USCIS Implements $10 Registration Fee for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has
proposed a rule that will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a $10 fee for each registration they submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the H-1B cap selection process.
USCIS plans to implement a new electronic registration requirement that will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. USCIS expects to implement the registration process for the fiscal year 2021 H-1B cap selection process, pending completed testing of the system. An announcement will be published in the Federal Register once USCIS has made a formal decision on the implementation timeframe and initial registration period.
USCIS Proposes Fee Schedule Adjustments that Will Raise Filing Fees by a Weighted Average of Twenty One Percent (21%)
DHS proposes to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of twenty one percent (21%), add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 11/14/19.
DHS claims that the proposed fee rule accounts for increased costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries.
Proposed fee adjustments include the following:
Once published, the proposed rule must undergo a public comment period before these changes become effective.
USCIS to Start Issuing New Security-Enhanced Travel Documents in Lieu of Reentry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents
will begin issuing new security-enhanced U.S. travel documents that can serve in place of Forms I-327, Permits to Reenter the United States and Forms I-571, Refugee Travel Documents. The new travel document will be a booklet that looks similar to a U.S. passport and will serve dual purposes. Prior versions of the travel document will remain valid until their expiration date.
Forms I-327, Permit to Reenter the United States (or “Reentry Permits”) are issued to lawful permanent residents seeking to return from temporary travel outside of the U.S. Forms I-571, Refugee Travel Documents are issued to refugees and asylees if they wish to temporarily travel outside of the United States.
DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan
As previously reported, DHS previously announced plans to extend TPS-based employment authorization for El Salvador. DHS
has now announced that it will be extending the validity of TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan through January 4, 2021.
In doing so, DHS is complying with the preliminary injunctions issued in connection with several ongoing lawsuits challenging DHS’ attempt to terminate TPS for several countries listed.
Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments on Termination of DACA Scheduled for November 12th
Since 2017, the Administration has sought to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from removal and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering three (3) consolidated cases arguing that the termination of the program violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
Previous decisions from lower courts have temporarily stopped the termination. As of now, Supreme Court did not stay any of the lower court orders, which means that DACA recipients who currently have or previously had DACA can continue to submit applications to renew their DACA.
USCIS Updates Guidance on EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS has revised its
Policy Manual to comport with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule, published on July 24, 2019, and effective November 21, 2019. Among several changes, the new policy guidance reflects USCIS’ decision to increase the minimum investment amount in a targeted employment area (TEA) from $500,000 to $900,000 and increase the standard minimum investment amount from $1 million to $1.8 million.