COVID Vaccination is Now Required for USCIS Medical Exams

Update Post 09/16/2021 USCIS releases policy guidance highlighting the following: "..beginning October 1, 2021, applicants who are required to undergo the immigration medical examination must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series before the civil surgeon can complete the immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693." Original Post 08/31/2021 On August 25, 2021, the CDC announced that...

EB1a, Aliens of Extraordinary Ability (2021)

Since March of 2021, visa numbers have been current for Chinese or Indian nationals filing for green card under the employment-based first preference (EB1) category. This means that an applicant may file their green card applications (I-485) concurrently with their I-140 petition instead of waiting 3 to 10 years for visa number availability under second or third preference categories. The...

USCIS is Seeking Comments on New Public Charge Rules

USCIS is seeking feedback from the public that will help the development of new public charge regulations. Since the previous public charge rule (2019) under President Trump was vacated on March 9, 2019, USCIS has been applying the public charge inadmissibility statute consistent with the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, the policy that was in place before the 2019 public charge final rule. You...

Temporary Extension of I-693 Validity from 2 Years to 4 Years

Update August 18, 2021 The USCIS has updated its website to clarify that: if an I-485 applicant receives a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for a new I-693 medical exam because the I-693 on file with USCIS is over two years old, but the applicant’s I-693 on file with USCIS is valid under the temporary extension to four years and they otherwise meet the requirements, then the applicant should...

Did You Receive a Text from USCIS about I-693?

Update August 18, 2021 We responded to one I-693 RFE on 08/16/2021. Green card was approved today, 08/18/2021. Please respond to I-693 RFEs ASAP! It does not seem like USCIS is working hard to approve I-485s before 10/01/2021. Original Post August 10, 2021 On or around August 3, 2021, some of our clients informed us that they received an odd text from USCIS requesting that they submit I-693...

Children Born Outside of the U.S. / Born Through Assisted Reproductive Technology

On August 5, 2021, USCIS updated its guidance on children born outside of the U.S. and for children born through assisted reproductive technology (ART). USCIS will consider a child to be born in wedlock when their legal parents are married to one another at the time of birth and at least one of the legal parents has a genetic or gestational relationship to the child. USCIS considers the...

New I-485 Allows Applicants to Apply for SSN or Replacement Card

USCIS announced on August 9, 2021 that a new Form I-485 (edition date 03/29/2021) will allow applicants to apply for social security number (SSN) or a replacement SSN card. Previously, applicants had to apply for SSN at their local Social Security Office and may require multiple trips. The new form contains the following new section regarding SSN: This new Form improves efficiency and helps...

Biden Grants “Safe Haven” to Hong Kong Residents

On August 5, 2021, President Biden signed a memorandum to defer for 18 months the removal of Hong Kong residents present in the United States.   This decision was based on China's "continued assault on Hong Kong's autonomy, undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom, and cracking down on freedom of the press." President Biden stated...