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 Processing Update

Update July 30, 2021 We received EAD / AP approval on 07/17/2021 for an employment-based I-485 filed on October 27, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on March 18, 2021. PD: 07/22/2010 India EB2 Applicant's wife had requested expedited processing of EAD / AP and received her approvals a month earlier in June. Update July 27, 2021 When you receive your I-485 supplement J receipt notice, the...

USCIS Receipt Delay Update: H-4 / H-4 EAD

Update June 23, 2021 We received an H-4 and an H-4 EAD approval which were filed on August 6, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on March 12, 2021. We also received an H-4 approval which was filed on May 13, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on April 23, 2021. Update June 14, 2021 We received an H-4 approval which was filed on July 31, 2020. The applicant completed biometrics on May...

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...

CIS Ombudsman Provides Case Assistance on Receipt Delays, Biometrics Appointment, EAD delays

The CIS Ombudsman has issued an update regarding its services for case assistance. Receipt Delays If more than 90 days have passed since you filed a petition/application with USCIS, you may submit a request for case assistance with the CIS Ombudsman, and our office will reach out to USCIS to resolve your issue. If less than 90 days have passed since you filed a petition/application with USCIS,...