FEBRUARY IMMIGRATION UPDATES: PUBLIC CHARGE & H-1B REGISTRATION

 

As of February 24, 2019, a new rule is in effect regarding who is considered a “Public Charge” (someone likely to need financial assistance from the government) which broadens the former definition and those persons for whom the rule is applicable. If you or your employee are seeking to remain or come to the United States either temporarily or permanently and are not in one of the exempt categories below, the new public charge rule will apply and additional documentation will be required for the application. The exempted categories generally include: * Asylees and Refugees * Applicants for U or T Nonimmigrant Status * VAWA Self-Petitioners * Special Immigrant Juveniles * Applicants seeking Temporary Protected Status * Applicants under the Cuban Adjustment Act * U.S. citizens, including naturalized citizens * Lawful Permanent Residents Benefits that are problematic under the new rule include: * Cash Assistance for Income Maintenance (includes TANF, SSI, and federal, state, and local assistance programs) * SNAP or Food Stamps * Medicaid (with exceptions listed below) * Housing Assistance (Public Housing or Section 8 Housing Vouchers and Rental Assistance) Benefits that are still permissible include: * Benefits received by the immigrant’s family members * Benefits received by U.S. Armed Forces Service Members * Emergency medical assistance * Medicaid received by (1) children under 21; (2) during pregnancy or within 60 days of pregnancy; or (3) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). * Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act * Social Security and Medicare * WIC * CHIP * Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) * Pell grants and student loans * Worker’s Compensation or Unemployment Benefits * Tax-related cash benefits ———————————————————— Next Steps If you are a client of Elliott Immigration who has initiated your case, but has not yet submitted your application for adjustment of status, an immigrant visa, a temporary visa, or a change/extension of status, we will be reaching out with more specialized information about your case. Additionally, we will share with you a questionnaire to address the additional information needed for the updated forms. If you are not a client, but need further clarification on this rule, please contact our office at (404) 890-0372. H-1B Registration Begins March 1st! If you are still thinking about filing a cap-subject H-1B petition this year, but haven’t contacted us yet, now is the time! USCIS has implemented a requirement that employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2021, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee to determine if they may file an H-1B cap-subject petition. Registration will be completed via the MyUSCIS online Portal. Limited information about the Employer and Beneficiary will be required for the registration process, however no information about the offered position is required at this step. An Employer may submit multiple beneficiaries into the registration system, which will run from March 1st – 20th and the lottery should be run no later than March 31. Petitioners will have at least 90 days from the date of a registration selection to submit a complete H-1B petition to USCIS. USCIS will indicate in the selection notice the 90-day filing window and designate the Service Center where the petitioner must file the H-1B petition. USCIS has not yet announced whether premium processing will be available.

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