Immigration law is subject to rapid change—especially in 2020. This is why our team at Panteva Law Group, LLC releases regular updates and personally keeps our clients up to date on relevant news.
Today, we will touch on four immigration updates. If you have any questions about how new policies or protocols may affect your case, please get in touch with our law firm today.
DHS Proposes Wage-Based Selection System for H-1B Petitions
The H-1B category provides nonimmigrant visas for foreign workers in specialty occupations. Because so many more people apply for the H-1B visa than the U.S. will distribute each year, the government uses a lottery system to randomly select qualifying petitions.
On November 2, 2020, however, the Trump administration proposed a rule that would implement a wage-based selection system for both the regular 65,000 H-1B cap and the advanced-degree exemption. Essentially, USCIS will rank and select registrations according to OES wage levels, beginning with wage level IV (the highest-paid workers) and proceeding in descending order. As a result, the system will prioritize higher paid (and, theoretically, more skilled) workers.
If USCIS ranks more registrations at a certain wage level than what is needed to meet the allocation, the usual lottery system will select from that wage level.
The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule.
Lawsuit Seeks to Uncover Secretive Expansion of Immigration Adjudication Sites
The American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Chicago AILA Chapter, and National Immigrant Justice Center filed a lawsuit requesting information regarding the expansion of immigration adjudication centers.
According to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and the General Services Administration, this expansion plan is meant to address the substantial backlog of removal proceedings. According to the lawsuit, however, the acceleration of proceedings will come at the expense of due process. The centers will be closed to the public, and immigrants and their attorneys have received little instruction or information about the new centers’ procedures.
Furthermore, the EOIR failed to disclose information after a Freedom of Information Act request was submitted in March of this year. According to Nell Barker, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Chicago Chapter, this secrecy threatens the integrity of the immigration system and adds a layer of unpredictability to an already unstable process.
November 2020 Visa Bulletin Posted
If you or your sponsor has filed your immigrant petition, and you are currently waiting to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status, you can now check the November Visa Bulletin.
The bulletin includes:
- New final action dates
- New dates for filing family-based and employment-based visa applications
- Notes on diversity visas
- Extension of 4th and 5th preference employment visas for certain religious workers and I5/R5 pilot categories until December 11, 2020
For November of this year, F2A applicants for adjustment of status can file using the Final Action Dates. In all other adjustment of status categories, applicants must use the Dates for Filing chart.
DOL Increases Prevailing Wages for Foreign Workers
On October 8th, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a rule that took effect immediately. It changes the way prevailing wages are calculated for permanent labor certification (PERM) and labor condition applications (LCAs). As a result, U.S. employers will need to pay foreign workers much higher wages than similarly qualified and situation American workers. For some categories, the prevailing wage has increased by 50%.
This rule is based on the unsupported idea that American workers experience lower wages and fewer job opportunities because of the availability of foreign workers.
Obtain Additional Information & Guidance from Our Team
At Panteva Law Group, LLC, we want to help you overcome all obstacles—both new and old—that stand in between you and your immigration goals. When you bring your case to our firm, you can trust us to develop a legal strategy that suits your situation and considers the current political terrain. We want to be your dependable guides and advocates as you work toward the visa, status, benefit, or relief you need.