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...

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...

H-1B Processing Update

We are starting a new post to track the processing timeframes of non-premium H-1B cases. Please check out a related post on Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium. Update 01/21/2022 Processing time of H-1B extensions continues to stay at 4 months. See some examples below. Note that H-1Bs subject to RFEs will take longer. Below are some examples. One is an H-1B1 extension and the other is an initial...

Why Is My Case Taking So Long?

Related Posts: Another Chance to File I-485 after RejectionUSCIS Processing Update: H-4 / H-4 EADI-485 EB Processing UpdateExpediting a Pending I-765 EADBreaking: USCIS to Eliminate Biometrics Requirement for I-539 filers starting May 17, 2021Biometric Appt may now be Rescheduled by PhoneI-751 Processing updatesNaturalization Processing UpdatesTemporary Extension of I-693 Validity from 2 Years...

Anxious About Not Having Received a Receipt Notice? Ask Emma

As USCIS continues to grapple with backlogs and extended processing delays, the issuance of receipt notices has also be impacted with some taking 3 weeks or longer to arrive by mail. Coupled with mail delivery issues at USPS, it has now become a challenge just to get the receipt notice in hand. It is no longer easy or expected to receive the receipt notice within a few short days. Receipt...

Biden Administration Will Rescind Travel Bans and Instead Require Proof of Vaccination

Update 11/08/2021 Flyer about the New Covid-19 Travel Requirements: Update 11/05/2021 On 11/08/2021, the previous COVID-19 travel bans will be replaced with a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all international air travelers to the United States. Passengers must provide proof of vaccination to airlines who will: Match the name and date of birth to the information on the vaccination...

Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1B Has Been Vacated

Update 12/21/2021 Official statement from USCIS regarding its decision to withdraw the H-1B selection final rule which would have changed the way H-1B registrations are selected by prioritizing those with high wages. Update 12/10/2021 The Biden Administration will no longer defend this Trump-era rule that prioritizes H-1B lottery selection to those with high salaries. See the article "H-1B Visa...

USCIS Changes its Mind: H-1B Cap Start Date Can Be October 1 or Later

USCIS has now officially stated that H-1B cap-subject petition may have a start date of October 1 or later (and six months or less from the receipt date of the petition). Previously, USCIS required that the start date be only October 1. H-1B FAQ In FY 2021, USCIS rejected H-1B filings for stating a start date that is after October 1. Lawsuits were filed and USCIS lost. Those rejected were given...

Policy updates: Expedited processing clarifications; No denial without RFE; Some EADs will be issued for two years

On June 9, 2021, USCIS issued policy updates to improve the immigration system. Improvements are expected to continue under the Biden administration. USCIS is committed to modernizing the immigration system and operating it in a fair, efficient, and humane manner. Expedited Processing USCIS provided further guidance on when expedited processing may be warranted. Please see our post regarding...