News Flash Archive

What does Trumps latest executive order mean for the H-1B Program?

Trumps latest immigration exec order: Here’s what the Executive Order says:

Sec. 2. Policy

In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad, including section 212(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act – This section of the law governs the Labor Certification process for employment-based green cards, it is not related to H-1B petitions.

Sec. 5. Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to “Hire American.”

(a) In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b) of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse. – Most of these ideas neet to be proposed through notice and comment rulemaking.

(b) In order to promote the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries. – This would likely then require legislative action by congress to change the laws that created the H-1B program.

Likey the H-1B program will change in the future, but the change will not happen immediately. Cases in the H-1B lottery for now will proceed without change.

California’s Chief Justice is a vocal critic of Trumps immigration policies

Tani Cantil-Sakauye, California’s chief justice, is fast emerging as one of the Trump administration’s most vocal critics in the judiciary.

Her main concern is the controversy surrounding President Trump’s immigration policies. Earlier this month, she criticized federal immigration authorities for using courthouses as “bait” to arrest undocumented immigrants. Days later, she assailed the president’s disparaging comments about federal judges who ruled against his travel ban.


Indian EB 2 to advance – Visa Bulletin Predections Mr. Charles Oppenheim who is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State

The source of these predictions is Mr. Charles Oppenheim who is the Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State and who is actually the person responsible for the monthly and annual visa number allocations for family- and employment-based green cards. Ms. Hayden served on a panel with him last week at the Federal Bar Association Conference in Memphis.

Mr. Oppenheim was able to provide some predictions and expectations for movement of visa numbers over the next few months.   Please note that these are short-term predictions and depending on the number of applications as a result of the next few months’ visa numbers, the rate of cutoff date movement may change.

EB-1.   This category is expected to remain current throughout the fiscal year.   Also, it is too early in the fiscal year to be able to determine how many unused EB-1 visa numbers there will be to “drop down” into the EB-2 category.

EB-2 Rest of World (ROW).  This category is expected to remain current throughout the fiscal year.

EB-2 India.  This is the major headline from Mr. Oppenheim’s comments –  EB-2 India is likely to move forward to January 1, 2008 during the August or (more likely) September Visa Bulletin.   This movement will aim to utilize all of the available visa numbers for the fiscal year that may be unused by other categories (possibly 5,000 or more, but fewer compared to prior years).

EB-3 Rest of World (ROW).  This category has seen increased demand over the past few months (due to the significant movements) and it is unlikely that there will be forward movement in the short term.  In fact, if demand continues at its current pace, there may be a retrogression as early as June 2014.   Retrogression is possible for the last quarter of fiscal year 2014 (Jul-Sep 2014) and this is a call for all EB-3 ROW applicants who are current to file their I-485s as soon as possible.

EB-3 China.    As a result of many EB-2 China applicants “downgrading” to EB-3 it is expected that EB-3 China will see some retrogression over the next month or two.

EB-5 China.  Mr. Oppenheim suggested that the demand for EB-5 is high and a cutoff date may be introduced in August or September.   Retrogression for EB-5 China is “inevitable” given the high number of EB-5 pending applications for Chinese nationals.

Visa Bulletin Predictions – Family-Based

Additionally, Mr. Oppenheim was able to provide some predictions and expectations for movement of visa numbers over the next few months for the family-based categories as well.

FB-2A.   Demand is starting to increase; as a result, FB-2A Mexico will retrogress soon.  FB-2A ROW is also likely to retrogress, perhaps back to 2012 in the June or July 2014 Visa Bulletin.

FB-2B.  Due to low demand currently, additional forward movement is expected.

Note on Timing of NVC Fee Invoices

Mr. Oppenheim noted that the National Visa Center (NVC) is sending our requests for fee payments about 8 to 12 months in advance of the priority date becoming current (this is change to the previous practice of doing so 12-18 months in advance).    When applicants pay the fee earlier after receipt of the fee invoice, Mr. Oppenheim is able to “see” the demand earlier and adjust the demand in the category accordingly, eliminating the need of major forward movement, followed by a retrogression.

USCIS Reaches FY 2014 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process. Also, USCIS is currently not providing the total number of petitions received, as we continue to accept filings today. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.
USCIS will provide more detailed information about the H-1B cap next week.

New I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.    Effective March 8, 2013 Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9  for all new hires and verifications. Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions until May 7, 2013.  After May 7, 2013,  use of the new Form I-9 is mandatory. The revision date of the Form I-9 is printed on the lower left corner of the form. Employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired. The revised forms are available in English and Spanish online at

Prosecution of a company that “Benched” H-1B workers without Pay

A practice long used by US employers of benching H-1B workers without pay is now getting tough scrutiny and will have to change.  See the breaking news here at

Obama on Immigration Reform

Obama starts push for immigration reform,0,6185727.story … via @latimes

New Immigrant Visa Fee to be Charged by USCIS

As February 1, 2013 USCIS will charge a new fee of $165 per applicant that receives an Immigrant Visa Package at an US Embassy or Consulate. This is in addition to the Immigrant Visa Fees charged by the US State Department in connection with the Immigrant Visa interview. For more information see this link:

Obama Challenges Congress to Act Swiftly on Immigration Reform

President Obama made a speech in Las Vegas on Immigration Reform today.  To read about what he said check out this article from the New York Times:

Bipartisan Announcement on Immigration Reform

Today, a group of four Democratic and four Republican senators released their “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” which outlines a set of principles to guide the overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. For more information see this document:

Bipartisan Announcement on Immigration Reform