In a news update on January 8, 2018, the McClatchy DC news service reported that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that it
not considering a regulatory change to the H-1B extension rules, as had previously been reported in a December 30, 2017 article by McClatchy DC.
In particular, USCIS stated to McClatchy DC that the agency is
not considering changing its interpretation of section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit for H-1B workers who have reached certain milestones in the green card process. USCIS went on to note that "such a change would not likely result in these H-1B holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead."
USCIS did, however, indicate that the agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President's Buy American, Hire American" executive order, including conducting a "thorough review" of employment-based visa programs.
AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association) will continue to closely monitor this issue as well as any other proposed policy and regulatory changes to the employment-based immigration system. AILA will also continue to advocate before Congress and with the administration against any harmful attacks on the immigration system more broadly.