Passport and Visa Systems Issues

The Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with its overseas passport and visa systems. The issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. On June 15, 2015, DOS issued an update alert stating that: “The Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with our visa systems. These issues have … [Read more...]

Work Authorization for H-4 Dependents

A regulatory change effective May 26, 2015, will extend eligibility for work authorization to H-4 spouses of certain H-1B workers who have already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.  H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants will be eligible to apply for an EAD under the new rule if their H-1B spouse: 1.  Is the principal beneficiary of an … [Read more...]

Premium Processing Temporarily Suspended for H-1B Extensions

Starting May 26, 2015, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015, to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses final rule. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to request premium processing for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of stay for an H-1B … [Read more...]

S.1189 Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Act

The Conrad State 30 Program, which permits States to support up to 30 J-1 physicians for a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement, has placed thousands of J-1 physicians to medically underserved areas in the United States. The Conrad 30 Program has been in existence since 1994 and has been reauthorized by Congress several times. The current reauthorization expires September 30, … [Read more...]

H-1B Changes to Worksite Locations

Pursuant to the recent precedent decision (April 9, 2015) in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015)), an employer is required to file an amended H-1B petition for changes in worksite or address.  In Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, the USCIS revoked the employer’s approved H-1B petition after it was found that the employer failed to file an amended H-1B petition in … [Read more...]

FY 2016 H-1B Cap Reached

USCIS announced that the FY 2016 cap had been reached. USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions between April 1-7, 2015, and on April 13, 2015 it "used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with … [Read more...]

H-1B FY 2016 Cap Filing Season Opens April 1, 2015

The annual H-1B cap filing season opens today, April 1, 2015. USCIS will now accept H-1B petitions filed by employers for cap-subject employees for one of the FY 2016 (October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016) available H-1B slots. Certain petitioners (including institutions of higher education) continue to be exempt from the cap. How quickly the cap is reached depends on demand. However, over the … [Read more...]