H-1B Extensions Suspended, H-4 EAD Update, 2016 H-1B Cap Update
USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions
Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant. USCIS will continue to premium process H-1B Extension of Stay petitions filed with Form I-907 premium requests prior to May 26, 2015.
This temporary suspension only applies to Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay of the H-1B. At this time, we believe this temporary suspension does not apply in any of the following circumstances:
- A request for a change of status from a different non-immigrant classification into H-1B status;
- An amendment of a previously filed Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker that does not request an extension;
- Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, is filed to upgrade a new 2016 CAP H-1B case to premium processing;
- Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, is filed with a request for consular notification or port of entry notification; or
- Any non-H-1B application otherwise eligible for premium processing (L-1, TN, etc.).
H-4 EAD Update
On February 24, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed that it will allow employment authorization to certain qualifying spouses of temporary H-1B workers, beginning May 26, 2015. See Clark Hill's Immigration Update issued on February 25, 2015 for more details.
On May 20, 2015, DHS issued H-4 EAD Filing Guidelines and an H-4 EAD FAQ page. These pages offer information on eligibility requirements, filing requirements, necessary documentation, and processing times. H-4 EAD applications can be received no sooner than May 26, 2015. Currently, the processing time for Form I-765 is 90 days. If you are interested in filing an H-4 EAD application, please contact a member of the Clark Hill Immigration Team.
2016 H-1B CAP Update
On April 7, 2015, US Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced that between April 1, 2015 and April 7, 2015, USCIS received more than enough applications for new H-1B visas for the 2015 fiscal year. USCIS announced on their webpage that nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions were received during the filing period. On April 13, 2015, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process 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. It is unclear whether USCIS has finished receipting accepted H-1B petitions or when they will begin to return unselected petitions. A Clark Hill Immigration team member will notify all H-1B CAP petition beneficiaries, for whom we filed an H-1B application, of any decision reached on the case.
Let’s Go Shopping: The Impact of Liquor & Cannabis on the Retail MarketExplore more
PFAS Restrictions: What Should You Be Doing?Explore more
Up in Smoke: Navigating Marijuana Laws in the Workplace
Employees’ lawful use of marijuana—both recreational and medical—presents numerous traps for the unwary employer. This webinar will address the various legal and practical issues that matter to employers and HR professionals when confronting employees’ lawful marijuana use.