Registration for H-1B Visa Lottery to Open Soon
Information regarding this year’s H-1B visa lottery, including the registration period, is expected shortly. Although exact dates have not yet been announced, we expect the registration period to open in early March and run for 3 to 4 weeks. To register, employers must create a myUSCIS online account and pay a $10 registration fee for each individual entered. Registration for multiple beneficiaries will also be available. Applicants who are selected for the lottery will then be able to file a complete H-1B petition.
As a reminder, there are approximately 65,000 H-1B visas available for all applicants, plus an additional 20,000 reserved for individuals who have earned a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. school.
H-1B workers who have already been selected in the lottery and who need to extend their stay or change employers, as well as individuals who will work for a “cap-exempt employer” (which include institutions of higher education and certain related nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations and government research organizations) are not subject to the H-1B “cap” and therefore do not have to enter the lottery.
If you would like us to prepare your H-1B lottery registration(s) this year, or would like to discuss the program, please contact our office as soon as possible.
Submit a Comment on Proposed Fee Increases at USCIS
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released details about a proposed fee increase that would substantially raise government filing fees for many immigration benefits. At this stage, the rule is just a proposal and it remains unclear whether it will go into effect and, if so, when and in what form. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Increasing the filing fee for H-1B petitions from $460 (current fee) to $780 (proposed fee);
- Increasing the filing fee for L-1 petitions from $460 (current fee) to $1,385 (proposed fee);
- Increasing the filing fee for O-1 petitions from $460 (current fee) to $1,055 (proposed fee);
- Increasing the cost of filing a green card application, with employment and travel authorization requests, from $1,225 (current fee) to $2,820 (proposed fee);
- Increasing the filing fee for I-751 petitions to remove conditions on residence from $595 (current fee) to $1,195 (proposed fee);
- Adjusting the premium processing requirement so that USCIS must respond within 15 business days instead of 15 calendar days.
Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments to USCIS, which the agency is required to consider before finalizing the new rule. Comments may influence the content of the rule or even affect its adoption altogether. If you would like to comment on the proposed fee increase, you can do so before March 6 by clicking “Submit a Formal Comment” here.
Please contact your KM&M attorney with any questions or concerns.
USCIS Extends Green Card Validity for Pending I-751 Applicants
USCIS will soon begin issuing I-751/I-829 filing receipt notices that extend applicants’ 2-year green cards for 48 months after the expiration date on the card. Conditional permanent residents must file a form I-751 or I-829 to remove the conditions on their residency before their 2-year green card expires. These applicants are currently issued receipt notices extending their permanent residence for 24 months while their petition is pending. In recognition of ever-lengthening processing times for these applications, USCIS has now increased the automatic green card extension to 48 months, beginning on January 25, 2023.
In addition to providing a 48-month extension for newly filed cases, USCIS will issue new receipt notices to pending cases where the applicant’s permanent residence was previously extended for only 24 months.
An updated receipt notice, in conjunction with an expired 2-year green card, will allow applicants to continue working in the U.S. and traveling internationally for up to 48 months beyond the 2-year green card expiration date.