I-601A RFEs

Since 2013, certain aliens who are only inadmissible based on the 3-year or 10-year unlawful presence bar may seek a provisional unlawful presence waiver while present in the United States by filing Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. An approved provisional unlawful presence waiver is not effective unless and until the alien departs from the United States, appears...

Sample RFE Template Targeting Green Card Applications for Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)

Below is a sample Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) which is a form of challenge issued by USCIS. The RFE focuses on a pending green card application filed under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program (LRIF). This form of RFE may be considered a template RFE because it can be easily adapted and sent out to any pending green card application filed under LRIF. You may receive a...

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...

Finally – USCIS is Reverting Back to Pre-Trump Policy of Giving Deference to Prior Determinations

Great news for petitioners and beneficiaries of H-1B and other nonimmigrant work categories. USCIS just announced that it has revised its policy manual and reverted back to the previous practice of giving deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests. This totally makes sense. Why challenge an extension when the underlying facts have not changed and in most cases have...

What Happens to My Pending H-1B Extension After My Green Card is Approved?

The answer should be fairly straightforward. But USCIS has not always been consistent in adjudicating similar cases. They are supposed to follow the "last action" rule. Once GC is approved, then the beneficiary becomes a lawful permanent resident from that point onwards. The pending H-1B extension may be approved but only up to the day before GC approval. But the varying adjudication outcomes...

Fast H-1B Approval Without Premium

Update 07/12/2021 It does seem like the adjudication time is much faster than before. Many H-1Bs have been approved within 2 months. The example below is another cap-subject H-1B. Approved in 12 days under normal processing. Update 06/09/2021 We are now seeing fast H-1B approvals without premium for cap-subject filings. The samples below were filed on May 24, 2021 and were approved on June 1,...

Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” order has been Rescinded by Biden

President Biden signed executive order on January 29, 2021 which revokes the "Buy American and Hire American" executive order signed during the Trump era. The BAHA order signed in 2017 led to initiatives that dramatically increased scrutiny of H1B and L1. Overall challenges in the forms of requests for evidence increased at one point to over 60%. Attached is the flyer from USCIS touting its...

Additional Time Added for Responding to USCIS notices

Update Post 06/24/2021 USCIS has announced another extension of flexibilities shown below. Additional time will continue to be given for responding to certain requests and notices that are dated between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. providing additional time for responding to USCIS. Update Post 03/24/2021 In an effort to extend accommodations in light of Covid, USCIS continues to allow...