Senate debate on immigration legislation achieves no positive results
On Monday, February 12th, the Senate began debating immigration legislation. The debate was in response to a promise by Republicans to debate immigration protections for DACA recipients in exchange for ending the government shutdown that took place at the end of January. The debate began as a neutral “shell” without any immigration provisions.
After several days of discussions, on February 15th, the Senate voted on four immigration amendments, and all four were rejected. It is unclear if and when the Senate will continue the immigration debate, as they are currently on a week-long recess that began February 19th. Regardless, any legislation that does pass the Senate will face a difficult path in the House, where immigration restrictionists hold greater sway.
As a side note – Senator Orrin Hatch had again introduced his I-Squared immigration bill to the Senate the week prior to this discussion. Although a business friendly initiative targeting H and Green Card related issues, it does not appear to have any likelihood of success given the current immigration troubles the Senate is having.
March 2018 Visa Bulletin
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for March 2018. The EB-1 preference category still remains current across all chargeability areas. EB-2 China moved forward over two months to December 8, 2013, while EB-2 India only moved forward a week to December 15, 2008. EB-3 China also moved forward two months to November 15, 2014, and EB-3 India moved forward one month to January 1, 2007. EB-3 Philippines moved forward two months to May 1, 2016. All other EB-2 and EB-3 categories remain current.
H-1B Filing Season is Underway
This year’s H-1B season is already well underway. With only a little more than 5 weeks until our anticipated filing date of March 30, our legal team has been prepping case filings and getting necessary documents. As we noted in our January 2018 newsletter, in addition to initial H-1B cap filings (which are usually filed for people in F-1 status or who are accepting their first job in the U.S.), we are also recommending that anyone in H-4 EAD situation or holding TN status strongly consider filing against the cap this year.
Because this is such an unusually busy time of year, please let us know as soon as possible if you would like our firm to file an H-1B petition against this year’s Cap. We also want to note that, as a firm, from March 8 to March 30 we will more effort into finalizing our firm H-1B Cap cases. Thus, this may slow down firm processing of other cases we are handling. If, during this time, you have any urgent needs regarding your case, please reach out to the legal team member handling your case.
For further information about the H-1B visa and the FY 2019 H-1B Season, please review our H-1 Cap Memo and visit our H-1B Landing Page. If you have any case-specific questions, please reach out to the legal team member handling your case.
Final H-1B Filing Season 2018 Webinar
If you missed our last webinar, you have one more opportunity to join us. We are having a repeat session February 27th 11AM PST/2PM EST. Dave will discuss the H-1B process and provide additional immigration updates.
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **