February 4, 2021 Newsletter Powered by ABIL

USCIS To Abide by Previous Filing Fee Amounts Under Preliminary Injunction

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to abide by previous filing fee amounts because of preliminary injunctions in ILRC v. Wolf and Nw. Immigrant Rts. Project v. USCIS. USCIS said it is complying with the terms of these orders and “is not enforcing the regulatory changes set out in the Final Rule. USCIS will continue to accept the fees that were in place prior to October 2, 2020, and follow the guidance in place prior to October 2, 2020 to adjudicate fee waiver requests.”

Details:

Notification of Preliminary Injunction, USCIS, 86 Fed. Reg. 7493, Jan. 29, 2021, https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/1361621/download

OFLC To Reissue Certain Prevailing Wage Determinations

On January 20, 2021, a U.S. district court issued a modified order governing the manner and schedule in which the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) will reissue certain prevailing wage determinations (PWDs) that were issued from October 8, 2020, through December 4, 2020, under the wage methodology for a related DOL interim rule issued in October, and at the request of employers under the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 temporary programs and PERM labor certification program.

OFLC said DOL is taking necessary steps to comply with the modified order issued by the district court. Accordingly, OFLC will reissue certain PWDs issued under the interim final rule in two phases: high priority (within 15 days of receiving the requested list of named plaintiffs from plaintiffs’ counsel) and emergency situations (by March 2, 2021).

Employers that have already submitted a request in response to a December 3, 2020, announcement posted by OFLC have been issued a PWD and do not need to resubmit a second request for reissuance or take other additional action, OFLC said.

Details: OFLC announcement, Jan. 22, 2021,

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor

Biden Administration Withdraws Proposed H-4 EAD Rescission Rule From OMB Review

The Biden administration withdrew a proposed rule to rescind the H-4 employment authorization document (EAD) program from review by the Office of Management and Budget. This means that about 100,000 H-4 EAD holders (spouses of H-1B workers who are mostly women from India) and their employers no longer need to worry about losing their work authorization.

Details:

“Proposed H-4 EAD Rule Withdrawn for Review,” National Law Review, https://www.natlawreview.com/article/proposed-h-4-ead-rule-withdrawn-review

“Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses From the Classes of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization,” Proposed Rule, https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=202010&RIN=1615-AC15

ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) compliance due to continued precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy is extended until March 31, 2021.

About a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security deferred physical presence requirements associated with the I-9 process. The policy applies only to employers and workplaces operating remotely.

Details:

“ICE Announces Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility,” ICE, Jan. 27, 2021, https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-announces-extension-i-9-compliance-flexibility-2

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