July 19

Washington Post: Supreme Court Allows Trump Travel Ban Enforcement, but Says It Must Allow Broader Exemptions for Relatives

The Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court has temporarily allowed the Trump administration to enforce restrictions on the nation’s refugee program, but it let stand a lower court order from Hawaii on the expanded definition of close family ties, including that grandparents and other relatives who want to travel to the United States must be admitted while the case proceeds on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The high court is set to hear oral arguments on the travel ban in October after the justices return from their summer recess.

July 19

DHS and DOL Issue Joint Temporary Rule Increasing the H-2B Cap

DHS and DOL published a temporary rule in the Federal Register, increasing the H-2B cap for the remainder of FY2017 by an additional 15,000 visas, effective from July 19, 2017, through September 30, 2017. USCIS provided additional information regarding who can petition for these additional visas, how to file an H-2B petition under this one-time increase, filing information, and filing deadlines. Employers will be required to complete a Form ETA 9142-B-CAA, certifying that their business is in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers.

June 29

Implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order Following the Supreme Court’s Ruling

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court partially lifted the preliminary
injunctions that barred the implementation of section 2 of Executive Order
13780, which suspends the entry to the United States of, and the issuance of
visas to, nationals of six designated countries, as well as section 6, which
relates to the Refugee Admissions Program. Those sections of the executive
order will go into effect tonight at 8:00 pm (ET).

May 3

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS Completes Data Entry of Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced on May 3, 2017, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS asks petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned. 

Additionally, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition. 

As previously announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-subject petitions, for up to six months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. While premium processing is suspended, they will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition.    

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