Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will begin accepting FY 2023 (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023) cap-subject H-1B registrations on March 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM EST. The registration window will run through March 18, 2022 at 12:00 PM EST. Employers seeking to sponsor employees for cap-subject H-1B status must complete an electronic registration on behalf of each employee through their myUSCIS account during this 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, 2022. USCIS will also hold a webinar to discuss updates to the online account features and address questions regarding the FY 2023 H-1B electronic registration on February 24, 2022 from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST. To register for the webinar, you may sign up here.
- USCIS updated its website to indicate that there is an exceptionally high number of employment-based visas available this fiscal year, which runs from October 2021 through September 2022. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”), USCIS stated that it is committed to attempting to use all of these visa numbers. Specifically, USCIS stated that there are many more visas available in the first and second employment-based categories than employment-based adjustment of status applications pending with USCIS. As a result, USCIS is encouraging eligible individuals to apply in the first or second employment-based preference categories this fiscal year, if they qualify. Through September 30, 2022, applicants who wish to request to transfer their pending I-485 applications to their approved first or second employment-based preference category I-140 may submit a written request with a completed Form I-485 Supplement J, if required, to the address provided in the link above.
- USCIS updated policy guidance on the criteria used to determine if a case warrants expedited treatment. The guidance clarifies the circumstances under which USCIS considers expedite requests, provides examples of requests that may be considered, explains potential delays, and more. The full announcement is available here and the updated policy guidance is available here.
- In connection with the Biden administration’s recent administrative policies intended to attract and retain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) workers in the United States, the White House and DOS announced corporate engagement opportunities for its new Early Career STEM Research Initiative. This initiative aims to facilitate more enterprises to use the J-1 exchange visitor category to bring more researchers into the United States. First, DOS announced that it will be collecting no-obligation “letters of interest” from businesses that believe that they would benefit from the global perspective of an international researcher trained abroad. By completing the letter on the DOS website, businesses may be contacted by designated sponsors of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program with offers to sponsor research-based exchange visitors. Further, there will be a kick-off Zoom event about the new Early Career STEM Research Initiative hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and DOS’ Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau on February 2, 2022. In February and March, the White House and DOS will conduct a series of small-group roundtables to provide an opportunity for businesses to learn more and ask questions. These events are for businesses engaged in corporate research. If your business would like to be invited to either the kick-off Zoom event or an information roundtable, you may write to firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate your interest in the events.