U.S. Immigration Updates – Week of January 23, 2024

 

USCIS Final Fee Rule Cleared by Office of Management and Budget

On January 22, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared the USCIS Final Fee Rule. Introduced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in January 2023, the USCIS fee rule is projected to increase fees for many nonimmigrant and immigrant visa processing services.

  • The rule has proposed significant increases in H-1B (70%), L-1 (201%), and O-1 (129%) visa processing as well as for adjustment of status petitions (up to 130%). It is anticipated that the higher fees will be announced before the beginning of the H-1B Cap registration season.
  • In addition to increasing the visa program fees, the new regulation is expected to increase the H-1B cap registration fee (currently $10).
  • The new regulation is likely to impose an asylum program fee for I-129 and I-140 petitions. (The rule proposed an asylum fee amount of $600 per petition).
  • The new regulation may also “unbundle” the shared fee for the adjustment of status form (I-131, I-765, I-485) so that each form would require a separate fee.
  • Other possible regulatory changes include extending the adjudicatory periods for premium processing petitions by costing business days rather than calendar days.
  • The actual fee increases will not be known until they are published in the Federal Register.

 

USCIS to Hold Webinars on Online Organizational Accounts

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is sponsoring two webinars about the upcoming online organization accounts. These accounts will begin in February and can be used for FY 2025 H-1B cap and non-cap cases.

Online Organization Accounts Webinar for Petitioning Employers: Tuesday, January 23, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (ET)

USCIS invites petitioning employers to participate in a webinar on Tuesday, January 23, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

  • The new organizational accounts will allow petitioning employers and their legal representatives to share access and collaborate on H-1B registrations, Forms I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker for H-1B nonimmigrants, and associated Forms I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
  • This presentation will cover the experience of companies and other employment-based filers in detail. While attendance at both sessions is permitted, please note that each session is tailored to a specific audience.

Online Organization Accounts Webinar for Legal Representatives: Wednesday, January 24, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (ET)

USCIS invites legal representatives to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, January 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. This presentation will cover the legal representative’s experience in detail.

During each webinar, USCIS representatives will:

  • Provide an overview of the enhanced features of the organizational account;
  • Explain what an administrator account is and who should create one;
  • Review how employers/legal representatives can use their enhanced organizational accounts;
  • Remind participants of best practices to avoid common mistakes; and
  • Answer questions

No registration is required for either event. Please use Microsoft Teams to join the engagement. USCIS recommends using Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Firefox as the web browser. Participants may also view the engagement from a mobile device with the Microsoft Teams application.

 

Department of Labor Seeks OMB Approval, Comments on O*Net Data Collection Program

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the O*NET Data Collection Program to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

DOL said that O*NET is “an ongoing effort to collect and maintain current information on the detailed characteristics of occupations and skills for more than 900 occupations. The resulting database provides the most comprehensive standardized source of occupational and skills information in the nation.”

OMB will consider all written comments that the agency receives by February 16, 2024.

SOURCE: DOL O*NET OMB notice, 89 Fed. Reg. 2985 (Jan. 17, 2024).

 The content of this article is intended only to provide a general guide to the subject matter. It should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact FGI at info@employmentimmigration.com or 1.248.643.4900 for guidance if you have specific questions.

 

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