News & Events 2018-07-13T18:17:29+00:00

News & Events

Your source for immigration news and information.

Temporary Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing

On August 28, 2018, USCIS announced that premium processing will continue to be suspended for FY2019 H-1B cap (lottery) cases and in addition, starting September 11, 2018, premium processing will be suspended for H-1B portability (change of employer) petitions. These suspensions are predicted to remain in effect until February 19, 2019.  Note that due to the increase in RFEs for H-1B cases and an increased rate of denials, it is possible that some new hires who are transferring from another H-1B employer will be unwilling to “port” before the change-of-employer petition has been approved by USCIS. This could cause delays in on-boarding.

Note that Premium Processing continues to be available for H-1B extension petitions for continuation of the same position with the same employer, and for employers who are exempt from the H-1B cap, such as universities and non-profit research institutions.

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , |

September 2018 Visa Bulletin

EB1 is backed up for everyone. The priority date is June 1, 2016 for all areas except China and India, and it remains backed up to January 1, 2012 for India and China.  For individuals who are interviewed at USCIS during this time, post-interview the file will be sent to the National Benefits Center awaiting a current visa number.  Little forward movement is anticipated before December, according to the September Visa Bulletin.

In addition, the September 2018 visa bulletin lists the following EB2 and EB3 final action dates:

EB-2 Worldwide and all areas except India and China: Action Date = January 1, 2013
EB-2 India: Action Date = January 1, 2007
EB-2 China: Action Date = January 1, 2013

Please note that final action dates for September were imposed in early August for adjudication purposes.

EB-3 Worldwide and all areas except India and China: Action Date = November 1, 2016
EB-3 India: Action Date = January 1, 2003
EB-3 China: Action Date = November 1, 2014

For Family Cases, the F2A final action date shifted to July 22, 2016 for all areas, except Mexico, which is July 1, 2016.

The Visa Bulletin indicated that a jump is likely to current for Worldwide EB2 and EB3 on October 1, with the start of the new visa year. Unfortunately, note that jumps are likely to be minimal for certain categories, for example only 3-6 weeks for family cases and 1-2 weeks for EB2 India and “slow movement” for EB2 China.

September 10th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

July 2018 Visa Bulletin

EB1 is backed up to January 1, 2012 for India and China.

In addition, the July 2018 visa bulletin lists the following EB2 and EB3 final action dates:

EB-2 Worldwide: Action Date = current
EB-2 India: Action Date = March 15, 2009
EB-2 China: Action Date = January 1, 2015

EB-3 Worldwide: Action Date = current
EB-3 India: Action Date = November 1, 2008
EB-3 China: Action Date = January 1, 2013
EB-3 Philippines: Action Date = January 15, 2016 (no change)

For Family Cases, the F2A final action date shifted to June 22, 2016 for all areas, except Mexico, which is June 8, 2016.

June 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

December 2017 Visa Bulletin

EB-2 remains current for all areas and EB-1 is current for both India and China.

Specifically, the December 2017 visa bulletin lists the following EB-2 and EB-3 final action dates:

EB-2 Worldwide: Action Date = current
EB-2 India: Action Date = November 1, 2008
EB-2 China: Action Date = July 1, 2013

EB-3 Worldwide: Action Date = current
EB-3 India: Action Date = October 15, 2006 (no change)
EB-3 China: Action Date = March 8, 2014
EB-3 Philippines: Action Date = January 15, 2016 (no change)

For Family Cases, the F2A final action date shifted to December 22, 2015 for all areas, except Mexico, which is November 15, 2015.

November 14th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |

H-1B Cap for FY2018

The H-1B cap for FY2018 (10/1/2017-9/30/2018) will occur during the first week of April. Please contact Lisa if you would like to discuss the H-1B Lottery, most often filed for employees who are currently in the US on TN, H1B1, E3, or student OPT status.

Please remember that the lottery and H-1B cap only affects “new” H-1Bs – applications may still be filed for individuals already working in the United States in H-1B status (porting to a new employer) and extensions may be filed for employees who already hold H-1B status.

For context about the Lottery, the USCIS press release from April 12, 2016 follows:

“USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 16, 2016, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 16, 2016.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.”

March 31st, 2017|Tags: , , , |

Abby Loomis Joins Christoffersen Law

On February 16, immigration lawyer Abby Loomis joined our team.  With over 20 years of experience in the area of US immigration law, Abby’s practice focuses on advising US employers in the areas of NonImmigrant and Immigrant Visas, PERMs, NIWs, and EB1. Please contact Abby at 206.389.1795 or E-mail her using our Connect form.

February 16th, 2017|Tags: , |

New I-9 Form Announced

As of January 22, 2017, employers must use the 11/14/16 version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after November 6, 1986, or for the reverification of expiring employment authorization (if applicable). Prior versions of the form may no longer be used at this time.

January 22nd, 2017|Tags: , |