By Randy Johnson and Dawn Lurie

Seyfarth Synopsis: On July 10, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1044 – the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019,” on the Suspension Calendar[1] with a bipartisan vote of 365-65. The legislation, originally introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), would eliminate the existing “per-country cap” for employment-based immigrants while also increasing the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas.

The current employment-based system for immigrant visas (i.e. “green cards”) is based on “per-country caps” which set a cap, or quota, per-country at 7% of the total amount of employment-based green cards issued annually by the United States.[2] As one employer-based coalition put it, “[t]his means that India and China, which account for over 40% of the world’s population are allowed the same number of visas as Greenland, a country that accounts for 0.001% of the world’s population.”  For more information on the operation of the per-country caps, see the Congressional Research Service’s December 2018 analysis here.


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By: Randy Johnson and Walt Mullon

Seyfarth Shaw’s new, leading Government Relations and Policy Group, which has already won the attention of national media outlets, is excited to offer regular updates to clients regarding the actions of Congress, administrative agencies, and other lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels. Comprised of Seyfarth attorneys with government relations and policy experience, the team will develop solutions for clients and provide ongoing education and advocacy on policy issues.  Below is our round-up from what happened this week in Washington.

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House to Vote on Two Immigration Proposals Next Week. Speaker Paul Ryan defused a moderate Republican rebellion with a promise to hold high-stakes votes on two DACA related immigration bills next week. The floor votes will effectively stop the effort to bring up legislation through the discharge petition; Republican moderates reportedly fell two signatures short of the 218 needed to force votes.

The House will consider H.R. 4760, the “Securing America’s Future Act of 2018,” a bill drafted by Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), as well as a second compromise package, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018” (still in draft form), which was assembled by Speaker Ryan in consultation with conservatives and moderates. House Leadership circulated this summary of the draft compromise bill. There are no guarantees that either bill will pass.


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Trivia: Each year, March and which other month end on the same day of the week?

Where are we this month?

Advancements

     Employment

  • Chinese nationals experienced some advances with 9+ weeks in the EB-2 category and 8+ weeks in the EB-3 category.

While the EB-5 category for Regional Center filings is now available for Chinese nationals with a priority date of July 22, 2014, it remains unavailable for all other nationals.  Non-Regional Center filings are current for all with the exception of Chinese nationals where we see a July 22, 2014 priority date.

  • Indian nationals also advance modestly moving forward by 1 week in the EB-2 category and 4 weeks in the EB-3 category.
  • Philippine nationals continue to be current in the EB-2 category with an 8 week advancement in the EB-3 category
  • Of particular importance, filing dates for certain religious workers are now current with a slight backlog for Mexican, El Salvadorian, Guatemalan, and Honduran nationals.

Family

  • For family-based sponsorship, Philippine nationals advance 10+ weeks while all other nationals advance approximately 1+ week in the F-1 category.
  • In all other family-based categories, we continue to see similar modest advancements, with the exclusion of the F-3 classification for Mexican nationals, which is not subject to any changes on this month’s bulletin.


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Trivia: Who was the only U.S. President to serve in two nonconsecutive terms?

Where are we this month?

Advancements

  • Chinese nationals experienced some advances with 7+ weeks in the EB-2 category and 22 weeks in the EB-3 category.

Of note is the EB-5 category for Regional Center filings remains unavailable and for direct investment there is no movement in the Final Action Dates; and moving backward 4 weeks to September 1, 2014 for Date of Filing Application cut off.

  • Indian nationals also advance modestly with 2 weeks in the EB-2 category and 4 weeks in EB-3.
  • Philippine nationals continue to be current in the EB-2 category with a 2 week advancement in the EB-3 category


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By: Angelo Paparello

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers take note. The April 18, 2017 “Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American,” has unleashed an array of legally dubious grounds from officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as their basis to ask for burdensome additional evidence and to deny requests for work visas and employment-based green cards on behalf of both existing and prospective employees.


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By Mahsa Aliaskari and Alexander Madrak

Seyfarth Synopsis: Citing security reasons, the Trump administration announces expansion of requirements for the 38 countries that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allowing limited travel to the U.S. for business and tourism.

On December 15, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced additional security measures

By: Jake Campbell, Gabriel Mozes, and Jason Burritt

Seyfarth Synopsis:  As of August 23, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has temporarily suspended processing of Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) applications filed in Russia.  NIV interviews will resume only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow beginning September 1, 2017.  DOS has suspended NIV processing indefinitely