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E1/E2 Visa Available for Israel Nationals and Residents

Posted April 17, 2019Articles, Entrepreneurship

The US and Israel have announced a treaty investor agreement (E2) which will become effective as of May 1, 2019. Israeli citizens will be able to apply for the E2 visa the US Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv. Israeli national who are currently in the U.S. can apply for a change of status through USCIS.

Application Procedure:

All Israel companies seeking E-visas for their owners or employees must apply at the Branch Office in Tel Aviv. For first time applicants and renewals, the company must submit all of the supporting documents, including the individual application for the employee, by mailCompanies can sponsor individuals who are lawfully present in the U.S. by filing a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS.

Processing Times

Applications filed with the U.S. Embassy: Preliminary review of corporate files is currently taking two to three weeks. After the preliminary review, the applicant is required to attend an in-person interview. Following an approved E-visa application, the applicant will receive their passport via Israel Post’s courier service within 10 days.

Applications filed with USCIS: Processing times with USCIS vary based on officer case loads. The premium processing service is available for E visa applications. Cases filed with premium processing are guaranteed to be processed within 15 calendar days.

Procedures for Dependents

Spouses, and unmarried children under 21 who wish to join the principal visa holder may apply for derivate E visas. Spouses who hold a derivative E visa may seek employment authorization.

Length of Authorized Stay

E-visa holders may reside in the US as long as they continue to maintain their status with the company.

Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for additional information regarding E1/E2 visas.

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H-1B Advanced-Degree Quota Exemption Is Completed for FY 2020

Posted April 12, 2019H-1B


USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the H-1B cap filing period, which began April 1, enough cases to meet the FY 2020 H-1B quota for the advanced-degree quota exemption of 20,000 and the regular cap of 65,000. USCIS has completed the computerized selection process. After USCIS completed the random selection process for the regular cap, USCIS determined that they had received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1B visa U.S. master’s cap.

Filing Receipts and Adjudication

Employers whose petitions were selected should get receipts within weeks, generally by the end of May. Employers who filed their petitions with premium processing have begun to receive email receipts for those petitions. USCIS will set the premium processing 15-day adjudication clock to start on May 20th. However, employers may receive decisions before that date.  It will likely take USCIS several weeks to compete initial data entry and issue filing receipts for petitions filed by regular processing and they are expected to begin working on regular processed cases by mid-June. The cases that were not selected in the lottery will be returned to petitioners with their filing fees in the upcoming months.  

Cap Exempt Petitions

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY 2020 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position

Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for any questions regarding H-1B cap cases.

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USCIS Reaches H-1B Regular Cap for Fiscal Year 2020

Posted April 8, 2019Kristen KellarH-1B

On April 5, 2019, USCIS announced it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the select the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa regular cap for fiscal year 2020. Next, USCIS will determine whether it has received enough petitions to meet the 20,000 visas allotted through the master's cap.

At this time no additional cap-subject petitions can be filed.

We will continue to update clients as USCIS releases additional information about the H-1B cap.

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USCIS Announces Updates to FY 2020 H-1B Cap Premium Processing

Posted March 30, 2019Kristen KellarH-1B

USCIS has confirmed that it will open premium processing for FY 2020 H-1B Cap cases requesting a change of status on May 20, 2019. In addition, those who filed an H-1B cap case requesting a change of status who did not initially request premium processing can upgrade a selected case at that time.

USCIS previously announced that it will implement a two-phase approach for premium processing this year.  

  • Concurrent Change of Status filings: April 1, 2019 when all FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status may request premium processing by concurrently filing. 
  • Consular Processing filings: Will not begin until at least June 2019. At that time USCIS will accept premium processing upgrades with H-1B cap subject petitions not requesting a change of status.

USCIS will announce at a later date when premium processing for those cases will be available. If you have any questions about premium processing and this year's H-1B cap please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney.  

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Premium Processing for H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2020

Posted March 19, 2019H-1B

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap on April 1, 2019. Premium processing will be offered in a two-phased approach during the FY 2020 cap season. The first phase will include FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting a change of status and the second phase will include all other cap-subject petitions.


Concurrent Filing for H-1B changes of status: The first phase begins on April 1, 2019. All FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitioners requesting a change of status, may request premium processing by concurrently filing. In order to prioritize data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions, USCIS will not begin premium processing for these petitions until May 20, 2019.

Upgrades for H-1B changes of status If a petitioner does not file Form I-907 concurrently with an FY 2020 H-1B cap-subject petition requesting a change of status, the petitioner must wait until premium processing begins to a request for premium processing.  Until premium processing begins for these petitions, USCIS will reject any Form I-907 that is not filed concurrently with a cap-subject Form I-129.

Upgrades for all other H-1B cap filings: The next phase will not begin until at least June 2019. This phase is the remainder of all other FY 2020 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Cap-subject petitioners not requesting a change of status may not submit their premium processing request concurrently with their H-1B petition. These petitioners will be eligible to upgrade to premium processing by filing Form I-907 once premium processing begins for these petitions. USCIS will notify the public with a confirmed date for premium processing for cap-subject petitioners not requesting a change of status.

Premium processing for H-1B petitions that are exempt from the cap, such as extension of stay requests, remains available. Please contact your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney for any questions regarding eligibility for premium processing.

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