U.S. Immigration Updates – Week of December 18, 2023


H-1B Domestic Visa Renewal Pilot Program Clears White House Review

A pilot program allowing a limited number of foreign H-1B workers to renew visas without leaving the US cleared review by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

The State Department said last month that the pilot (RIN 1400-AF79), which will include an initial 20,000 participants, will launch in January. But full details of eligibility and operation of the pilot will emerge when a notice is published in the Federal Register.

The pilot cleared OIRA review Dec. 15, the final regulatory hurdle before publication.

SOURCE: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/pilot-for-h-1b-domestic-visa-renewal-clears-white-house-review


USCIS Reaches Annual H-1B Cap for FY 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 13, 2023, that it has received a sufficient number of petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

USCIS said it will send non-selection notices to registrants through their online accounts. When the agency finishes sending the non-selection notifications, the status for properly submitted registrations that USCIS did not select for the FY 2024 H-1B numerical allocations will show:

  • Not Selected: Not selected—not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration.

USCIS said it will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2024 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in additional H-1B positions.

SOURCE: USCIS alert (Dec. 13, 2023).


DOL: Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Seeks Information on STEM and Non-STEM Occupations in PERM Schedule A

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) is seeking information from the public to potentially consider revisions to Schedule A of the permanent labor certification process to include occupations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), including Artificial Intelligence-related occupations, and non-STEM occupations, for which there may be an insufficient number of ready, willing, able, and qualified U.S. workers.

ETA said its request for information (RFI) will provide the public an opportunity to address whether and why STEM occupations should be added to Schedule A, offer information on which occupations should be considered as falling under the umbrella of STEM, and request data, studies, and related information that should be considered to establish a reliable, objective, and transparent methodology for identifying STEM or non-STEM occupations with a significant shortage of workers that should be added to or removed from Schedule A. “To the extent possible and wherever appropriate, responses to this RFI should indicate the question number(s) and include specific information, data, statistical models and metrics, and any resources relied on in reaching conclusions for its claims, rather than relying on general observations,” ETA said.

SOURCE: PERM Schedule A Request for Information, announcement, Dept. of Labor (Dec. 15, 2023).


USCIS Changes Filing Location for Form I-907 Filed for Pending Form I-140

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of December 15, 2023, it has begun transitioning the filing location for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, when filed for a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, from the service centers to appropriate USCIS lockboxes.

USCIS noted that this change does not apply to those filing Form I-140 concurrently with an associated application (such as Form I-485, I-765, or Form I-131). The agency said it will soon announce a filing location change for these forms, but as of now, such forms should be filed with the service centers as listed on the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker page.

USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed with Form I-140 that is received at the previous service center address.

SOURCE: USCIS alert (Dec. 13, 2023)

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