Important Announcements

January 2020


Iran E-Treaty Eligibility Terminated

USCIS today announced that, due to the Oct. 3, 2018, termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran, Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor changes or extensions of status based on the treaty.

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USCIS Announces Countries Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), have announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in 2020. The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 17, 2020.

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DOL Annual Penalties Adjustment for 2020 H-1B Violations

DOL final rule effective 1/15/20 implements a 2020 annual adjustment of penalties for inflation required by the Inflation Adjustment Act for employer violations of the H-1B visa program. (85 FR 2292, 1/15/20). see Final Rule: Authorizing Electronic Payments of Civil Money Penalties.

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DOL Annual Penalties Adjustment for 2020 D-1, H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B Visa Program Violations

On November 6, 2019, the Department of Labor announced a final rule revising regulations issued pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), the H-2A provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (H-2A), and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) governing the payment of civil money penalties (CMPs) assessed by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). For more information, see Final Rule: Authorizing Electronic Payments of Civil Money Penalties. DOL final rule effective 1/15/20 implementing the annual adjustment of certain penalties for inflation required by the Inflation Adjustment Act. Among the penalties affected are penalties for employer violations of the D-1, H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visa programs. (85 FR 2292, 1/15/20).

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Processing of Retrogressed I-485 Applications After Priority Date Becomes Current

While the USCIS Visa Retrogression page provides employment based retrogressed cases are held at the Texas Service Center (TSC) upon completion of any required interview and other processing steps...

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OFLC Announces Number of H-2B Cap Reached in FLAG Random Selection Follows

OFLC announced that, during the first 2 days of the H-2B peak filing season, employers filed 5,509 applications in FLAG requesting more than 96,319 worker positions with an April 1, 2020, or later, work start date. OFLC continued to accept H-2B applications during the three-day filing window and will randomly select applications submitted to meet the H2B Cap on January 6, 2020. OFLC will use the randomization procedures published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019, to randomize H-2B applications.

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USCIS Begins Accepting Green Card Applications Under Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness

USCIS announced that it will begin accepting applications to adjust status to lawful permanent resident from certain Liberian nationals under Section 7611 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2020, Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF). USCIS will only accept properly filed applications until December 20, 2020. Contact Litwin & Smith ALC for further information on eligibility and application assistance.

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