USCIS posts alert and creates inflated expectations over EB I-485 applications

On 01/21/2022, USCIS issued an alert which stated the following: ALERT: There are an exceptionally high number of employment-based visas available this fiscal year (October 2021 through September 2022).There are an exceptionally high number of employment-based visas available this fiscal year (October 2021 through September 2022). In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, we are...

Prevailing Wage Determinations Have Slowed Down But Still Follow FIFO

Processing time of prevailing wage determinations has slowed to about 6 months. DOL does not post avg processing time but only the submission date of the oldest application in its pipeline. Looking at its latest data, the oldest application in its queue as of December 31, 2021 is April 2021. Based on our records, requests for PWD have slowed down from 5 months to 6 months. We are currently...

Waivers of interviews for certain Nonimmigrant Visas until 12/31/2022

On December 23, 2021, the Department of State has authorized consular offices through the end of 2022 to waive the in-person interview requirement for additional visa types including temporary workers applying for H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q who meet certain conditions. Consular officers have the discretion to waive the interview requirement for individuals applying for these visa types that...

Healthcare workers may request expedited processing of their pending Form I-765s (EADs)

On December 28, 2021, USCIS issued guidance allowing healthcare workers to request expedited processing of their pending I-765 EAD applications. To determine whether you are a qualifying healthcare worker, see this DHS advisory memorandum (“Healthcare / Public Health” section, pages 7-9). You should be prepared to provide evidence of your profession or current employment as a healthcare...

USCIS Temporarily Waiving 60-Day Rule For I-693 Signatures

On December 9, 2021, USCIS announced that it is temporarily waiving the requirement that the civil surgeon sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, no more than 60 days before an applicant files an application for the underlying immigration benefit (such as I-485). In October 2020, many applicants could not file their I-485 applications in October due to civil...

Suspension of Visitors From South Africa And Surrounding Countries Due To Risk of Transmitting Omicron Variant

Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the white house has issued a proclamation barring the entry of nonimmigrant/immigrant visitors who were physically present in the following countries: Republic of BotswanaKingdom of EswatiniKingdom of LesothoRepublic of MalawiRepublic of MozambiqueRepublic of NamibiaRepublic of South AfricaRepublic of Zimbabwe This proclamation is...

Settlement Reached: H-4 EAD Renewals Now Also Qualifies For Automatic 180-Day extension and L-2s Get Work Authorization Without EAD.

Update November 15, 2021 USCIS has issued policy guidance to address automatic extension of employment authorization for certain H-4, E, and L nonimmigrant dependent spouses.  Again, note the following: "the automatic extension of the EAD will continue until the earlier of: the end dateon Form I-94 showing valid status, the approval or denial of the EAD renewal application, or 180 days from the...

USCIS May Accept Secondary Evidence When Adjudicating I-485 Under LRIF

USCIS issued a policy alert on 10/29/2021 to help some Liberian Nationals in meeting the filing deadline (12/20/2021) for Adjustment of Status under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) law. LRIF allows certain Liberian nationals and their spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old, or unmarried sons and daughters 21 years or older living in the United States who meet the...

Individuals From Hong Kong May Apply For Employment Authorization Through 02/05/2023

USCIS announced today that eligible Hong Kong residents may apply for employment authorization covered under President Biden's Aug. 5 memorandum directing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for 18 months, through February 5, 2023. See Biden Grants “Safe Haven” to Hong Kong Residents Eligible Hong Kong residents who were present in the United States as of August 5, 2021, may apply for an...