NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2020
August 12, 2020. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has received reports that the USCIS may select more H-1B registrations for the fiscal year 2021. If so, a new H-1B filing period may open as early as August 17 through mid-November 2020. We will continue to closely monitor this development.
June 24, 2020. Since Canadian citizens are generally exempt from the visa requirement, they should be considered exempt from the June 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation, as they are not "seeking entry pursuant" to an H, J, or L visa. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a practice alert on June 24, 2020, confirming that its CBP-OFO Liaison Committee verified this interpretation with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Guidance has been provided to local CBP ports on this issue.
June 22, 2020. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation which temporarily suspends the entry of any individual seeking entry into the U.S. pursuant to any of the following nonimmigrant (temporary) visa categories:
The nonimmigrant ban will take effect at 12:01am EDT on June 24 and will remain in place until December 31, 2020. The ban may be extended or broadened.
June 19, 2020. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has received reports that a general agreement was reached on June 16th regarding a proposed update to Presidential Proclamation 10014, and that this agreement could be finalized by the end of this week, Friday June 19, 2020. AILA believes that any extension or expansion of the Proclamation must happen before it expires at 11:59 pm on June 22, 2020 and that reports seem to confirm that nonimmigrant visa categories (H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1) will be impacted.
June 9, 2020. Rumor or real? The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been closely monitoring Presidential Proclamation 10014, since its April 22, 2020 announcement, and what this will mean for the H-1B program, as well as other work visa categories.
According to AILA, here is what we know in terms of timing: The proclamation could be issued as early as mid-June and the proclamation could potentially be in effect for as long as 90 to 180 days. In terms of substance, AILA notes, that the Proclamation could bar entry to the U.S. for H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 for a temporary period, with a possible exemption for L-1A multinational executives and managers. The proclamation will provide a temporary ban on the entry of nonimmigrant workers, accordingly will not affect those already in the U.S. Exceptions will be carved out for COVID-19 related exemptions, such as for health care workers and food supply related exemptions.
Other areas of potential rulemaking surround the F-1 OPT (student) and H-4 (spousal work authorization) categories, which could take place as early as July, according to AILA. It is also unclear whether the formal rule making processes of public notice and public comment will be adhered to. If implemented, such rulemaking could rescind the 24 month STEM OPT regulation and add additional requirements to the 12 month post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) program; as well as rescind the H-4 EAD for spouses of H-1B holders.