December Newsletter: The Latest Immigration Updates

At the Panteva Law Group, LLC, we work hard to stay up to date and provide our clients with the latest news. Immigration law changes regularly and swiftly, and we can only make the best legal decisions if we know what to expect from certain procedures and how our clients can qualify for certain benefits.

Here are some of the latest immigration updates. If you have questions about how this news may affect your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Federal Judge Strikes Down New H-1B Visa Rules

On October 8, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) issued two rules that significantly restricted the H-1B visa category. The first rule increased the prevailing wage levels by almost 40% for foreign workers, which means U.S. employers would need to pay a higher salary for them to qualify for the H-1B visa. The second rule restricted the definition of a specialty occupation and limited H-1B approvals to only one year for work at third-party locations.

However, the DHS and DOL issued these rules without utilizing the formal rulemaking process, which involves a mandatory notice-and-comment period. As such, the rules went into effect as soon as they were announced.

Fortunately, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White struck down these rules on December 1st because the agencies ignored the APA’s notice-and-comment requirement without good reason.

DOL Complies with District Court Ruling

The DOL Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) released an announcement explaining the steps it is taking to comply with Judge White’s ruling (explained above). The announcement includes a precise timeline regarding the implementation of these steps.

DACA Fully Restored

Since 2017, the Trump administration has been trying to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects hundreds of thousands of immigrant youths from deportation and allows them to obtain work authorization. Fortunately, the imminent threat to this invaluable program seems to have come to an end.

In the summer, the Supreme Court officially ruled that the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program was unlawful. When DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf limited the program anyway, a federal judge determined that he had no authority to do so because he was unlawfully appointed. Finally, on December 4th, the judge ordered DHS to fully reinstate DACA.

As a result, DHS is now:

  • Accepting first-time DACA requests, along with associated work authorization and advance parole documents;
  • Returning the DACA renewal period from one year to two years; and
  • Returning the work authorization renewal period from one year to two years.

Although DHS may seek relief from this order, the Biden administration has promised to work toward solidifying DACA and even developing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.

Get the Information & Guidance You Need

At Panteva Law Group, LLC, we know how challenging it can be to navigate a constantly changing legal system. Fortunately, we have years of experience handling a wide range of immigration matters, and we look forward to using this experience to advance your best interests. Our job is to help you implement the most effective possible strategy and assert your rights at every turn.

Schedule your consultation by calling (312) 471-0014 or contacting us online today.

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