Naturalization Processing Updates

Update 07/16/2021 We received an interview notice for the naturalization application that was filed in September 2020. Almost one year wait. But cases filed this year are processed much faster (see below). Original Post 07/08/2021 There seems to be a trend where recently filed naturalization applications are being processed faster than cases filed last year. We have two cases filed in March and...

Applicants for Naturalization may be Forgiven if They Had Unknowingly Registered to Vote

USCIS issued new policy guidance on May 27, 2021 regarding an applicant's registration to vote and its impact on good moral character determination during naturalization. Some of the policy highlights include: USCIS will not penalize an applicant who unknowingly or unwilfully registers to vote.USCIS does not consider an applicant to have unlawfully registered to vote if the applicant did not...

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...

USCIS Will Offer Relief to Those Impacted by Delays at USCIS Lockbox

Update June 18, 2021 If you have experienced a delayed rejection of your immigration filing which you are unable to refile due to no longer being eligible for the immigration benefit requested, please pay attention to the current flexibilities offered by USCIS. These filing flexibilities are effective for 60 days from June 10, 2021, until August 9, 2021. Refiling Eligibility You may refile your...

Check your I-94 as soon as you arrive: CBP may not have given you the maximum duration of stay

When working on a beneficiary's H-1B extension, I-140, or I-485 filing, we would send a checklist to the beneficiary listing information and documents that we need to prepare the petition or application. One of the items listed is a copy of the most recent I-94. We often encounter a situation where the beneficiary is shocked to find out that their I-94 has already expired after downloading it...

Qualified Veterans Living Overseas May File for Naturalization

On May 28, 2021, USCIS issued additional clarifications in its policy alert that certain veterans who served and were honorably discharged from the military but are not lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may file an Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) to naturalize under INA 329 even if they are currently residing outside the United States. The policy guidance also clarifies that...

Biometric Appt may now be Rescheduled by Phone

On May 11, 2021, USCIS announced that Biometric Services Appointment may now be re-scheduled by calling the USCIS Contact Center (800-375-5283). Applicants must establish good cause for rescheduling and must call before the date and time of their original appointment to reschedule. It seems applicants may still reschedule by mailing back the biometrics notice with the box checked for...

USCIS is Responding Quickly to Service Request Inquiry

Update May 4, 2021 Since January of last year, we have seen an uptick in typos and errors on official notices. We've caught errors almost every month which suggests the trend will continue. Errors include name misspellings, wrong priority date, wrong DOB, missing A#, and wrong EB category (EB1 instead of EB2). We will create a new post to track these ongoing errors. It is important to look at...

USCIS Reverts Back to Administering the Old Civic Test

The civics test component of the naturalization test had previously required applicants to study from a list of 100 possible questions. This was known as the 2008 civics test. On December 1, 2020, USCIS increased that list to 128 and updated the number of questions applicants must answer correctly to pass from six out of 10 to 12 out of 20 questions. On February 22, 2021, USCIS scratched out the...