Categories News & Updates USCIS

Expansion of Premium Processing for Certain Immigrant Petitions

Today, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an expansion of premium processing to petitioners with certain I-140 Immigrant Petitions for Alien Workers pending in the EB1 and EB2 preference categories.

 

Starting on June 1, 2022, USCIS will accept I-907 requests for premium processing service of EB1C Multinational Executive and Manager I-140 petitions received on or before January 1, 2021.

 

Starting on July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept requests for premium processing service of EB2 National Interest Waiver petitions received on or before June 1, 2021. USCIS will accept I-907 requests for premium processing service of EB1C Multinational Executive and Manager petitions received on or before March 1, 2021.

 

USCIS will not accept new I-140 EB1C and EB2 NIW I-140 petitions filed in premium processing at this time.

 

In today’s announcement, USCIS also noted that it released a new Form I-907 yesterday, dated 05/31/2022, and will accept both the old 09/30/2020 version and the new 05/31/2022 version until June 30, 2022. Starting July 1, 2022, USCIS will require the new version and will reject requests made on the old version.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS increases automatic extension period of certain EAD categories

This Temporary Final Rule (TFR) is effective from today, May 4, 2022, and only applies to those EAD categories currently eligible for an automatic 180-day extension. This rule will temporarily provide 360 days of additional automatic extension time for a total of up to 540 days. Eligible applicants must file a timely Form I-765 renewal application during the 18-month period after publication of this TFR.

 

This 360-day increase will be available to applicants whose employment authorization may have lapsed following the initial 180-day extension period, and any eligible applicant who files a renewal Form I-765 during the 18-month period beginning on or after May 4, 2022, and ending October 26, 2023.

 

It is important to note that certain EAD holders including those in H4, E, and L2 status, for instance, are still limited to an automatic extension only until their existing I-94 expires.

 

This automatic extension will end upon a final decision on the EAD renewal application, or up to 540 days after the expiration date on the applicant’s expired EAD card, whichever comes earlier. It is recommended that even with this rule, EAD applications should be filed as far in advance as possible.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

H-1B Cap Registrations Increased by 57% From Last Year

USCIS has notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration beginning April 1, 2022. The total number of registrations received by USCIS have reached the numerical allocations (H-1B cap), including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap).

 

For FY 2023, USCIS received a total number of 483,927 H-1B registrations and has initially selected 127,600 registrations projected as needed to reach the FY 2023 numerical allocations. The number of registrations were much higher this year when compared to FY 2022, which had a total of 308,613 registrations – a 57% increase year over year.

 

For the FY 2022 Cap, USCIS conducted a second selection in July 2021 of an additional 27,717 registrations due to low filing volume from the initial selection, and also conducted a third selection in November 2021 of an additional 16,753 registrations. This resulted in a total of 131,970 selected registrations for FY 2022. Looking at the trend, it is expected that USCIS will conduct a second round of lottery selections for this year’s Cap around the beginning of July.

 

For each beneficiary registered, registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses:

 

Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.

 

Based on the above, USCIS may conduct a second round of lottery for FY Cap 2023. There is no official notification on subsequent rounds as of yet.

 

Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.

 

Denied: If multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary, the registration is denied. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.

 

Invalidated-Failed Payment: If a registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, rejected, disputed, or cancelled after submission, the registration is deemed invalid.

 

The period for filing the H-1B cap-subject petition will be at least 90 days. Selection in the registration process does not relieve the petitioner of submitting evidence or otherwise establishing eligibility, as registration only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS Expands Premium Processing Services

In an effort to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system, USCIS has announced three new actions intended to reduce backlogs, expand Premium Processing Services and provide timely access to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

 

Reducing Backlogs: To reduce backlogs, USCIS has established new internal cycle time goals. These goals are internal metrics and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS plans to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023. The new cycle time goals can be accessed here- https://www.uscis.gov/forms/filing-guidance.

 

Expansion of Premium Processing Service: USCIS intends to begin gradually implementing premium processing availability to include Form I-539, Form I-765 and additional classifications under Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. First, USCIS plans to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, EB-2 classification as a member of the professions with advanced degrees, and those with exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver. A specific timeline has not yet been announced. We will provide updates on timing as they become available.

 

Access to EADs: USCIS had recently extended validity periods of certain EADs by providing an automatic 180-day extension. Now it aims to build on this progress to ensure certain individuals will not lose their work authorization status while their applications are pending. More updates on the EAD adjudication process will be released by USCIS in the coming days. We will monitor progress and provide updates.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any case specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.

Categories News & Updates USCIS

USCIS now approving EADs without APs to improve EAD processing times

USCIS has delayed the adjudication of I-131 Advance Parole applications for travel documents. Routinely, these forms are submitted and adjudicated concurrently with I-765 forms requesting work authorization for employment-based green card applicants. Approved applicants receive an EAD card (employment authorization document) with the notation “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole” included on the card.

 

However, recent applicants have been receiving their EADs without the advance parole notation. Without this notation, applicants cannot use the card for international travel. In the event that an applicant leaves without I-512 Advance Parole, they will not be allowed to reenter the country unless they have another means for entry, such as a temporary visa.

 

After the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reached out to USCIS for comment, the agency confirmed that “the processing change is intentional as the agency is working through the EAD backlog and is prioritizing EAD adjudication as it seeks to avoid applicants experiencing a lapse or prolonged lapse in employment authorization. At present, there is no additional information available on the scope or duration of this procedural change.”

 

Current processing times for I-131 forms granting travel authorization are 10-20 months, while current processing times for I-765 requests for work authorization are 7-14 months at all major USCIS processing centers. We anticipate that processing times for Advance Parole will increase even more due to this change.

 

Please contact your Graham Adair attorney with any specific questions, or contact us at info@grahamadair.com; +1 408 715 7067.