News Updates

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 11.16.2020

21:10 16 November in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES:? November 16, 2020   1.? Federal Judge Rules New Policy Limiting DACA Is Invalid Because 'Acting Secretary' Wolf Was Appointed Unlawfully- A federal judge ruled that a new policy limiting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications and renewals is invalid because Chad Wolf was not legally serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security when he signed it. 2.? State Dept. Continues Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services- DOS announced a continuing phased resumption of routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services on a post-by-post basis, subject to local conditions, after closings that began in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 3.? Litigation Challenges...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 11.09.2020

22:04 09 November in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES:  November 9, 2020   1.  President-Elect Biden Pledges Immigration-Related Actions in First 100 Days - President-elect Joe Biden has pledged in the first 100 days of his administration to set in motion a number of immigration-related actions. Some of his proposals could be launched immediately, while others may require new regulations or Congressional action. 2.  ETA Final Rule Revises Adverse Effect Wage Rate Methodology for H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers - The Employment and Training Administration is amending its regulations, effective December 21, 2020, to revise the methodology by which it determines the hourly Adverse Effect Wage Rates for non-range agricultural occupations performed...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 11.02.2020

21:28 02 November in News Updates by Larrabee

BREAKING NEWS:  November 2, 2020 Practice Alert: DHS Public Charge Rule Vacated Nationwide (Yes, again.) On November 2, 2020, the district court in Cook County, Illinois, et al v. Wolf et. al., (19-cv-6334), granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on their claim that DHS's Public Charge Rule, 84 Fed. Reg. 41,292 (Aug. 14, 2019) violates the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et. seq. The district court specifically ruled that (1) the public charge exceeds DHS's authority under the public charge provision of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(A); (2) is not in accordance with law; and (3) is arbitrary and...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 10.30.2020

22:50 30 October in News Updates by Larrabee

BREAKING NEWS:  October 30, 2020 DHS to propose rule to change H-1B lottery system -- On Monday the Department of Homeland Security will publish a proposed rule to eliminate the current H-1B lottery system for cap (quota-subject cases) and replace it with a system to select H-1B registrants based on those who are offered the highest salaries.  A pre-publication version of the rule is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2020-24259/modification-of-registration-requirement-for-petitioners-seeking-to-file-cap-subject-h-1b-petitions.  There is a 30-day comment period. Stakeholder Message - H-1B Selection Process NPRM.pdf HEADLINES:  October 26, 2020 Two More Lawsuits Challenge New DOL, DHS Rules- Two more lawsuits have been filed challenging recent interim final...

Premium Processing Fee Increase Effective October 19, 2020

21:36 16 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Today U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a press release announcing it will increase premium processing filing fees from $1440 to $2500.   The increase will take effect Monday, October 19.   The increase applies to all case types currently eligible for premium processing, with the exception of H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker or R-1 religious worker nonimmigrant petitions, which will increase to $1500. The increase is the result of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, which was signed into law on October 1, 2020.  The Act includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act, which allows USCIS...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 10.12.2020

22:03 12 October in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES 1.  DOL Issues Interim Final Rule Raising Prevailing Wages for Foreign Workers- DOL is increasing prevailing wages mandated for H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 and PERM labor certification applications by changing the manner of computation under the existing four-tier wage structure. 2.  DHS Revises Definition of H-1B 'Specialty Occupation,' Makes Other Changes- The rule amends the definition of a "specialty occupation" to implement USCIS' stricter interpretation of what constitutes a direct relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the position.  The rule also defines the employer-employee relationship and significantly restricts third party placements. 3.  USCIS Updates Guidance on TPS and Eligibility...

WEEKLY IMMIGRATION UPDATE 10.05.2020

21:26 05 October in News Updates by Larrabee

HEADLINES Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Trump Block on H, L, J Foreign Workers - On October 1, 2020, a U.S. district judge ruled in NAM v. DHS against aspects of President Trump's June 22, 2020, Proclamation that blocked visa issuance to many foreign workers. USCIS Issues Guidance on Fee Rule Following Litigation - A U.S. district court in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al. v. Wolf, et al., temporarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing USCIS' August 3, 2020, fee schedule rule and changes to certain other immigration benefit request requirements. DHS Proposes Rule to Amend Affidavit of...

The October 2020 Visa Bulletin and Priority Date Advancement – FAQ

19:08 05 October in News Updates by Larrabee

The October 2020 Visa Bulletin is historic in many respects.  Most significant is USCIS's decision to accept employment-based I-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS) filings based on the Dates for Filing chart.  As noted by the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee, "This decision provides filing opportunities at a scale that has not been witnessed since the summer of 2007 when all categories abruptly became current." The below additional information may be useful for those strategizing on filing options as well as those anxiously awaiting their opportunity to file an AOS. 1.  Employment-based Preference Categories - October 2020 The...

2022 DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY – ONLINE ENTRY PERIOD

18:17 01 October in News Updates by Larrabee

Begins at Noon EDT on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Ends at Noon EST on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the Green Card or DV Lottery) provides immigrant visas each fiscal year for persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Essentially, this program provides certain nationalities with the opportunity to win the chance to apply for a green card, without having to qualify in one of the family-based or employment-based categories. For fiscal year 2022, 55,000 diversity visas will be available. There are various bills pending before Congress which call for the...