Immigration News Update Newsletter — June 2022

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Premium Processing Starts for Pending EB-1 and Eb-2 Cases!

In a move designed to increase the ability to modernize its antiquated adjudications system ($$) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented premium processing for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. This expansion of premium processing applies only to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW), USCIS said. Petitioners who wish to request a premium processing upgrade must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

USCIS said the expansion will occur in phases:

  • Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS is accepting Form I-907 requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before January 1, 2021.
  • Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions received on or before June 1, 2021, and E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before March 1, 2021.
  • USCIS will continue working toward premium processing availability of additional Form I-140 petitions, Form I-539, and Form I-765 in fiscal year 2022.

USCIS said it will reject premium processing requests for these Form I-140 classifications that were filed before their start date of June 1, 2022, or July 1, 2022.

USCIS will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request.

This is the perfect setup by USCIS–Incompetent management and terrible policy-making allows the agency to take 12-18 months to make a decision on a case, forcing employers to pay $2,500 for a decision, for which they have already paid $700. So that USCIS can have more money to continue ineffectual management practices and terrible decision making. The chutzpah of the USCIS never ceases to amaze us.

Read below for more of the other immigration news of the day.

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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now

UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS

Cap Reached for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for Second Half of FY 2022– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 23,500 visas made available for returning workers only, under the recently announced H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule.

USCIS Releases New Forms for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released two new forms under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.

SEVIS Update: COVID-19 Guidance Extended for Nonimmigrant Students– U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s March 2020 guidance continues for the 2022-23 academic year only for nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status. Students who enrolled after March 9, 2020, must adhere to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s existing regulations regarding online learning.

CBP Expands Biometric Facial Recognition Technology at U.S. International Airports– Travelers arriving at an international airport in the United States will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. U.S. travelers and foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point.

Public Charge Resources Webpage Updated– Among other updates, a question-and-answer section addresses concerns and misconceptions about the public charge ground of inadmissibility.

Investors File Lawsuit Against DHS To Stop EB-5 Regional Center Decertifications – A group of investment and capital firms filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, arguing that when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decertified existing EB-5 regional centers, it violated the Administrative Procedure Act and misinterpreted the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.

USCIS To Implement Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is implementing premium processing for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.

DOL Clarifies Method of Contacting AFL-CIO Required Under Rule Increasing Number of H-2B Visas Available in Second Half of FY 2022 – Examples of how to contact the AFL-CIO, as provided in a temporary final rule, include emailing or mailing the job order, along with a request for assistance to recruit workers, to the appropriate AFL-CIO office.

DOL Issues Guidance on Employment of H-2B Workers in Unapproved Job Classifications– The memo provides information on the “harms inflicted on the U.S. and H-2B workforce” by such employment and provides “guidance on the sanctions and remedies” that the Wage and Hour Division may implement.

USCIS Increases Automatic Work Permit Extension Period for Certain Applicants – USCIS announced a temporary final rule, effective May 4, 2022, that increases to up to 540 days the automatic extension period for work authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) available to certain EAD renewal applicants. The rule is expected to affect approximately 87,000 workers who have filed for renewal of their work authorization and whose 180-day automatic extension periods have expired or are about to expire.

Case Processing Info Changes Announced – Users can now immediately find processing time information for their particular type of case rather than seeing an aggregate of all related case types.

CBP Urges Travelers to Apply for I-94 Online Before Arriving at U.S. Land Borders– To reduce wait times, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is urging travelers who require a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to apply and prepay online before arriving at a U.S. land border.

 Global: Schengen Area – This article discusses how to calculate the 90/180-days allowance for non-European Union nationals traveling to Schengen countries, and the new Electronic Entry System.

DETAILED ANALYSIS OF EACH OF THESE NEWS ITEMS

Cap Reached for Additional Returning Worker H-2B Visas for Second Half of FY 2022

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 31, 2022, that it has received enough petitions to reach the cap for the additional 23,500 visas made available for returning workers only, under the recently announced H-2B supplemental cap temporary final rule, which increased by up to 35,000 the cap for additional H-2B nonimmigrant visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2022.

The random selection, completed on May 27, included all H-2B cap-subject petitions filed under the H-2B returning worker allotment that were received between May 19 and May 25. Petitions accepted for processing will have a receipt date of May 31, 2022.

USCIS said that petitioners whose workers were not selected for the 23,500 returning worker allotment “are encouraged to refile for workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti while visas for that allotment remain available.” The final date for filing petitions for nationals of those countries who are exempt from the returning worker requirement is September 15, 2022, or when the cap is reached, whichever occurs first.

The agency will continue to accept H-2B petitions for workers filing under the El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti allotment, as well as those that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:

  • Current H-2B workers in the United States petitioning to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2029.
Details:
USCIS Releases New Forms for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released two new forms under the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. The new forms are:

  • Form I-956F, Application for Approval of an Investment in a Commercial Enterprise
  • Form I-956G, Regional Center Annual Statement

USCIS explained that Form I-956F can only be filed by an approved regional center. Form I-956F is similar in some respects to an “exemplar” submission on Form I-924 under the previous program; however, Form I-956F is required by statute for regional centers to apply for approval of each particular investment offering through an associated new commercial enterprise. Form I-956G takes the place of Form I-924A from the previous program but incorporates the increased statutory reporting requirements.

The next series of forms to be released are Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, and Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor. USCIS will notify stakeholders once these forms are available.

Effective June 2, 2022, Forms I-956F and I-956G must be submitted in compliance with new program requirements. The filing fee is $17,795 for Form I-956F and $3,035 for Form I-956G.

Details:

SEVIS Update: COVID-19 Guidance Extended for Nonimmigrant Students

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released guidance regarding distance learning to all Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) users to clarify that its March 2020 guidance continues for the 2022-23 academic year only for nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status. Students who enrolled after March 9, 2020, must adhere to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s existing regulations regarding online learning.

The March 2020 guidance “enables schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the continuing public health concerns created by COVID-19,” ICE said.

Details:

CBP Expands Biometric Facial Recognition Technology at U.S. International Airports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded biometric facial comparison technology at all international airports across the United States under the “Simplified Arrival” process. CBP said that this expansion complements biometric boarding at select departure locations.

Travelers arriving at an international airport will pause for a photo at the primary inspection point. A CBP officer will review and query the travel document, which will retrieve the traveler’s passport or visa photo from government holdings and compare it to the new photo. CBP said the process “takes a few seconds and is more than 98% accurate.”

CBP said that U.S. travelers and foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and wish to opt out of the new biometric process can notify a CBP officer as they approach the primary inspection point. These travelers must present a valid travel document for inspection by a CBP officer and will be processed consistent with existing requirements for admission into the United States.

CBP explained that “Simplified Arrival” is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks required for admission into the United States. The process fulfills a Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. Foreign travelers who have traveled to the United States previously “may no longer need to provide fingerprints, as their identity will be confirmed through the touchless facial biometric process.” CBP said that more than 171 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land, and sea ports of entry.

Details:

Public Charge Resources Webpage Updated

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its public charge resources webpage “with more information to help reduce undue fear and confusion among immigrants and their families, including U.S. citizens and their children, that may prevent them from obtaining access to critical government services available to them.”

A question-and-answer section addresses concerns and misconceptions about the public charge ground of inadmissibility. For example, USCIS does not consider vaccines or public benefits specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic when making public charge determinations. “We encourage everyone, including noncitizens, to seek necessary medical care, including treatment or preventive services for COVID-19. Noncitizens may seek pandemic-related benefits and services (including food assistance, housing programs, and others) for which they are eligible—without fear of negative consequences to their immigration status.”

The updated content also “clarifies that relatively few noncitizens in the United States are both subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and eligible for the public benefits considered under the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, including Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and programs (including Medicaid) supporting noncitizens who are institutionalized for long-term care at government expense,” USCIS said.

Details:
Investors File Lawsuit Against DHS To Stop EB-5 Regional Center Decertifications
A group of investment and capital firms filed a lawsuit on May 24, 2022, against the Department of Homeland Security, arguing that when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decertified existing EB-5 regional centers, it violated the Administrative Procedure Act and misinterpreted the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, which was signed into law following a lapse in authorization for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Plaintiffs say that by categorically decertifying more than 600 existing EB-5 regional centers and requiring them to recertify, USCIS “eviscerated” the program and determined that a wholly new regional center program was created rather than following congressional intent to reauthorize the program with a few changes and allow existing regional centers to continue their work.
Alleging that USCIS’s action was “unlawful for a host of reasons,” plaintiffs said the agency’s action meant that “all existing regional centers, which already have billions of dollars in invested capital, ongoing development projects, and investors awaiting adjudication of their visa petitions, must effectively pause all revenue-generating operations (while still maintaining regulatory obligations to existing investors) indefinitely until USCIS approves their new applications. At current processing rates, it will take well over a decade for more than 600 programs to become redesignated.”

This is the second lawsuit challenging USCIS’s claim that all regional centers must be redesignated. A preliminary injunction hearing in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Mayorkas, No. 3-22-cv-02487-VC (N.D. Cal.), will be held June 2.

Details:

USCIS Implements Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is implementing premium processing for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. This expansion of premium processing applies only to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW), USCIS said. Petitioners who wish to request a premium processing upgrade must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.

USCIS said the expansion will occur in phases:

  • Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS is accepting Form I-907 requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before January 1, 2021.
  • Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions received on or before June 1, 2021, and E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before March 1, 2021.
  • USCIS will continue working toward premium processing availability of additional Form I-140 petitions, Form I-539, and Form I-765 in fiscal year 2022.

USCIS said it will reject premium processing requests for these Form I-140 classifications that were filed before their start date of June 1, 2022, or July 1, 2022. USCIS will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request.

For the month of June, USCIS will accept both the 09/30/20 and the 05/31/22 editions of Form I-907. Starting July 1, the agency will reject the older 09/30/20 edition of Form I-907.

Details:

DOL Clarifies Method of Contacting AFL-CIO Required Under Rule Increasing Number of H-2B Visas Available in Second Half of FY 2022

A temporary final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on May 18, 2022, included additional recruitment requirements for certain employers. One such requirement is that where the occupation or industry is traditionally or customarily unionized, “the employer must contact (by mail, email or other effective means) the nearest American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations [AFL-CIO] office covering the area of intended employment and provide written notice of the job opportunity, by providing a copy of the job order placed … and request assistance in recruiting qualified U.S. workers for the job.”

Examples of such contact provided in the rule include emailing or mailing the job order, along with a request for assistance to recruit workers, to the appropriate AFL-CIO office. To aid employers who must conduct this additional recruitment step, one effective means of contacting the nearest AFL-CIO office covering the area of intended employment is to email the job order and request for assistance to H-2B@aflcio.org or contacting the national AFL-CIO by mail at:

AFL-CIO
Attn: H-2B

DOL said that when received, the agency will distribute these materials to the most appropriate local AFL-CIO office serving the area of intended employment for that job opportunity. DOL said employers “are encouraged to contact the AFL-CIO using the email or mailing address above, though contact directly with the AFL-CIO office covering the area of intended employment is also acceptable. Employers are reminded to retain documentation of contact with the AFL-CIO as required.”

Details:

DOL Issues Guidance on Employment of H-2B Workers in Unapproved Job Classifications

The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released a bulletin to the field regarding employment of H-2B workers in unapproved job classifications (i.e., a job classification not listed on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification (TEC), Form ETA-9142B). The memo notes that such employment violates the requirement that employers may not place H-2B workers in positions not listed on the TEC application.

The memo provides information on the “harms inflicted on the U.S. and H-2B workforce” by such employment and provides “guidance on the sanctions and remedies” that the WHD may implement.

Details:
June Visa Bulletin Includes Updates on ‘Other Workers,’ China, Diversity Visa Availability

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for June 2022 includes the following information:

D. Establishment of Employment Third Preference “Other Workers” (EW) Final Action Date

High number use in the Employment Third Preference “Other Workers” (EW) category has necessitated the establishment of a worldwide final action date in June to hold number use within the maximum allowed under the FY-2022 annual limit. All countries are subject to a final action date of 08MAY19 except for China-mainland born, which is subject to a 01JUN12 final action date and India, which is subject to a 15JAN12 final action date.

E. Establishment of C5 and T5 Final Action Date and Application Filing Date for China-Mainland Born

It has become necessary to establish a final action date and application filing date for C5 and T5 China-mainland born because sufficient demand has materialized as readers were cautioned was a possibility in Item D of the May 2022 Visa Bulletin. China-mainland born C5 and T5 applicants are subject to a 22NOV15 final action date and an application filing date of 15DEC15.

F. Availability of Diversity Visas (DV)

Most regions have been set to “Current” for June 2022 in an effort to maximize number use during the DV-2022 program year. However, rank cut-offs could be re-established for any region or country in future months to keep number use within the applicable annual limits.

Details:

USCIS Increases Automatic Work Permit Extension Period for Certain Applicants
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary final rule, effective May 4, 2022, that increases to up to 540 days the automatic extension period for work authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) available to certain EAD renewal applicants.

USCIS said the increased extension period “will help avoid gaps in employment for noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications and stabilize the continuity of operations for U.S. employers.” The rule is expected to affect approximately 87,000 workers who have filed for renewal of their work authorization and whose 180-day automatic extension periods have expired or are about to expire.

USCIS released the following details:

·        The TFR, which only applies to those EAD categories currently eligible for an automatic 180-day extension, will temporarily provide up to 360 days of additional automatic extension time (for a total of 540 days) to eligible applicants with a timely filed Form I-765 renewal application pending during the 18-month period after publication of the temporary final rule “while USCIS continues to work through pending caseloads that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” USCIS said. Beginning October 27, 2023, automatic extensions of employment authorization and EAD validity will revert to the up-to-180-day period for eligible applicants who timely file Form I-765 renewal applications.

·        Noncitizens with a pending EAD renewal application whose 180-day automatic extension has lapsed and whose EAD has expired will be granted an additional period of employment authorization and EAD validity, beginning on May 4, 2022 and lasting up to 540 days from the expiration date of their EAD, such that they may resume employment if they are still within the up to 540-day automatic extension period and are otherwise eligible. Noncitizens with a pending renewal application still covered under the 180-day automatic extension will be granted an additional up to 360-day extension, for a total of up to 540 days past the expiration of the current EAD. Noncitizens with a pending renewal application and valid EAD on May 4, 2022, or who timely file an EAD renewal application before October 27, 2023, will be granted an automatic extension of up to 540 days if their EAD expires before the renewal application is processed.

·        The automatic extension generally will end upon notification of a final decision on the renewal application or the end of the up-to-540-day period (i.e., up to 540 days after the expiration date on the applicant’s facially expired EAD), whichever comes earlier.

·        Certain noncitizens who are in the United States may file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with USCIS to request employment authorization and an EAD. Other noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply for an EAD that shows such authorization.

·        Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) will generally verify employment authorization or this EAD auto-extension as part of initial verification. Additional verification may be required in limited instances such as when the applicant’s data provided by the user agency does not match federal immigration records.

Details:

Case Processing Info Changes Announced
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced changes to case processing information available online. Users can now immediately find processing time information for their particular type of case rather than seeing an aggregate of all related case types. Additional changes include:
  • Adding drop-down options for form categories to help narrow results to the processing times that are relevant to a case;
  • Adding a case inquiry tool where the user can insert their receipt date and get an immediate answer on whether they should contact USCIS with questions about their particular case; if so, benefit requestors will be provided a link to submit a case inquiry online;
  • Displaying a single 80th-percentile processing time (rather than a range) to simplify the information provided and improve the ability of users to estimate how long it is likely to take USCIS to process a benefit request; and
  • Revising, streamlining, and adding more content to the processing times webpages, including a new FAQ page.
Details:
CBP Urges Travelers to Apply for I-94 Online Before Arriving at U.S. Land Borders

To reduce wait times, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is urging travelers who require a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to apply and prepay online before arriving at a U.S. land border.

An I-94 is needed by all visitors except U.S. citizens, returning residents, those with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Travelers are issued an I-94 during the admission process at the port of entry.

Details:

Global: Schengen Area

This article discusses how to calculate the 90/180-days allowance for non-European Union nationals traveling to Schengen countries, and the new Electronic Entry System.

How to Count Your 90 Days

Non-European Union (EU) visitors can stay in the Schengen countries for maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period, but the calculation is not easy.

The Schengen area currently includes 26 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The scannable QR code below leads to EU Migration and Home Affairs, which includes visa policy information and lists of countries whose citizens must have a visa or are exempt from visa requirements when crossing Schengen external borders.

Third-country nationals (e.g., those who are not citizens of the EU and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland), irrespective of being visa-required or exempt, who intend to travel to the Schengen area for a short trip for business or tourism can stay for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. A few terms and rules apply:

Date of entry: The first day of stay on the territory of the Schengen Member State

Date of exit: The last day of stay in the Schengen Area

This applies only to short-term visitors. Periods of stay authorized under a residence permit or a long-stay visa are not taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Member States.

Reference to “any 180-day period” implies the application of a “moving” 180-day reference period, looking backwards at each day of the stay (be it at the entry or at the day of an actual check), into the last 180-day period, to verify if the 90-days/180-day-period requirement continues to be fulfilled.

As noted above, calculation is often not easy. The EU has created an online calculator.

New Entry/Exit System 

The new Entry/Exit System (EES), to be operational in 2022, will automatically identify those who overstay their periods of admission. It will collect identity information and the date and place of entry and exit. The EES will apply to non-EU nationals, visa-required and visa-exempt travelers in the Schengen area. It will replace manual stamping of passports.

Details:
·        “How to Count Your Schengen 90 Days,” Medium, https://medium.com/studiomazzeschi/how-to-count-your-schengen-90-days-ee96f5d25326
·        Entry/Exit System (EES), Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/schengen-borders-and-visa/smart-borders/entry-exit-system_en
New Publications and Items of Interest

USCIS public engagement on Afghanistan TPS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will hold a public engagement on temporary protected status for Afghanistan on Thursday, June 16, 2022, from 2-3 p.m. ET. USCIS will provide an overview of the TPS designation and hold a question-and-answer session. To register, visit the USCIS registration page, enter your email address and select “Submit,” then select “Subscriber Preferences,” “Questions,” complete the questions, and select “Submit” again.

Employment authorization document (EAD) extension calculator. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched an EAD Automatic Extension Calculator. The calculator will “calculate the new EAD expiration date for eligible employees” affected by an automatic extension for certain renewal applicants from up to 180 days to up to 540 days. https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-resources/employment-authorization-document-ead-automatic-extension-calculator

National Visa Center Public Inquiry telephone line suspended. The National Visa Center (NVC) has suspended its public inquiry telephone line. The suspension “will not impede any essential functions of NVC,” the Department of State said. The announcement includes tips for interacting with NVC. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/nvc-public-inquiry-telephone-line-suspension.html

“Eligible to Naturalize” factsheets. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released fact sheets providing information on the “eligible to naturalize” population, including select characteristics of people with lawful permanent resident status in several areas.

https://www.uscis.gov/news/all-news/fact-sheets (scroll to May 16, 2022)

Readout on backlog reduction. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services held a virtual public engagement on May 18, 2022, with nearly 2,000 stakeholders nationwide on the agency’s efforts to reduce backlogs and improve processing times. USCIS updated participants on the agency’s recently announced initiatives to use all available regulatory, policy, and operational tools to reduce backlogs and processing times, including the expansion of premium processing, providing timely access to employment authorization documents, and further reducing the agency’s pending caseload. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/readout-of-national-public-engagement-on-backlog-reduction

Effects of long visa processing delays on tourism and business travelers. On May 9, 2022, Bloomberg Law published “Tourism Industry Rebound Hampered by Long Visa Processing Delays.” The article notes that international travel to the United States is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest, in large part because of long visa wait times in some of the largest markets for international travel to the United States. For example, the article notes, as of May 2022 inbound travelers can expect to wait 702 days in Guadalajara, Mexico; 354 days in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and 643 days in Bogota, Colombia. International visitors “typically make up about half of business and tourist travel to the Miami area,” two-thirds of which is from South American countries. Securing visas through the Department of State “has become a major hurdle for international tourists and business travelers, foreign workers, and immigrants seeking family-based green cards,” the article states.https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/tourism-industry-rebound-hampered-by-long-visa-processing-delays

Ukrainian-language “Uniting for Ukraine” information. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provided information in Ukrainian on the “Uniting for Ukraine” program, under which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will offer certain Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members recently displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an opportunity to travel to the United States to seek humanitarian parole for up to two years. Qualifications include passing biometric and biographic vetting, having sufficient financial support in the United States, and meeting other eligibility requirements. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-nadae-informaciyu-schodo-ednannya-zaradi-ukraini (Ukrainian); https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-provides-information-on-uniting-for-ukraine

New Publications and Items of Interest

Training on Afghan arrival categories and documentation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program will present a training on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1-2 p.m. ET on the immigration documentation that each Afghan arrival category may have and how to use SAVE to verify newly arrived Afghans’ immigration status or parole. Topics will include an overview of Operation Allies Welcome; common Afghan arrival categories and codes; sample documentation; resources; and a question-and-answer session. Registration information “will be forthcoming.”https://www.uscis.gov/save

New E-Verify feature. A new E-Verify feature, myUploads, allows employees to upload required documents in JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats to help resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs). Employees can access their my E-Verify accounts by logging into their USCIS online accounts and uploading the requested documents. They can still use fax or mail to submit documents if they prefer. The employer should provide the Further Action Notice (FAN) to the affected employee, discuss the TNC privately with the employee, and allow the employee to decide whether he or she will contest the TNC. The FAN includes the steps for using myUploads to help resolve a DHS TNC. Once uploaded, the employee must call the number on the FAN to resolve the case.https://myeverify.uscis.gov/New SAVE features. Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) is enhancing its case search capabilities, including improved usability through a search bar and other features, and a more robust case search engine. SAVE will notify users by email at least three weeks before the go-live date for enhancements.https://save.uscis.gov/web/media/resourcesContents/SAVESearchCasesTipSheet.pdf

Helpful Links:

Immigration Agency Information
Department of Homeland Security:DHS.gov/coronavirus

USCIS: USCIS.gov/coronavirus

ICE:

CBP:

Department of Labor:

State Department:https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/

Justice Department

Agency Twitter Accounts
  • EOIR: @DOJ_EOIR
  • ICE: @ICEgov
  • Study in the States: @StudyinStates
  • USCIS: @USCIS

Immigrant and employee rights webinars. The Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), of the Civil Rights Division, is offering a number of free webinars for workers, employers, and advocates. For more information, see https://www.justice.gov/crt/webinars.

E-Verify webinar schedule. E-Verify has released its calendar of webinars at https://www.e-verify.gov/calendar-field_date_and_time/month

For Details on these and other topics, click www.immigration.net!

Government Agency Links

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, and the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:

USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

Department of State Visa Bulletin:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html

Visa application wait times for any post:https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/

Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News

IMMpact Immigration Litigation, a joint venture created by Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC and Siskind Susser PC, and Joseph and Hall, LLC announced the first addition to its group of law firms since the joint venture’s founding in 2020: Wasden Bless & Forney. IMMpact, created with the goal of pooling resources to pursue mass immigration-related litigation, has filed 23 federal cases so far, including challenging various Department of State visa bans, a Department of Labor regulation, various cases relating to delays in processing of immigration benefits, and others. Mr. Kuck said, “We are excited and honored to have this amazing team of immigration litigators join the IMMpact Litigation team. Their individual and combined experience in federal court and deep knowledge of government litigation tactics allows IMMpact to offer our clients an unprecedented depth of skill and capacity.” https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:9d777bd7-c05d-3683-bef3-a4e153846658#pageNum=1 (press release); https://www.immpactlitigation.com/ (IMMpact website)

Charles Kuck was quoted in a terrific article from the student paper of his alma mater, Brigham Young University. https://universe.byu.edu/2022/05/10/dissolving-fear-a-remedy-for-anti-immigration-rhetoric/?fbclid=IwAR1yHoprUEJl2O3LcD9YiS1S9XJIiHVtc1MzRYsla_7t3FqNncQJigFIv4A

Charles Kuck and Associate Attorney Emily Lund discussed the firm’s strategy in a new case in an article entitled, “Anna Sorokin fired her lawyer and hired a new team just as a court let her stay in the US a little longer” with the Insider.https://www.insider.com/anna-sorokin-delvey-hires-new-legal-team-not-deported-2022-4

Charles Kuck was quoted in Axios for his perspective on the latest twist and turns in Georgia politics.

https://www.axios.com/local/atlanta/2022/04/15/trail-notes-georgia-kemp-abrams-fair-fight-lawsuit

Charles Kuck was interviewed by Daily Mail discussing the case of client, 21 Savage.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10697655/21-Savages-lawyer-says-rappers-immigration-case-indefinitely-delayed-ongoing-criminal-charges.html

Charles Kuck was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the use of electronic monitoring by ICE

https://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-news/electronic-monitoring-of-immigrants-surges-in-atlanta/VDTULW4KEBED5CB4T6WIBPROVE/

Charles Kuck’s article Commentary: Congress Should Grant Temporary Protected Status to All Ukrainians, Washington is failing the Ukrainians just as it has failed Afghans seeking asylum in the U.S. last year was published by Global Atlanta. https://www.globalatlanta.com/congress-should-grant-temporary-protected-status-to-all-ukrainians/

Charles Kuck was quoted in an article entitled “Feds Can’t Nix Suit Over Manila Embassy’s Fiancé Visa Delays” discussing his representation of the couples and their suit against the U.S. Department of State. https://www.law360.com/immigration/articles/1476506/feds-can-t-nix-suit-over-manila-embassy-s-fianc-visa-delays(subscription required)

Charles Kuck authored an article entitled “COVID-19 Continues to Cause Havoc in the U.S. Immigration System.” published in the Immigration Law Expert Guide.

Charles Kuck was quoted in an article with Law 360 entitled “State Dept.’s Sluggish Diversity Visa Progress Sparks Outcry” https://www.law360.com/immigration/articles/1454668/state-dept-s-sluggish-diversity-visa-progress-sparks-outcry(subscription required)

Charles Kuck was quoted in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled “Detained Migrants Bail Bonds are higher in Georgia” https://www.ajc.com/news/a-huge-burden-bail-bonds-for-detained-immigrants-higher-in-georgia/QAM6MJ4GQBESVIQEHGQZG3PPME/

Charles Kuck traveled to Peru in November and while there was interviewed by national media. One of those interviews can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KQLqWNZA8

Charles Kuck’s opinion statement entitled “Action needed in Ga. and Congress on immigration relief” was published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution https://www.ajc.com/opinion/opinion-action-needed-in-ga-and-congress-on-immigration-relief/JCZKP4ODMVAZTFYFLUYPHHGW54

Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC published its US legal guide for Corporate Immigration. It can be found at https://iclg.com/practice-areas/corporate-immigration-laws-and-regulations/usa

We have changed the location of our podcast–The Immigration Hour— to Stitcher. We are entering our 13th year of continuous broadcasts. Listen each week for our latest take on immigration and immigration law!

You can follow us on Twitter @KuckBaxter or @CKuck

You can also get constantly updated news on our Facebook page.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or for help in your immigration case at 404-816-8611 or immigration@immigration.net.

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Kuck Baxter Immigration

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