Immigration law in the United States is constantly changing, especially in the current sociopolitical climate. Are you in-the-know for all the most important updates? Here in our March 2019 newsletter, we have the top updates you should know.
H-1B Data & Requests for Evidence
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that there was a noticeable increase in the amount of requests for evidence (RFE) in a number of employer-sponsored nonimmigrant visas. Not coincidentally, the number of denials has also increased, according to the recently released USCIS dataset. One of the industries with the highest denial rate is the IT consulting industry, which has notoriously strict review and approval policies for H-1B visas.
Premium Processing Has Been Restored
The USCIS has also announced it has resumed premium processing for eligible H-1B petitions. In most cases, premium processing is made available to H-1B visa petitions that were paused due to a request for evidence. When processed correctly after being resumed, a premium processed petition is guaranteed to be processed fully within 15 days.
Slowly Crawling Processing Times
In recent years, the processing times for visas and other immigration forms sent to the USCIS under the Trump Administration have dramatically slowed. The processing time delays became so striking that 86 Democratic members of the House of Representatives sent an inquiry to the USCIS to ask for an explanation. They expressed “grave concerns about the alarming growth in processing delays” and pointed to a $200 million asset transfer to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the USCIS as part of the problem. If the USCIS is apparently struggling to handle its workload, then why would it relinquish so much to another agency?
Trump Administration Moves to Reverse H-4 EADs
The Trump Administration is making further efforts to end the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) program that provided work visas to the spouses of some H-1B visa holders. Approximately 90,000 foreign nationals currently have H-4 EADs to work and stay in the country. Nearly all EAD holders have university degrees, about 60% have been in the country for at least five years, and roughly 30% have worked in the country for at least 3 years. If or when the regulation is updated, it is not known if it would immediately revoke H-4 EADs, or if they would instead but ineligible for renewal.
For More Info, Come to Panteva Law Group LLC
Our Chicago immigration attorney has dedicated the entirety of her legal career to immigration law. If you have any questions or concerns about how these legal updates might affect your own immigration case or situation, please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. Call (312) 471-0014 to set up an initial case review. We are ready to listen and help!