In light of several recent immigration-related developments, we are providing an update on the following three topics:
H-1B Registration Deadline
As we have noted in previous bulletins, the H-1B Cap selection process will be conducted differently this year in that employers will "pre-register" any H-1B Cap petitions by providing general information about the applicant and the offered position. Once the registration period ends, the "lottery" will be conducted, and we will be notified of any cases that have been randomly selected (there are an allotted 85,000 – 65,000 "regular" Cap and 20,000 for applicants with U.S. master's degrees (or higher) new H-1B visas per fiscal year). Only after confirmation of selection is an employer required to submit the complete H-1B Cap petition.
Cases must be registered between March 1 and March 20. Once we have received confirmation of selection, we will have 90 days to submit the complete petition. In order to ensure that the case analysis is completed in advance of the upcoming registration deadline, we recommend that employers identify and initiate any potential H-1B Cap cases now.
Expansion of the Travel Ban
The Trump administration's "Travel Ban" was extended on January 31, 2020, to include nationals from six additional countries: Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania. Initially enacted in January 2017 through an Executive Order and (after several legal road blocks) implemented in September 2017, the Travel Ban has suspended immigrant and nonimmigrant entry for nationals from the listed countries. Although several exceptions are available, the Ban has had a significant impact on companies and individuals and last week's announcement further extends its reach.
Impact of Coronavirus
Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration announced a temporary ban on foreign nationals entering the United States after visiting China within the last two weeks. The temporary ban extends to any American citizens who have traveled to the Hubai Province within the last two weeks, requiring mandatory quarantine upon re-entry to the United States.
Please also note that, beginning this week, all immigrant visa appointments in Guangzhou, China have been cancelled. The post has not provided a timeline for the resumption of services.
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