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From June 14 to September 29, 2021, USCIS erroneously rejected Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, from petitioners for U nonimmigrant status that were filed without a fee or request for fee waiver. USCIS also erroneously accepted fees for certain U nonimmigrant petitions that unnecessarily submitted a fee with their Form I-765. USCIS is trying to correct these errors and expects to issue refunds by March 22, 2022.


On June 14, 2021, USCIS applied a process that allows individuals with a pending bona fide Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, who live in the U.S., warrant a favorable discretion to receive employment authorization and deferred action. There is no fe...

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that for Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons on or after July 30,2021, will streamline application processing and be exempt from filing fees. Streamlining the processes for work authorization, green cards, and associated services will better help in their resettlement in the U.S. As the lead federal agency, DHS is coordinating Operation Allies Welcome, an ongoing government effort to help Afghans resettle, including those who worked on behalf of the U.S.


Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said "By providing these evacuees with access to streamlined processing and fee exemp...

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The H-1B Technical Guide

By Thomas Lee

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H-1B visas are dual intent visas, meaning an H-1B holder, who entered as a nonimmigrant, can have legal immigration intent to permanently reside in the U.S.


The H-1B visa category is for highly educated foreign professionals to work in "specialty occupations" that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Due to the high demand for this visa, there is a cap of 65,000 that can be issued each fiscal year. Those who have a master's degree have an additional 20,000 visas available. Exceptions to this numerical cap are those who are employed by an institution of higher education or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities, a nonprofit research organization or a government res...

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On November 4, 2021, the West Hollywood City Council approved the highest minimum wage in the nation. In a unanimous vote early Thursday morning, the city council unanimously approved a $17.64 minimum wage. The measure will take effect on January 1, 2022 for all hotel workers and on July 1, 2022 for all other workers. It sets the minimum wage for hotel workers at the same level as in the two cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles. The measure also includes 96 hours of paid sick, vacation, and personal leave.


The minimum wage rate will be raised in phases depending on the size of the business.


For employers with 50 or more employees, the rate will rise to:


$15.50/hr. on Jan. 1, 2022


$16.50/hr. on...

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On October 19, 2021, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose Division, granted final approval of the settlement agreement in the case MadKudu Inc., et al v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al., No. 20-CV-2653 (N.D. Cal.). This agreement introduces new guidance for adjudicating pending or future H-1b petitions for market research analysts.



In addition, the agreement allows class members to request certain denied I-129 Forms, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, based on H-1B classification for a market research analyst, to submit Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, to reopen and adjudicate their case based on the terms of the settlement agreement...

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In June, the State Department announced they would update its procedures to allow applicants to self-select their sex marker for passports and medical certification is no longer required if it doesn't match the sex listed on other official identity documents.



State spokesperson, Ned Price, stated "…the Department is moving towards adding an X gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a U.S. passport or CRBA. I want to reiterate, on the occasion of this passport issuance, the Department of State's commitment to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people -- including LGBTQI+ persons."



After the Department finishes updating th...

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According to The National Foundation for American Policy, the denial rates for new H-1B petitions for the first two quarters of 2021 is 7.1% whereas the first two quarters of 2020 was 28.6%. This is a total of 21.5% increase in acceptance rates. However, this does not mean getting visa approval is any easier because USCIS approval trends are far more strict than they have ever been in the past.


The reason for this development is likely due to the change in the lottery process. Many H-1B applicants have gotten better at compiling petitions that counters common issues that can arise during the adjudication process. H-1B beneficiaries whose job requirements does not always require a U.S. bache...

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Falsely and willfully claiming to be a U.S. citizen is a serious felony and may result in permanent and serious immigration consequences in addition to imprisonment and fines. Violators are subject to be placed in removal proceedings to be deported or be allowed to withdraw their application for admission under certain circumstances.



Inadmissibility due to fraud or misrepresentation can be triggered by knowingly making a false claim to U.S. citizenship for any purpose or benefit under the INA, federal law, or state law. It is not necessary to establish a connection between the applicant and civil penalty or criminal conviction when determining whether the applicant is inadmissible.


A prior...

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On July 21, 2021, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held that an aggrieved employee whose individual claim was time-barred had standing to pursue a representative claim under the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) on behalf of other allegedly aggrieved employees regardless of whether the employee was personally aggrieved (Johnson v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.). The high court ruled that an aggrieved employee who settled his individual claims nonetheless had standing to maintain a representative PAGA action. This ruling was based on its interpretation of the California Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Kim v. Reins.


By expanding the scope of employees ...

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, USCIS is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners and requestors who are responding to certain:


-Requests for Evidence;


-Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);


-Notices of Intent to Deny;


-Notices of Intent to Revoke;


-Notices of Intent to Rescind;


-Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and


-Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.



This flexibility applies if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2022, inclusive.


Moreover, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B: Notice of Appeal or...

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