Within the yr 2020, the Trump Administration introduced many modifications to employment-based immigration. With many of those modifications at the moment being litigated, and in mild of the presumptive outcomes of the current presidential election, it’s unclear what modifications will likely be applied. Under is a short outlook on what to anticipate in 2021 within the space of enterprise and employment-related immigration and find out how to navigate the uncertainty.
FILING FEE INCREASES
Earlier this yr, the USA Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) applied new submitting charges for immigration-related advantages, growing lots of the charges by as much as 500%. These price will increase have been set to take impact on October 2, 2020, however a last-minute injunction stopped the will increase from changing into efficient. Because the price will increase proceed to be litigated, we put together our shoppers for the potential of elevated charges when advising them on find out how to put together for future hiring of international employees. We additionally help in expeditious preparation of paperwork to reap the benefits of the injunction and file functions, the place doable, earlier than the will increase, if any, take impact.
PROPOSED REGULATION TO ELIMINATE H-1B LOTTERY
The H-1B visa program permits U.S. employers to fill labor shortages in positions requiring extremely expert or extremely educated employees. To guard U.S. employees, the H-1B program has an annual numerical cap. Moreover, U.S. employers are required to pay the prevailing wage to the international employees. The prevailing wage is decided by the Division of Labor and may generally end in salaries larger than these paid to U.S. employees. Due to a high-popularity of the H-1B program, within the final decade, USCIS has constantly acquired extra H-1B petitions than the annual allocation of visas. To permit USCIS to pick out which visa petitions needs to be accepted for overview, varied measures have been applied, together with the H-1B visa lottery, which served as an goal chance-based technique of choosing which employers can profit from the oversubscribed program.
On October 29, 2020, the Administration proposed to get rid of the H-1B visa lottery and as an alternative choose the petitions primarily based on the wage supplied. Meaning the employers that supply the very best wages to their potential international employees would have the very best probability of getting their petitions accepted. The rule is at the moment within the remark stage. If applied, this regulation would change how employers put together for hiring of H-1B employees and would require employers to extend the salaries supplied to potential H-1B employees to extend their possibilities of being chosen for the H-1B program.
PREMIUM PROCESSING FEE INCREASE
This non-obligatory price permits employers and enterprise homeowners to use for expedited overview of their functions for immigration-related advantages. Efficient October 19, 2020, USCIS elevated this price from $1,440 to $2,500 for sure functions. The rise has already taken impact, and nothing signifies that it is going to be reversed in 2021. Roetzel immigration attorneys will advise you as to which conditions warrant fee of the elevated premium processing price.
CONTINUED EFFECT OF COVID-19 ON EMPLOYMENT-BASED IMMIGRATION
To fight the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President quickly suspended the entry of sure immigrant visa candidates to the U.S. by way of December 31, 2020. The suspension contains candidates for employment-based visas, in addition to their dependent spouses and kids, with restricted exceptions. It’s unclear whether or not the present bans will likely be prolonged, revised, or finished away with solely in 2021, with the unknown future course of the pandemic and the destiny of the Presidential election nonetheless not solely sure. As a result of not all positions or circumstances are lined by the visa ban.
It stays to be seen how these circumstances, and the doubtless new Administration, will have an effect on U.S. immigration insurance policies. That stated, no matter guidelines, laws, or proclamations are in place previous to the tip of 2020, will have an effect on the start of 2021. Roetzel will proceed to watch and supply updates to arrange its shoppers for the modifications that 2021 may carry.