As a follow-up to the April 7, 2017 announcement that the H-1B
cap had been reached, on Monday, April 17, USCIS revealed that it
has now completed the random selection of the 85,000 petitions for
the quota and that in total, the agency received 199,000 H-1B
cap-subject submissions. This number is down considerably from last
year's 236,000. This lower rate of filing may signal a trend
that employers are seeking alternative strategies due to the
uncertainty of the H-1B cap selection process. This decrease in the
total number of submissions does increase the chances of selection
out of the quota compared to recent years. USCIS has begun mailing
Receipt Notices for selected petitions, but adjudication has not
yet started. Likewise, the return of unselected petitions and their
filing fees has not begun.
One day later, on April 18, President Trump signed a new
executive order also dealing with the H-1B program. The President's "Buy American, Hire
American" order does not change existing law. The order
directs appropriate government agencies to review current law and
recommend changes to prioritize eligibility based on higher skills
and pay. These criteria are not part of the current H-1B legal
requirements, and therefore a congressional change in the statute
will be needed before any such changes can be implemented at the
agency level. The order also directs federal agencies to review all
visa programs and take action to combat fraud and abuse to protect
U.S. workers. Sponsoring employers currently pay a $500 government
fee for each initial H-1B and L-1 filing to help combat fraud and
abuse in these programs. The government already uses these funds to
conduct random site visits of employers to ensure compliance with
the H-1B and L-1 programs. This new order is a sign that these are
likely to increase.
Stay tuned for additional updates regarding the FY18 H-1B cap
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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
announced today that the annual H-1B quota for both the regular
65,000 visa petition bachelor's degree cap and the 20,000 visa
petition U.S. master's degree cap has been met for Fiscal Year
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 17, 2017, that it had completed its annual H-1B lottery and had selected a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 65,000 petition bachelor's degree cap and the 20,000 petition U.S. master's degree cap.
April 5, 2017 - Canadian Immigration authorities conducted the 8th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2017 and 58th overall, featuring a record lowest score of 431 and inviting 3753 applicants for permanent residence, under all programs.
In connection with the Trump Administration's desire to crack-down on its perceived misuse of the H-1B visa category, various U.S. government agencies have announced a coordinated effort in re-interpreting regulations as well as newly focused enforcement initiatives.
Beginning June 6, 2017, the Canada immigration department will award points under the comprehensive ranking system in two new areas including strong French language ability, and having a sibling in Canada.
The Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness (MIDI) announced a maximum number of 5000 Skilled Worker Program applications submitted on line ("Mon projet Quebec"), will be accepted for its intake period in 2017. The period of reception will be revealed at a later date.
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