The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has released the Visa Bulletin for April 2023. The new Visa Bulletin reflects an ongoing trend of backlogs and slowdowns in the visa process, in stark contrast to the progress reflected in the Visa Bulletin in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
Articles Discussing Employment-Related Visas.
USCIS Issues Additional Guidance in Evaluation of O-1B (Extraordinary Ability) Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions
USCIS shared updated guidance on how it will evaluate evidence for petitions seeking O-1B classification as individuals of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts or in the Motion Picture and Television Industry (MPTV).
The updated guidance, released on March 3, 2023, is found in the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part
USCIS Premium Processing Expansion for F-1, EB-1, EB-2, Others
USCIS has expanded premium processing for F-1 students to pending Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) applications based on Optional Practice Training (OPT) and STEM OPT. On April 3, 2023, the same will be extended to new EAD applications for OPT and STEM OPT. The cost for this premium processing will be
USCIS Updates O-1 Guidance for Extraordinary Ability in Arts and Motion Picture Industries
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its policy guidance related to O-1B nonimmigrants of extraordinary ability in the arts and motion picture or television industry. The updated guidance, effective immediately, is intended to clarify how USCIS evaluates evidence submitted by employers seeking to sponsor foreign national employees under
USCIS Clarifies Guidance on O-1B Extraordinary Ability Visa Eligibility and Updates USCIS Policy Manual
On March 3, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance, Evaluating Eligibility for O-1B Visa Category, which describes new updates made to the USCIS Policy Manual.
USCIS Expands Premium Processing for Certain F-1 Students
On March 6, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced “the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 students seeking science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions.”
Visas for F and M Students Can Now Be Issued 365 Days Ahead of Program Start Date
On February 23, 2023, the U.S. Department of State updated its guidelines to allow F and M students to apply for their student visas to study in the United States up to 365 days prior to the start date of the program as listed on the Form I-20, Certificate of
USCIS Changes Policy Guidance Regarding Special Student Relief
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that it is clarifying the validity period of off-campus employment authorization for international students pursuant to the Special Student Relief (SSR) package.
H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2023 Is Met: A Supplemental Cap Increase Summary
On March 2, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified the public that the 33,000 H-2B cap positions within the second half of the fiscal year had been reached. DHS indicated that the number of positions for which DHS had received petitions surpassed the number of total H-2B
USCIS Confirms It Will Accept Employment-Based I-485 Applications Based on March 2023 Visa Bulletin’s ‘Dates for Filing’ Chart
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will accept employment-based I-485, adjustment of status applications, based on the U.S. Department of State’s March 2023 Visa Bulletin’s “Dates for Filing” visa applications chart.
H1B Registration: A Lottery of Sorts
An H1B visa or status is available for “specialty occupations,” those that require theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as a minimum requirement to perform the job duties.
USCIS Extends Comment Period for Proposed Fee Increases
USCIS has proposed raising its filing fees – and the burden of those increased fees will fall primarily on employers large and small. For example, the filing fee for an H-1B visa would be raised by 70% from $460 to $780. The registration fee for Cap H-1Bs would increase from
U.S. Department of State is Expected to Implement Pilot Program for Visa Stamp Renewals
During a recent interview with Bloomberg Law, Julie Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, announced that the U.S. Department of State will launch a pilot program later in 2023 offering visa stamping renewal options domestically for H and L visa beneficiaries and
OMB Approves State Department Fee Increases
On February 15, 2023, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a final rule that would increase certain U.S. Department of State fees for visa services. This is the final step prior to publication of the final rule. Once published, the final rule will likely become effective
USCIS Redesigns Green Card and Employment Authorization Document
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced new designs to improve security of Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). USCIS began issuing the redesigned cards on January 30, 2023. This is a routine process; USCIS has changed the design of cards