Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- The Department of State (“DOS”) recently released the March 2023 Visa Bulletin. In addition to the final action dates and dates for filing charts for employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases, it contains notes on the diversity visa lottery and the possible implementation of an EB-3 cut-off date for all other countries of chargeability to control demand in this category. EB-2 and EB-3 India and China final action dates and dates for filing remain unchanged in March. The EB-1 cut-off date for India and China and the EB-2 cut-off date for all other countries of chargeability also remain unchanged. For March 2023, employment-based applicants must use the dates for filing chart for adjustment of status applications.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will begin accepting FY 2024 cap-subject H-1B registrations on March 1, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST. The registration window will run through March 17, 2023 at 12:00 PM EST. Employers seeking to sponsor employees for cap-subject H-1B status must complete or have their accredited representatives complete an electronic registration on behalf of each employee through their myUSCIS account during this 17-day window. If more registrations are submitted than available H-1B numbers, USCIS will conduct a random selection lottery for available H-1B numbers from the submitted registrations. USCIS will notify employers and their authorized representatives of selected registrations by March 31, 2023.
- Recently, Bloomberg Law reported that DOS will launch a pilot program to provide for stateside visa renewals for H-1B and L-1 visa holders later this year. Restoring stateside visa renewals, which were discontinued in 2004, will save eligible applicants from having to leave the country to renew their visas and will reduce the workload for U.S. consulates abroad. More information regarding the terms of the pilot program will be released later this year.
- As part of the settlement agreement for the Edakunni class action lawsuit challenging H-4 and L-2 adjudication delays, USCIS has agreed to resume bundling the adjudication of Form I-539 and Form I-765 for the spouses and minor children of H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrants alongside the underlying Form I-129. These applications will only be bundled if the forms are filed concurrently with Form I-129 and all forms are packaged together. This settlement agreement will be in effect for two years and will sunset on January 19, 2025.
- USCIS announced that it is again extending flexible deadlines for responding to certain requests and notices from the agency. Petitioners and applicants have an additional 60 calendar days beyond the due date to respond to certain requests and notices issued by USCIS from March 1, 2020 through March 23, 2023, including Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, and Notices of Intent to Revoke.
- The Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of January 31, 2023, the DOL is adjudicating PERM applications filed in or before May 2022 and processing prevailing wage requests filed in or before January 2022.