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Federal Government
Homeland Security Announces Final Rule For H-1B Visa Program PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 10:41
WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted today for public inspection, a final rule amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season. 
 
“These simple and smart changes are a positive benefit for employers, the foreign workers they seek to employ, and the agency’s adjudicators, helping the H-1B visa program work better,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “The new registration system, once implemented, will lower overall costs for employers and increase government efficiency. We are also furthering President Trump’s goal of improving our immigration system by making a simple adjustment to the H-1B cap selection process. As a result, U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign workers with a U.S. master’s or higher degree will have a greater chance of selection in the H-1B lottery in years of excess demand for new H-1B visas.”
 
Effective April 1, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions (or registrations, once the registration requirement is implemented) submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations. Specifically, the change will result in an estimated increase of up to 16% (or 5,340 workers) in the number of selected petitions for H-1B beneficiaries with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution of higher education. 
 
USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cap petitions for FY 2020 on April 1, 2019. The reverse selection order will apply to petitions filed for the FY 2020 H-1B cap season. Petitioners may file an H-1B petition no more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary. USCIS will provide H-1B cap filing instruction on uscis.gov in advance of the filing season. 
Importantly, after considering public feedback, USCIS will be suspending the electronic registration requirement for the FY 2020 cap season to complete user testing and ensure the system and process are fully functional. Once implemented, the electronic registration requirement will require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with USCIS during a designated registration period. Only those whose registrations are selected will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. USCIS expects that the electronic registration requirement, once implemented, will reduce overall costs for petitioners and create a more efficient and cost-effective H-1B cap petition process for USCIS and petitioners. 
 
Additionally, USCIS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to announce the initial implementation of the H-1B registration process in advance of the cap season in which it will implement the requirement. Prior to implementation, USCIS will conduct outreach to ensure petitioners understand how to access and use the system. Once implemented, USCIS will announce the designated electronic registration period at least 30 days in advance for each fiscal year it is required.
 
On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order, instructing DHS to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of U.S. workers in the administration of our immigration system.” The executive order specifically mentioned the H-1B program and directed DHS and other agencies to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”
 
For more information on USCIS and our programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Linkedin (/uscis).
 
Sen. Tillis Praises President Trump's Proposal To End Shutdown PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 21 January 2019 11:14

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on the President’s proposal to end the partial government shutdown through a compromise on border security funding and protections for DACA and TPS recipients:

“I commend President Trump for his leadership in proposing a commonsense compromise to end the current political stalemate. The President’s framework is a fair and pragmatic approach, providing adequate funding to secure our borders and offering relief to DACA and TPS recipients, goals sought by both Democrats and Republicans. It also sets the stage for a major immigration deal in the future, one that could secure our borders once and for all and provide long-term certainty for the DACA and TPS population.

“It’s now time for Speaker Pelosi to decide whether she is finally willing to compromise with the President and end the shutdown, or whether she will continue to pander to the extreme elements of her base at the expense of the rest of the country.”

Last Updated on Monday, 21 January 2019 11:15
 
Cooper Urges Senate To Pass $14 Billion Disaster Relief Bill PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 18 January 2019 09:29

Governor Roy Cooper shared the following statement on the Disaster Appropriations bill passed by the U.S. House:

"Yesterday, the U.S. House took action to pass a much-needed $14.17 billion disaster relief package that's critical to North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence. I urge the U.S. Senate to pass this bill and for the President to sign it as quickly as possible so we can keep rebuilding our state."

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2019 09:31
 
Congressman Holding Introduces Constitutional Amendment That Would Impose Term Limits PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 10:29
Congressman George Holding (NC-02) introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution imposing term limits on Congress. The amendment would limit U.S. Senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to six two-year terms.                  
 
“Since the government shutdown began, we’ve seen plenty of posturing and finger-pointing – but not much common-sense. Sadly, this is the new normal in American politics,” said Congressman Holding. “Term limits will put an end to politics-as-usual in Washington, help restore a citizen legislature, and encourage elected officials to do what’s best for their constituents, instead of special interests.” 
 
“It’s time for elected officials to start making a difference, not a career.”
 
Congressional term limits are overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Americans. A survey conducted by McLaughlin & Associates found that 82% of voters support a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Congress.
 
 
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