February 16, 2024 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Feb 16, 2024 | 2 Comments

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, we bring you reminders on H-1B visa requirements, USCIS' recent success with clearing backlogs, Palestinians for Deferred Enforced Departure and upcoming movements in the Visa Bulletin. Please take a moment to review the following items:

Completion and Submission of H-1B Visa CAP Lottery Requirements

To ensure a smooth and successful registration process for your potential H-1B candidates, we kindly ask that you contact our office at your earliest convenience. This is crucial for us to accurately and efficiently submit your registrations within the designated timeframe

The FY 2025 H-1B visa registration process introduces key changes aimed at improving fairness and integrity. The registration period is scheduled from March 6 to March 22, 2024, with a fee of $10 per submission. A significant update is the implementation of a beneficiary-centric selection system designed to ensure equal chances of selection for all candidates, addressing the issue of individuals with multiple registrations having a higher chance of being selected. Additionally, the updated process mandates a valid passport or travel document for each beneficiary, eliminating the possibility of submitting multiple applications for the same individual without a passport. These changes signify USCIS's commitment to modernizing the H-1B program and making the selection process more equitable. Employers and their representatives are advised to familiarize themselves with these updates to enhance their compliance and success rates in the CAP lottery. The move towards a more equitable system is closely monitored by legal experts and stakeholders, reflecting a significant shift in U.S. immigration policy towards ensuring fairness and program integrity.

Please note that timely submission of these documents is essential to meet the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) deadlines and to maximize the chances of your candidates being selected in the lottery. We understand the importance of this process to your business and are here to provide guidance and support every step of the way.

USCIS Achieves Milestone by Completing Over 10 Million Cases in FY 2023, Significantly Reducing Backlogs

In an unprecedented achievement, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the completion of more than 10 million immigration cases in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, effectively reducing its backlog for the first time in over a decade. This progress reflects the agency's commitment to improving customer experience, streamlining employment-based immigration, expanding naturalization opportunities, and fulfilling its humanitarian mission.

Under the leadership of USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou, the agency has focused on fairness, integrity, and respect, addressing the needs of those it serves with a range of innovative solutions. Notable accomplishments include the elimination of the naturalization application backlog, with over 878,500 new U.S. citizens sworn in, including 12,000 military members. The median processing time for naturalization applications has been reduced from 10.5 months to 6.1 months, significantly expediting the path to citizenship for many applicants.

To enhance customer service, USCIS introduced new technology solutions, including a self-service tool for rescheduling biometrics appointments and an online platform for address changes, expected to reduce contact center inquiries significantly. Furthermore, the agency has made strides in employment-based immigration by issuing more than 192,000 immigrant visas and extending the validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to five years for certain applicants.

USCIS's humanitarian efforts have also been noteworthy, providing protection to vulnerable populations worldwide amidst the largest displacement crisis since World War II. These efforts underscore the agency's dedication to its mission of welcoming and offering possibilities to individuals seeking a new life in the United States.

This year's achievements mark a significant milestone in USCIS's history, showcasing the agency's ability to meet strategic priorities while ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the immigration system.

Deferred Enforced Departure for Palestinians

In a significant development from the White House, President Biden has announced a new measure aimed at supporting certain Palestinian individuals currently residing in the United States. The President has designated Palestinians for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), a directive that effectively blocks the removal of eligible Palestinians from the U.S. for a period of 18 months. This decision not only underscores the administration's commitment to humanitarian relief but also ensures that affected individuals can remain in the country without the immediate fear of deportation.

Moreover, the presidential order extends beyond the mere prevention of removal. It encompasses provisions for related work authorization, thereby allowing eligible Palestinians to seek and maintain employment in the U.S. during this period. This move is anticipated to provide significant relief and stability to those affected, enabling them to support themselves and contribute to the U.S. economy. 

In a parallel directive, the Department of Homeland Security has been instructed to consider the relaxation of employment rules for Palestinian F-1 students. This prospective change could facilitate easier access to work opportunities for Palestinian students, enhancing their educational experience in the United States by allowing them to gain practical work experience in their field of study.

Visa Bulletin Movements

According to the March 2024 Visa Bulletin, there will be modest advancements in the EB-1 category for India and China, as well as in the Worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 Professional categories. These movements are crucial for many awaiting their chance for permanent residency in the United States, as they potentially reduce the waiting time for visa availability.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will honor the final action dates for these employment-based categories in the coming month. This decision is pivotal for applicants in these categories, offering a clearer pathway towards achieving their American Dream.

We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.


Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

[Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.]

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Dhan Nepali Reply

Posted Feb 18, 2024 at 03:44:46

Want to get work permit in Us in medical or Clinical Sector

Keshab R. Seadie Reply

Posted Mar 11, 2024 at 10:53:19

Hi Dhan. Please call us at 212-571-6002 to discuss your case further.

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