Epstein Becker Green Immigration Alert

USCIS Will Accept Only New Employment-Based and Adjustment of Status Application Forms as of October 15, 2019

On October 8, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that will no longer accept previous editions of the following forms if filed on or after October 15, 2019:

  • Form I-485, Applicationto Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act 

USCIS will only accept the “10/15/19” edition of the above forms, which are available online at https://www.uscis.gov/forms, starting October 15, 2019. Submission of a prior edition on or after October 15 may result in the rejection or denial of the application or petition. Please also note the new Form I-485 must include the new Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, when making a submission on or after October 15, 2019.

FormsI-129 are submitted for employers sponsoring H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-1S, P-2, P-2S, P-3, P-3S, Q-1, or R-1 visa work authorization, as well as requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B1, or TN, or one of the above classifications for a foreign national. Forms I-539/I-539A are submitted for the spouse and minor children of the above H, L-1, TN, O-1, P, Q, R, and E visa beneficiaries. Forms I-485are submitted for those in the final stages of the U.S. permanent residency (i.e., green card) process.

USCIS Announces 30-Day Extension of the Commentary Period for Its Proposed H-1B Electronic Registration Requirement

In December 2018, USCIS proposed implementing a new “Registration Requirement” in lieu of filing the H-1B petitions for the annual “H-1B cap lottery.” It has taken almost a year for USCIS to finish accepting public commentary on implementing this system. Further delays have pushed back completing public commentary. As a result, the agency has reopened the public feedback period from October 9 to November 8, 2019.

Under USCIS’s proposed Electronic Registration requirement, all H-1B petitioners would have to submit an online registration application through USCIS’s website for each employee to be sponsored under the H-1B cap lottery. The initial Electronic Registration process would replace the actual filing of H-1B petitions prior to the H-1B cap lottery. Once the H-1B cap lottery is completed, USCIS would notify those who are selected that they must file their full H-1B petition within a specified time.

After the commentary period ends, USCIS is expected to finalize the Electronic Registration process. Epstein Becker Green will keep you updated on the details of the final rollout.

ICE Initiates New Policy for School to Police OPT and STEM OPT Work Authorization

On September 27, 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) submitted new guidance to Designated School Officials (“DSO”) who issue Forms I-20 to report on and police their foreign national graduates employed through either Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) OPT work authorization. Specifically, DSOs will be required to provide ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (or “SEVP”) with confirmation that their graduates are directly employed in positions related to their course of study. In implementing this policy, DSOs are given the added responsibility and the administrative policing task of monitoring their OPT and STEM OPT graduates to confirm that the graduates hold employment positions specifically related to their degree. The extent and detail to which a DSO must do so is open to question and subject to further follow-up. 

U.S. Department of Labor Fines Minnesota Foundry Company $190,357 for Failure to Communicate H-1B Termination to USCIS

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division fined ME Global Inc., a steel foundry company located in Columbia Heights, Missouri, $190,357 for back wages and interest due to the company’s failure to follow H-1B visa requirements. The facts involve ME Global Inc.’s failure to (i) offer its terminated H-1B employee his transportation costs home, (ii) notify USCIS of the termination, (iii) properly post the labor condition application (“LCA”), and (iv) properly maintain a Public Access File (“PAF”) for this terminated H-1B employee. This is an example of why employers must properly post and maintain their LCAs and PAFs, as well as comply with all USCIS regulations when an H-1B employee is terminated, including notifying USCIS of such termination.

* * * *

If you have any questions regarding this Alert or any other U.S. immigration issues, please contact Epstein Becker Green’s immigration team:

Jang Hyuk Im
San Francisco

Patrick G. Brady

Jungmin Choi

Arit Butani
San Francisco


Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.