Our Nashville immigration attorneys list some recent changes in immigration law that you or your loved ones may need to be aware of.
There has been a flurry of recent activity regarding immigrations laws and policies, which are likely to impact large numbers of visa applications. Our experienced Nashville immigration attorneys want you to be aware of the latest changes and how these could affect you and your loved ones.
Changes That Could Impact Your Employment-Based Immigration Application
A recent report by the National Law Review detailed recent changes in immigration policies over the previous month that have the potential to impact immigrant applications. One of the most positive changes concerns the decision on the part of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to permit hundreds of thousands of individuals to complete the final stages of the green card process.
The decision to permit would-be immigrants to file an Adjustment of Status application comes after the Department of State revealed that there was a surplus of employment-based immigrant visas available. This was due to slowdowns in immigration processing during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another major change that could impact your application is a court order blocking enforcement of two recent rules:
- Immigration bans: District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White issued an order blocking enforcement of an immigration ban issued over the summer. The ban impacted H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and certain J-1 nonimmigrants, as well as their families.
- Higher fees: Judge White also blocked a new fee rule that increased filing fees on some immigration applications. While the government is expected to appeal the decision, the current filing fees remain in place. The basis for suspending the implementation of the government fee increases was that the acting secretary of Homeland Security, appointed by President Trump, was never properly confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Thus, the court reasoned, decisions under his authority, such as the extreme increase in filing fees, are likely illegal.
Other Changes in Immigration Laws and Policies
Other recent changes to immigration laws and policies are not likely to have as positive effect on the application process or your ability to obtain a visa. These changes involve multiple government agencies and directly impact the H-1B specialty occupation visa category:
- Under the USCIS rule, “Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program,” the definition of a specialty occupation is revised to exclude positions that currently only require a general degree.
- It restricts offsite, third-party placement of H-1B workers, limiting approval on these petitions from three years to one instead.
- It expands the reach of the USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) division in regards to H-1B holders, allowing them to make unannounced on-site visits, conduct interviews with officials, and to take other actions as needed to enforce compliance.
- Under the Department of Labor (DOL) wage rule, “Restructuring of H-1B/H-1B1/E-3 and PERM Wage Levels,” wage determinations have been changed for H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa holders. By requiring employers to pay higher prevailing wages, it could discourage companies from sponsoring these workers.
Contact Our Nashville Immigration Attorneys
At Ozment Law, PLC., we are here to answer your questions regarding changes in immigration laws and how it could impact your case. Call or contact our Nashville immigration attorneys online to request a consultation today.