1/9/2018 UPDATE: USCIS has confirmed with news sources that it is NOT currently considering changing its interpretation of AC-21.
Media reports have been circulating which suggested that new regulations eliminating H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit under The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC-21) may be proposed.
While D&S is closely monitoring the situation, it is important to stress that as today, January 8, 2018, these reports remain unsubstantiated. At this point, there has been no confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or any other government agency that the current administration is planning to take action to restrict or eliminate AC-21 benefits. Note that it would be unlikely and difficult for DHS to implement this change without going through the formal rulemaking process, which can take several months and requires a period of public notice and comment. Further, as of today, no rules have been proposed and no AC-21 related immigration rules appear on the agency’s recently-published regulatory agenda. Therefore, individuals with approved I-140 petitions or labor certifications filed more than one year before their final date in H-1B status continue to be eligible for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit at this time.
Again, D&S continues to review and monitor all actual proposed changes and will be updating clients in the coming days, weeks and months as any proposed immigration-related regulatory changes are introduced and reviewed.