November 2, 2020 Newsletter Powered By ABIL

Late November Visa Bulletin Preserves Forward Movement for Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers
The Department of State released the November Visa Bulletin about two weeks later than usual, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is allowing applicants to use the “Dates for Advanced Filing” chart (Chart B) for November.
Chart B for November preserves the very substantial forward movement for all categories of employment-based immigrants that was implemented in October. The dates for filing in nearly all categories are identical between October and November, so qualified applicants waiting for required evidence can now submit applications any time before November 30, 2020.
The November bulletin also notes that the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. No. 116-159) extends both the employment fourth preference religious workers (SR) and employment fifth preference pilot (I5 and R5) categories until December 11, 2020.

Details: November 2020 Visa Bulletin, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-for-november-2020.html

DHS Proposed Rule Would Replace Random H-1B Registration Selection With Wage-Level-Based Selection Process
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule on November 2, 2020, that would prioritize the selection of H-1B registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) based on corresponding wage levels. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services generally would first select registrations based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics prevailing wage level that the proffered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification code and area(s) of intended employment.
Modifying the H-1B selection process by replacing the random selection process with a wage-level-based selection process “is a better way to allocate H-1Bs when demand exceeds supply,” DHS said. The agency believes that such a new selection process “would incentivize employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies.”
The proposed rule would be implemented for both the H-1B regular cap and the H-1B advanced degree exemption, but would not change the order of selection between the two as established by the H-1B registration requirement final rule. The wage level ranking would occur first for the regular cap selection and then for the advanced degree exemption.
Litigation is expected. Comments are due within 30 days of November 2, 2020, on the proposed rule, and within 60 days on the proposed information collection.

Details: DHS proposed rule, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-11-02/pdf/2020-24259.pdf; USCIS statement, https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/dhs-trump-administration-protect-american-jobs-from-unfair-international-competition

OFLC Releases FAQs on DOL Prevailing Wage Interim Final Rule
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) released two rounds of frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing issues related to DOL’s interim final rule on prevailing wage calculations.

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