by Kristine Nazir and Melanie Keeney
On December 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed a successful the pilot testing phase for the online H-1B lottery registration system. The new system will be implemented in the next H-1B lottery for fiscal year 2021. Employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021, must first electronically register and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee. The registration process requires only basic information about their company and each requested worker. The registration period will run from March 1, 2020 through March 20, 2020, and selected cases may be submitted starting April 1. Only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. However, USCIS may determine it is necessary to continue accepting registrations, or open an additional registration period, if it does not receive enough registrations and subsequent petitions projected to reach the numerical allocations. USCIS will post step-by-step instructions informing registrants how to complete the registration process on its website along with key dates and timelines as the initial registration period nears.
The link to the press release is included here:
Kristine represents corporations and institutions of higher education with their immigration needs, including obtaining temporary and permanent visas, handling employer sanctions issues, I-9 and E-Verify employment eligibility verification compliance, consular processing, and naturalization. Prior to joining the firm, Kristine clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey M. Geller at the Baltimore City Circuit Court and for the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Arlington Immigration Court. During law school, Kristine interned with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor and National Security Law Section; the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy LLP. Before attending law school, Kristine also served in Peace Corps Mongolia as a community economic development volunteer.
Melanie Gurley Keeney practices in the areas of employment, immigration and education law. Melanie has been included in Best Lawyers in America ® for 25 years, and has been recognized in all areas of her practice. She also has been named to Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers ® lists for over 10 years, and has been rated one of the top 50 female lawyers in Missouri and Kansas. She was named a “Top Missouri Lawyer” by St. Louis Magazine and Kansas City Magazine for Immigration Law. Melanie has been distinguished as Best Lawyers ® St. Louis Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year in 2019, 2015, and 2012, and St. Louis Education Law Lawyer of the year in 2017. In 2016, Missouri Lawyers Weekly presented Melanie with the Women’s Justice Litigation Practitioner Award and in 2014, Washington University School of Law honored Melanie with the International Women’s Day Award for Employment Law. She has served as an adjunct professor at Washington University and is a frequent presenter on legal topics. Melanie is a founding Shareholder of the Firm and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Firm.
Immigration – The Firm represents businesses, institutions of higher learning, and individuals with respect to immigration-related matters, including obtaining visitor visas, temporary and permanent work visas, consular processing of visas, obtaining citizenship, advising employers on employment sanctions issues, and defending employers faced with INS I-9 audits and investigations.