The Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman office recently released the 2021 Annual Report and to characterize the Agency as overwhelmed, underfunded and in chaos would be kind. There are over 1.3 million applicants waiting for biometric appointments and a total of over 7 million applications and petitions awaiting adjudication. The most immediate concern is the… Continue reading Agency in Meltdown ?
Earlier this week, the USCIS made changes to a number of its policies to improve service. You can read the full announcement here. The list below are the one’s we found most relevant: 1. Issuing RFE’s or NOID’s instead of Denials if sufficient evidence is not included in the initial filing. This will allow you… Continue reading USCIS Policy Manual Updates
Last week, the DOL announced that it will delay the implementation of sweeping changes to the way prevailing wages are calculated, introduced in January as one of the last actions of the Trump Administration. The rule is now scheduled to go into effect in Nov. of 2022. This delay will allow the DOL more time… Continue reading DOL Delays Changes to Prevailing Wages
This week, the USCIS announced that it has suspended all biometric appointments for H-4 and L-2 extensions. This suspension will remain in effect until May 17,2023. It applies to filings made after May 17th and previous filings that have not yet been issued a biometrics notice. If you have received a biometrics notice, you must… Continue reading Biometric Appointments Suspended
Today, the USCIS published a rule withdrawing a Trump Admin. rule which served to block the implementation of an Obama Admin rule which created an avenue for entrepreneurs and investors to come to the US. Check out the USCIS announcement. HNM works with investors and entrepreneurs to obtain US visas including E, L-1a, and EB5’s… Continue reading International Entrepreneur Program Lives !
On May 4 (Happy Star Wars Day!) USCIS released a declaration that the Service is finalizing a policy that will temporarily suspend biometrics submission requirements for individuals filing Form I-539 (H4, L2, etc.). This policy is expected to begin May 17, 2021 and last for 2 years. This would only affect newly filed cases. If… Continue reading End of Biometrics for Dependent Cases?
The USCIS has restored the deference policy for petition extensions. The deference policy provides that USCIS examiners should defer to prior approvals when adjudicating extensions of visas unless there has been a change in circumstances that warrant a de novo review. The deference policy was first officially enacted in 2004 although had been in practice… Continue reading USCIS Restores Deference
As the H-1b lottery/cap filing season is underway, many employees that are working on OPT or STEM OPT will be taking advantage of the cap-gap rules which generally allow a person that was chosen in the H-1b lottery and who has timely filed a petition to continue working until Oct 1st even though their EAD… Continue reading New cap-gap rules
The Department of State has released the April Visa Bulletin and the Final Action Date chart continued to show steady forward movement across all categories and countries with established cut-off dates. All EB1 countries moved to current and both India and China EB2 and EB3 categories saw jumps of several months. The USCIS has yet… Continue reading April Visa Bulletin Plus 🙂
Last week, the USCIS announced that it would entertain Motions to Re-open/reconsider (MTR’s) on denials of H-1b petitions that were based on one of three memos that have since been rescinded either by Federal Court order or by USCIS action. The relevant memos are: computer programmer memo from 3-31-2017; the employer-employee relationship memo dated 1-8-2010… Continue reading New Hope for an Old H-1b Denial ?
The USCIS has announced that they will no longer apply the Public Charge Rule introduced by the Trump Administration but, will revert back to the rule that was in effect prior to October of 2019. A summary of the rule that will now be applied can be found here. As a practical matter, this means… Continue reading Public Charge Rule Dies