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...

Petitioners with pending U visa petitions are now eligible to receive EADs

On June 14, 2021, USCIS updated its policy manual to allow eligible U visa petitioners (victims of crime in the United States) access to employment authorization sooner. Currently, U visa petitioners are waiting approximately five years before receiving a determination that allows them access to an employment authorization document and grant of deferred action. Through this new process, USCIS...

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...

Special Employment Authorization for Burmese F-1 Students

DHS will suspend certain requirements governing employment for Burmese F-1 students. This will provide relief to citizens of Burma who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so that they may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain F–1 nonimmigrant student status. F–1 nonimmigrant...

Breaking: USCIS to Eliminate Biometrics Requirement for I-539 filers starting May 17, 2021

On May 3, 2021, USCIS announced that it will suspend biometrics requirement for individuals filing Form I-539 to request an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2 and certain E nonimmigrants. The declaration was made in response to a lawsuit (Edakunni v. Mayorkas) challenging tH-4 and L-2 adjudication delays.  The biometrics suspension will apply to the H-4, L-2, and E-1, E-2,...

Expediting a Pending I-765 EAD

Update 6/11/2021 USCIS has clarified the circumstances under which it will consider expedited requests (ER). NBC is processing expedited request (ER) of EADs very quickly. Call USCIS customer service for ER and ask to speak to Tier 2 officer. Tier 2 will call back in a week or so. Provide financial loss docs. Most are approved without any docs. If doc is requested, some examples include a letter...

I-485 EB Processing Update FY2021

Update October 7, 2021 Update October 4, 2021 Here's a sample I-485 approval issued right before the end of the fiscal year. I-485 was filed on 10/27/2020. EAD/AP was issued in July 2021. Biometrics completed in March 2020. Update September 3, 2021 We received EAD / AP approval on 08/26/2021 for an employment-based I-485 filed on October 23, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on...

USCIS Processing Update: H-4 / H-4 EAD

Update October 5, 2021 Here are some more sample approvals showing the current processing timeline for H-4. The two H-4s and one corresponding H-4 EAD were filed in March and April of this year were approved in late September. Total processing time is about 6 to 7 months. Update August 26, 2021 This is a standalone H-4 filed on September 15, 2020 and got approved after 11 months. We currently do...

Special Employment Authorization for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 Students

DHS just released notices that it has suspended certain requirements governing employment for Venezuelan or Syrian F-1 students. These notices provide relief to citizens of Syria or Venezuela who are lawful F–1 nonimmigrant students so the students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing...

F-1 OPT May Now be Filed Online via Online Form I-765

USCIS announced today that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file online if they are filing under one of these categories: (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;(c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and(c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. Keep in mind that the online I-765 is only for OPT. If one files...