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USCIS Resumed H-1B Selection and Broadened Exceptions to Non-Immigrant Entry Suspension

USCIS Has Resumed Selecting More H-1B Registrations

USCIS has already resumed selecting more H-1B registrations for this year. We have noticed that some cases where the H-1B registrations were not selected in March 2020 but were selected this week.

This is great news for H-1B candidates who were not selected earlier in March. We would like to remind employers to double check the H-1B registration status in your myUSCIS account for any updates. If a candidate is selected, you can file the H-1B petition within 90 days after 8/17/2020.

Broadened Exceptions to Non-Immigrant Entry Suspension

On 6/24/2020, a Proclamation took effect which suspended the entry of certain non-immigrant visa applicants who were at the time outside the US, and did not have a valid nonimmigrant visa already or an official travel document. The specific visas restricted are H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas. The suspension does not apply to those whose entry would be in the national interest, such as healthcare professionals, government agency researchers, etc.

On 8/12/2020, the exceptions were broadened to include two more types of non-immigrant visa applicants:

1. those who are returning to the US to continue working in the same position with the same employer and visa classification, or alternatively,

2. those whose employment is necessary to facilitate the US economic recovery, to meet critical infrastructure needs, or to fill critical business needs.

The broadened exceptions apply to H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1A and L-1B visa applicants who are otherwise subject to the June Proclamation. The criteria are different for each visa categories and need be evaluated on a case by case basis.

If you believe you are eligible to the new exceptions, you have to make a visa appointment following the consulate’s procedures for requesting an emergency appointment. If you are granted an emergency appointment, the officer will decide if you will be approved for a visa after an in-person interview.

This is good news for some non-immigrant visa applicants. Please seek an evaluation of your eligibility for the exception from your attorney.

We will continue to monitor all changes to visa and immigration policy during this pandemic crisis in order to send you the most up-to-date information. At DeHeng, we are proud to continue providing reliable and accessible legal services to you. If you have any concerns or questions, please reach out to us at

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