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Catch-22: Potential Nonimmigrant Visa Issues Employers Should Be Aware Because of COVID-19 Related Furloughs and Shut Downs

What employers are going through today is something that hasn’t been seen in more than a century. To stem the tide of a global pandemic, more and more state and local governments are entering “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” orders requiring businesses to shut down and close their doors. (more…)

USCIS Announces Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for FY2021 Cap-Subject Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject.

Petitioners filing FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions will not be able to request premium processing when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions on April 1. Until premium processing resumes for FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a cap-subject H-1B Form I-129.

As USCIS has done in the past, premium processing will resume in a two-phased approach during the FY 2021 cap season so that USCIS can best manage premium processing requests. The first phase will include FY 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, requesting a change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status. The second phase will include all other FY 2021 cap-subject petitions.

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Economic Times: US agency slows H-1B denials as lawsuits mount

bloombergA US agency that administers the visa application process is denying fewer H-1B visas following stepped-up filing of lawsuits, immigration lawyers said. This comes despite the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking more Requests for Evidence (RFEs) from H1-B visa applicants.

Several immigration lawyers told ET that more lawsuits are being filed against the USCIS.

Deepali Khadakban, a member of an industry body representing over 1,250 small and medium staffing and IT firms doing combined business worth over $5 billion, said its member firms have taken the USCIS head-on in the last two years, filing over 133 cases challenging visa denials. The ITServe Alliance works with companies like Google, Ebay and Bank of America.

To read this article in full, please visit the Economic Times Tech website found here.

Forbes: Tech Companies File $350 Million Lawsuit Over H-1B Visa Fees

Forbes $350M Lawsuitnew lawsuit alleges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has unlawfully charged technology companies $350 million in H-1B visa fees. A victory in the case for the plaintiffs would give many technology companies a chance to recoup millions of dollars from the federal government.

“Defendant (“the Agency”) has unlawfully charged United States companies approximately $350 million dollars in visa fees (likely more) over the past six years,” according to a complaint filed on January 26, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Plaintiffs now seek a refund. For the reasons below, this Court must set aside visa denials based on the nonpayment of this unlawful fee, enjoin the Agency from continuing to charge this fee, and refund all payment of these fees for the past 6 years.”

Click here to read the full Forbes article. 

Forbes: Restrictions On H-1B Visas Found To Push Jobs Out Of The U.S.

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Important new research concludes immigration restrictions that prevent companies from hiring high-skilled foreign nationals in the U.S. represent bad economic policy and are counterproductive. The first-of-its-kind study examining company-level responses to government immigration rules found H-1B visa restrictions carry the unintended consequence of pushing jobs outside the United States and lead to less innovation in America.

Read the rest of the Forbes article here.