Hunton Immigration Law Blog

Information on US Immigration Law Relevant to Employers & Employees

Starting in May 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue I-94 numbers with letters in addition to numbers. The new format will include nine numbers, followed by one letter and one number. Current I-94 numbers also have eleven characters, but only numbers. Examples of new I-94 numbers include: 111111111A1; 000000001B2; 123456789C3. I-94s in the current number-only format will remain valid through the listed “Admit Until Date”. As a reminder, an I-94 record not…
The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process. The complete visa bulletin can be found here. Below is a summary of the May Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month. China: EB-1 remains stalled at February 22, 2017, EB-2 advances six weeks to May 15, 2016,…
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has just announced that it has completed what is commonly known as the “master’s cap” H-1B lottery.  The agency confirmed, as was widely anticipated, that sufficient petitions were received during the first five business days of April 2019 to satisfy this additional pool of 20,000 H-1B numbers, which are set aside for workers who possess an advanced degree from a U.S. college or university.  As we previously reported, the…
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reported receiving enough petitions during the first five business days of April 2019 to meet the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B regular cap for fiscal year 2020.  USCIS will next determine if it has received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree exemption or “master’s cap.” This year, for the first time, the agency ran the regular lottery first, with the stated purpose of ensuring that more of…
On April 3rd, U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) largest worksite compliance operation hit the private company CVE Technology Group (CVE) and four of CVE’s staffing companies in Texas.  ICE executed criminal search warrants and arrested approximately 280 CVE employees who, according to ICE, were working unlawfully.  Each arrested employee will be fingerprinted and processed by ICE for removal from the United States.  Approximately 200 ICE officers took part in the raid, including manning busses…
After weeks of anxious speculation by immigration attorneys and their clients, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally announced their premium processing strategy for this year’s H-1B cap season, and it’s … complicated: H-1B cap petitions requesting a change of status may request premium processing when the case is initially filed during the first week of April; The 15 day premium processing clock for change of status cases will not start until USCIS notifies…
The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process. The complete visa bulletin can be found here. Below is a summary of the April Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month. China: EB-1 halts at February 22, 2017, EB-2 leaps forward three months to April 1, 2016,…
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and new Form I-539A, Supplemental Information to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.  Applicants may continue to file the current Forms I-539 and Supplement A until March 21, 2019; as of March 22, 2019, only the revised I-539 and I-539A will be accepted by USCIS.  The I-539A may not be filed as a stand-alone form. According to USCIS, it may verify the…
On February 20, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) submitted its proposed regulation to remove work authorization for certain H-4 spouses to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It is likely that OMB will complete its review within 30 days. What happens next? Once OMB completes its review, the proposed regulation will be made available for public comment. It remains to be seen whether USCIS will allow a 60-day comment period, or limit…
On February 11, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a revised Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Status.  The revised form will publish and become effective on March 11, 2019.  As of the effective date, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539.  Affected foreign nationals include spouses and children of H-1B and L visa holders; visitors for business or pleasure; F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors for certain changes of status. USCIS will…