The USCIS announced that that it intends to follow the same procedures that were used in previous years for the Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B season. Earlier this year, the USCIS had contemplated using a pre-registration system to accept H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2019 filings. The USCIS’ recent announcement confirms that the filing procedures will not change for Fiscal year 2019. The USCIS also stated that it does not anticipate that premium processing will be suspended for H-1B petitions not subject to the quota. However, there may be a short suspension of premium processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions.
On January 25, 2018, USCIS announced an additional requirement to the E-Verify program for federal contractors and subcontractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirement. Effective January 5, 2018, new federal contractors and subcontractors with a FAR requirement must provide their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) during the E-Verify enrollment process. As to existing E-Verify employers designated as federal contractors with a FAR requirement, they do not have to provide their DUNS number, but will be prompted to enter it in E-Verify when they update their profile.
On January 25, 2018, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2018 (the Act). The Act amends the Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”) by modernizing the H-1B visa and employment-based green card processes. The following reforms are proposed in the proposed Immigration Bill:
Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Visas (H–1B Visas)
STEM Education and Worker Training