Employment-related Policy 

USCIS Processing Flexibilities for OPT/STEM OPT Applications

July 30, 2021

USCIS announced on 7/29/2021 and 2/26/2021 flexibilities for OPT/STEM OPT Extension applicants affected by delayed receipt notices for the Form I-765. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. See more information on our...

USCIS Processing Updates for 12-Month OPT Applications and STEM OPT Extension Applications

March 2, 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently been experiencing serious delays in processing and receipting OPT. USCIS announced on 2/26/2021 flexibilities for OPT applicants who may be affected by delayed receipt notices for the Form I-765, which is used for filing OPT/STEM OPT. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after October 1, 2020, through May 1,...

Final H1-B Cap Filing & Processing Rule Published

February 7, 2019

The US Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule titled "Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Cap-Subject Aliens" which becomes effective April 1, 2019 which is the first day of the 2020 cap-filing season. Part of the rule which related to a pre-registration requirement for employers has been suspended for the 2020 filing season, but is...

4/18/17 - Executive Order: Buy American and Hire American

April 18, 2017
President Trump issued an Executive Order titled Buy America and Hire American, of which the "Hire American" provisions call on the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security to "propose new rules and issue new guidance", and "suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries." **However, the EO provided no specific changes to any existing regulations, rules and policies.**

3/28/2018- Updates on H-1B Premium Processing

March 28, 2018
H1-B Premium Processing continues to be available for UC Berkeley sponsored H-1B petitions, as the University is not subject to the FY 2019 cap. Premium processing will be suspended temporarily for H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2019 cap. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018. For more details please see the USCIS announcement on March 20, 2018.

3/03/17 - Temporary Suspension of H-1B Premium Processing

March 3, 2017

United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) announced on Friday, March 3, 2017 that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed with USCIS on or after April 3, 2017. Read BIO's announcement on this change.