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Jackson Lewis Employers’ Immigration Update

H-1B Cap Filing Opens April 1, 2015

Employers must be ready to file their completed H-1B visa petitions on April 1, 2015. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allocates 65,000 new H-1B visas each fiscal year (running October 1 – September 30) and another 20,000 H-1Bs are reserved for individuals who received a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. educational institution. Because a petition cannot be filed more than six months prior to the employee’s start date, the earliest possible date to file for a new H-1B is April 1. This year we anticipate roughly three times the number of applications will be filed as there are visas available.

Spouses of Certain H-1B Workers May Apply for Work Authorization

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers will be able to apply for employment authorization starting May 26, 2015. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to release details on the filing process.

This new work authorization does not apply to all H-4 spouses. An H-4 spouse will be eligible to apply if his or her H-1B spouse:

  • Is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition; or

  • Has been granted an extension of H-1B status beyond the six-year limit based on the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000. These are individuals granted an extension of H-1B status based upon PERM Labor Certification application or an I-140 immigrant petition taking more than 365 days.

Florida Court Again Strikes Down DOL H-2B Regulations 

A Florida federal district court has ruled once again that the Department of Labor lacks authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to issue regulations in the H-2B program, vacating the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations establishing standards and procedures for certifying employers’ requests to import H-2B workers and calculating the prevailing wage rates for temporary foreign workers. Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682 (N.D. Fla. Mar. 4, 2015).

DOL therefore announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer accept or process requests for prevailing wage determinations or applications for labor certification in the H-2B program while it considers its options in light of the court’s decision.

USCIS Issues New Policy Memorandum on Adjudication of H-1B Petitions for Nursing Occupations

USCIS has issued a new policy memorandum for guidance on the adjudication of H-1B Petitions for nurses. The new policy supersedes any prior guidance on the subject and is intended to help officers in determining whether or not a nursing position meets the definition of a specialty occupation.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020

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About this Author

Sean G. Hanagan, Jackson Lewis, business immigration lawyer, employment eligibility verification attorney
Principal

Sean G. Hanagan is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Working with human resources professionals and in-house counsel, he helps employers develop business solutions and policies for the hire and movement of international staff. Mr. Hanagan advises on I-9 employment eligibility verification, E-Verify and social security issues, and on best practices to avoid hiring-related discrimination. He defends companies subject to government audits and investigations, and guides employers through...

914-872-6879
Minnie Fu, Jackson Lewis, Immigration Litigation Lawyer, Employment VISA Applications attorney
Principal

Minnie Fu is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-related visas and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations.

Ms. Fu has twenty years of experience in employment-based immigration matters, including nonimmigrant and immigrant visa matters, developing corporate immigration policies and procedures for best practices, and strategic corporate planning for international personnel employment by evaluating the impact of mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations on corporate compliance with U.S. immigration law.

703-483-8311
David Jones, Shareholder, Collegiate and Professional Sports, Jackson Lewis,
Shareholder

David S. Jones is a Shareholder in the firm’s Memphis office while maintaining a practice in the Las Vegas office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced law exclusively in the area of immigration and related employment matters for nearly fifteen years. He represents clients in complex matters relating to both immigration benefits and enforcement and in proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice and the Department of State, as well as in matters related to citizenship status discrimination...

901- 462-2600