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Weekly Live Stream with Attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano: H-1B Season Updates, Cancellation of the Infopass System, Validity of Medical Examinations, Changes to Form I-539, and Cancellation of H-4 EADs

In this live stream, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent topics in immigration including the conclusion of the FY 2020 H-1B season, cancellation of the Infopass self-scheduling appointment system, extended validity of Form I-693 Medical Examination, changes to Form I-539, and cancellation of H-4 employment authorization.

H-1B Season

The FY 2020 H-1B Season has now come to a conclusion. USCIS has announced that it has received enough petitions to meet the H-1B cap and the lottery has taken place. Our office has begun to receive receipt notices for H-1B petitions selected in the master’s cap.

All clients that filed with premium processing were selected in the lottery. At this point our office is still waiting for additional receipt notices to come in for those of our clients who were selected in the lottery. If you have not yet received notice that you were selected, please ask your Petitioners to keep an eye on their bank account. If the filing fees are charged to the bank account, then that means the petition was selected in the lottery.

Cancellation of the Infopass System

USCIS is gradually ending self-scheduling of online Infopass appointments. However, applicants can still seek an in-person appointment by contacting the USCIS Contact Center. It is not guaranteed that an in-person appointment will be scheduled. USCIS is prepared to schedule appointments for things like I-751 and I-90 extensions.

Form I-693 Medical Examinations

The medical examination is now valid for 2 years from the date the doctor signs the I-693 medical examination paperwork. The form must be filed 60 days maximum prior to filing your green card.

New Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status

USCIS has published a newly revised Form I-539.

The new Form I-539 edition date 02/04/19 has several important changes:

  • Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
  • Every applicant and co-applicant must pay an $85 biometric services fee, except certain A, G, and NATO nonimmigrants as noted in the new Form I-539 Instructions.
  • Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address. Co-applicants who wish to be scheduled at a different ASC location should file a separate Form I-539.

DHS to Remove H-4 Employment Authorization

The Department of Homeland Security has published a notice of proposing rule-making (NRPM) to rescind an Obama era rule extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers seeking permanent residence. We expect the final rule to be published sometime this summer.

For the moment, H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers seeking permanent residence, may continue to apply for employment authorization until its cancellation.

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