USCIS Extends Flexibility

USCIS has announced it will be extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to the following:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers;
  • Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA); or
  • Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This flexibility applies to the above documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and Sept. 11, 2020, inclusive. USCIS will consider a response to the above requests and notices received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking any action.

For guidance with an RFE, please contact Agarwal Law Offices at 978-905-9992.

USCIS on Visa Ban

USCIS has issued the following statement on the recent Presidential Proclamation:

“Monday’s presidential proclamation temporarily restricts certain categories of visas from being issued to protect jobs for American workers while our economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19. This does not affect those currently working in the U.S. on valid H-1B or similar visas. The proclamation also does not prevent individuals in possession of valid visas prior to the effective date of the proclamation from entering or re-entering the country, if they have been abroad, provided they have not otherwise rendered themselves inadmissible.

USCIS Statement on DACA

USCIS issued the following statement on today’s Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

“DACA was created through an Executive Branch memorandum after President Obama said repeatedly that it was illegal for him to do so unilaterally and despite the fact that Congress affirmatively rejected the proposal on multiple occasions. The constitutionality of this de facto amnesty program created by the Obama administration has been widely questioned since its inception. The fact remains that under DACA, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens continue to remain in our country in violation of the laws passed by Congress and to take jobs Americans need now more than ever. Ultimately, DACA is not a long-term solution for anyone, and if Congress wants to provide a permanent solution for these illegal aliens it needs to step in to reform our immigration laws and prove that the cornerstone of our democracy is that presidents cannot legislate with a ‘pen and a phone.”

Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Following COVID-19

On Wednesday, April 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.  The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 23 and expires in 60 days, unless continued by the President. 

U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation, are not subject to the proclamation. The Proclamation is not retroactive. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation. The proclamation provides exceptions to its restrictions for certain categories of immigrants, including: certain healthcare professionals, aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an EB-5 investor visa, spouses and children (categories IR2, CR2, IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4) of U.S. citizens, members of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces, and aliens seeking to enter the United States pursuant to an Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa. In addition, cases involving a child applicant who may age out may be considered for a national interest exception. Please refer to the proclamation for a full list of exceptions.

USCIS RFE Deadlines

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, USCIS has announced that it will provide some flexibility for those responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.

“For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community, and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time.”

Travel Restrictions Guidance

U.S. citizens are not subject to the proclamations. All five proclamations provide exceptions to the restrictions for lawful permanent residents of the United States.  Some exceptions include, but are not limited to: foreign diplomats traveling to the United States on A or G visas and certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents including; spouses, children (under the age of 21), parents (provided that his/her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child is unmarried and under the age of 21), and siblings (provided that both the sibling and the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident are unmarried and under the age of 21).  There is also an exception for air and sea crew traveling to the United States on C, D or C1/D visas. For the full list of exceptions please refer to the proclamations.

Visa Bulletin 06/20

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and employment-based green cards.

Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their relationship to a US immediate relative. Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCESFirst: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for June 2020.


https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2019/visa-bulletin-for-June-2020.html

USCIS Resuming Premium Processing

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month. 

Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.

Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for: 

  • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).
  • All other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.

USCIS Reopening

USCIS is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to protect our workforce and the public. For the latest information on the status of individual offices, check our office closures page.

NVC Correspondence

On June 1, 2020, National Visa Center will no longer accept or respond to inquiries through mail. National Visa Center has modernized the way we pre-process visa applications. This has allowed NVC to streamline services to case parties and to U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Tips for interacting with NVC:

  1. Visit https://nvc.state.gov for detailed instructions on processing your case and a variety of FAQs
  2. Use the Public Inquiry Form at https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry if you cannot find the answer to your question at: https://nvc.state.gov or https://ceac.state.gov.
  3. Do not submit repeat inquiries. Multiple inquires on a single topic will delay our ability to respond.