary to One Year and Single Use

Effective August 1, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reducing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) travel authorization validity period for travel to the United States by citizens or nationals of Hungary under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to…

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USCIS Selects Over 77,000 Additional H-1B Cap Registrations in Second Lottery

USCIS selected an additional 77,609 registrations in its recently completed second lottery drawing, bringing the total number of selections to date for FY 2024 to 188,400. As a result of the additional selections, the overall selection rate for eligible registrations…

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USCIS Completes Second FY 2024 H-1B Cap Selection Process

USCIS has completed the second FY 2024 H-1B cap registration lottery selection, and has notified employers of selection results. Employers will need to log into their H-1B cap registration accounts to learn which beneficiaries were selected. The petition filing period…

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USCIS Will Run Second Lottery to Select More FY 2024 H-1B Cap Registrations

Today, USCIS announced that it plans to run a second lottery of properly submitted FY 2024 H-1B cap registrations. The additional lottery is taking place because USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during the initial 90-day filing period…

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DHS Will Allow Qualified E-Verify Employers to Use Remote I-9 Document Inspection Procedures, and Will Issue New Version of I-9 Form

The Department of Homeland Security has finalized a regulation that permits it to create exceptions to in-person physical inspection of documents used in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. In conjunction with the final rule, DHS is creating a…

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August Visa Bulletin: Significant Retrogression in EB-1 India and EB-3 Worldwide; USCIS to Honor Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Categories

In August, the EB-1 India Final Action date will retrogress by more than ten years to January 1, 2012. However, the Department of State says, depending on usage in the category and on the FY 2024 annual limit, it is…

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CBP Fully Implements ESTA Ineligibility Due to Cuba Travel

The CBP Visa Waiver Program’s ESTA application has been updated to include ineligibility questions regarding travel to Cuba on or after January 12, 2021, as a result of the designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism on that…

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DHS Designates Additional Degree Fields for STEM OPT Program

The F-1 STEM optional practical training (OPT) program will be expanded to include eight new degree fields, including linguistics and computer science; mechatronics, robotics and automation engineering; and geospatial intelligence. The additions take effect today. The expansion of the STEM…

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June 2023 DOL PERM and PWD Processing Times

As of June 30, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in September 2022 or earlier, and processing audited cases with priority dates of May 2022 or earlier. DOL is working on standard…

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USCIS Launches Online Self-Service Tool to Reschedule Biometric Services Appointments

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a new self-service biometric services appointment rescheduling tool on my.uscis.gov. Benefit requestors, and their attorneys and accredited representatives, can now reschedule most biometric services appointments online, without calling the USCIS Contact Center. The biometric services…

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CBP Launches ESTA Mobile App

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the launch of a new mobile application to enable travelers potentially eligible to enter under the Visa Waiver Program to submit ESTA applications from their smartphones, mobile devices or tablets. Users are able to download the free…

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DHS Announces Re-Registration Process for Salvadoran, Honduran, Nepali, and Nicaraguan TPS Beneficiaries

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua for 18 months. TPS beneficiaries from these four countries must re-register to receive extended benefits.  Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries must re-register between…

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Immigration Agencies Announce Their Spring 2023 Regulatory Plans

The Department of Labor has significantly postponed its plan to propose increases in prevailing wages for the H-1B, PERM, and other wage-protected immigration programs; the proposal is now on the agency’s long-term agenda, slated for June 2024. The Department of…

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USCIS Policy Guidance on Employment Authorization Documents Based on Compelling Circumstances

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued policy guidance to address eligibility criteria and standards for applications for employment authorization involving compelling circumstances. The guidance covers compelling circumstances for principal applicants and their dependents, provides a non-exhaustive list of situations that…

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DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua; Announces Withdrawal of TPS Terminations

The Department of Homeland Security has announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua. Details on applying for TPS under the extension will be announced in upcoming Federal Register notices. On Tuesday,…

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USCIS Expands Premium Processing Eligibility to Applicants Seeking to Change Status to F, M, or J

Starting June 13, USCIS will accept Form I-907 premium processing requests for those who have a pending Form I-539 application to change into F, M, or J status. Starting June 26, the agency will accept premium processing requests from those…

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H-1B Cap Petition Filing Period Closes June 30

Employers have just a few more weeks to file petitions for foreign nationals selected in the FY 2024 H-1B cap lottery. USCIS must receive all cap petitions by June 30, 2023. It is not yet known whether USCIS will conduct…

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July 2023 Visa Bulletin Update – USCIS to Honor Final Action 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 Final Action Dates listed in the State Department’s July 2023 Visa Bulletin. Employment-Based Priority Date Cutoffs for July 2023 To…

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July 2023 Visa Bulletin – Most Employment-Based Categories Hold Steady; EB-3 India Retrogresses Steeply and EB-3 Rest of World, Mexico, and Philippines Retrogress Moderately

In July, EB-3 India will retrogress by more than three years to January 1, 2009. EB-3 for all other countries except China will retrogress by four months to February 1, 2022. EB-1, EB-2, and EB-5 cutoff dates for all countries…

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May 2023 DOL PERM and PWD Processing Times

As of May 31, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) was conducting analyst review for PERM applications filed in July 2022 or earlier, and processing audited cases with priority dates of April 2022 or earlier. DOL is working on standard…

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ICE Issues Termination of SEVP COVID-19 Flexibilities After 2023 Summer Semester

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a broadcast message terminating the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) COVID-19 guidance as of May 11, 2023 – the effective date for President Biden’s termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency. However, according to ICE,…

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State Department Suspends Supporting Document Submission to KCC for Diversity Visa 2024 and Onward

Effective for the Diversity Visa (DV) program for fiscal year 2024 (DV-2024) and onward, document submission to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) is suspended, according to the State Department. Going forward, selectees only need to submit to the KCC the DS-260…

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New FLAG-Based PERM Application Form Takes Effect June 1

Beginning June 1, all online PERM labor certification applications must be submitted through the Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) system, using a new version of the Form ETA 9089, Application for Permanent Employment Certification. PERM applications submitted…

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Summer Travel Planning for Foreign Nationals

If you are a foreign national planning to travel internationally this summer, make sure that you have all the necessary documents, including a passport with sufficient remaining validity, a valid U.S. visa in the appropriate classification, and advance permission to…

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