Immigration News Update Newsletter — August 2022

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100,000 Ukrainians Admitted to United States— What About Afghans?

The Biden Administration stepped up and created a humanitarian parole program that involved private citizens sponsoring refugees from Ukraine. A program that has worked remarkably well. 100,000 Ukrainians have come to the US so far as part of this process. The bigger question is, why didn’t the Biden Administration do the same thing for Afghan refugees, many of whom still wait in interminable delay on adjudication and some of whom have actually died waiting for the chance to live free in the United States? You answer this as you will. We all know the actual answer.

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

USCIS Extends Certain COVID-19 Flexibilities – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through October 23, 2022.

DHS Extends and Redesignates Syria for TPS, Suspends Certain Requirements for Syrian F-1 Students – DHS is extending the designation of Syria for temporary protected status (TPS) through March 31, 2024. DHS is also redesignating Syria for TPS. Also, effective October 1, 2022, until April 1, 2024, DHS is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria.

Some Parolees Can Now File Employment Authorization Applications Online– Certain parolees can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced.

100,000 Ukrainians Admitted to United States in July – According to reports, as part of what’s being called the largest refugee exodus since World War II, more than 100,000 Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of their country have been admitted into the United States, mostly in temporary statuses.

New STEM Resources Released – Several entities have released new resources on research and options for noncitizens in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the United States.

Details on the News
USCIS Extends Certain COVID-19 Flexibilities

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through October 23, 2022. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and October 23, 2022, inclusive:

  • Requests for Evidence
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14)
  • Notices of Intent to Deny, Revoke, Rescind, Terminate (regional center), or Withdraw Temporary Protected Status
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision by USCIS; and
  • USCIS made that decision between November 1, 2021, and October 23, 2022, inclusive.

USCIS also said it has been evaluating which flexibilities should be extended permanently. As a result of this evaluation, the reproduced signature flexibility announced in March 2020 became permanent policy on July 25, 2022. Under that policy, a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy is of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified.For forms that require an original “wet” signature, USCIS will accept electronically reproduced original signatures. Individuals or entities that submit documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature, USCIS said. USCIS may request the original documents at any time, and failure to do so “could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.”

Details:

·        “USCIS Extends COVID-19-Related Flexibilities,” July 25, 2022, https://bit.ly/3bjluXs

·        “USCIS Announces Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures During COVID-19 National Emergency,” March 20, 2020, https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-announces-flexibility-in-submitting-required-signatures-during-covid-19-national-emergency

DHS Extends and Redesignates Syria for TPS, Suspends Certain Requirements for Syrian F-1 Students

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced several measures to provide relief to Syrians in the United States, summarized below.

Temporary Protected Status Extended, Redesignated

DHS is extending the designation of Syria for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months, effective October 1, 2022, through March 31, 2024. DHS is also redesignating Syria for TPS.

Extension. The extension allows existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 31, 2024, as long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Existing TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their status through March 31, 2024, must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which begins on the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register. As of press time, the notice was expected to be published on August 1, 2022.

Redesignation. The redesignation of Syria allows additional Syrian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 28, 2022, to apply for TPS for the first time during the initial registration period. In addition to demonstrating continuous residence in the United States since July 28, 2022, and meeting other eligibility criteria, initial applicants for TPS under this designation must demonstrate that they have been continuously physically present in the United States since October 1, 2022.

DHS said the extension of TPS for Syria allows approximately 6,448 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 31, 2024, if they meet TPS eligibility requirements. Approximately 960 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation, DHS noted.

Certain Requirements Suspended for Syrian F-1 Students

Effective October 1, 2022, until April 1, 2024, DHS is suspending certain regulatory requirements for F-1 nonimmigrant students whose country of citizenship is Syria, regardless of country of birth (or individuals having no nationality who last resided in Syria), and who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil war in Syria. Eligible Syrian students may request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while school is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status. DHS said it will deem an F–1 nonimmigrant student who receives employment authorization by means of the notice “to be engaged in a ‘full course of study’ for the duration of the employment authorization, if the nonimmigrant student satisfies the minimum course load requirement” as described in the notice.

Details:
Some Parolees Can Now File Employment Authorization Applications Online

Certain parolees can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 28, 2022. Effective immediately, eligible individuals paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit purposes under INA § 212(d)(5) who are eligible to seek work authorization under category (c)(11) can file Form I-765 online, with limited exceptions.

Those seeking a waiver of the filing fee or who are eligible for a fee exemption must still file the I-765 by mail.

Details:

100,000 Ukrainians Admitted to United States in July

According to reports, as part of what’s being called the largest refugee exodus since World War II, more than 100,000 Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion of their country have been admitted into the United States, mostly in temporary statuses.

Included are approximately 47,000 on temporary visas, including tourist visas; 30,000 under the “Uniting for Ukraine” program, which includes humanitarian parole; and 22,000 paroled in at the U.S.-Mexico border. Five hundred entered the United States via the refugee system.

Details:

New STEM Resources Released

Several entities have released new resources on research and options for noncitizens in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the United States:

·        U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published resources to provide an overview of some of the temporary and permanent pathways for noncitizens to work in the United States in STEM fields. The materials also highlight some of the most important considerations for STEM professionals who want to work in the United States. New pages include “Options for Noncitizen STEM Professionals to Work in the United States,” “Nonimmigrant Pathways for STEM Employment in the United States,” and “Immigrant Pathways for STEM Employment in the United States.” https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/new-stem-resources-available-on-uscis-website

·        The American Immigration Council rolled out a new website with guides and frequently asked questions on the five international STEM talent policies announced in January 2022 by the Biden administration to enhance the ability of the United States to attract and retain international STEM talent. The website features five guides and FAQs (https://info.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/stem-faqs/faqs.html) and new research and links to other work (https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/foreign-born-stem-workers-united-states)

·        In a new policy brief, the National Foundation for American Policy has documented the role played by immigrants as founders and key personnel in many of the United States’ most innovative companies. The research shows the importance of immigrants in cutting-edge companies and the U.S. economy at a time when U.S. immigration policies have pushed talent to other countries. https://nfap.com/research/new-nfap-policy-brief-immigrant-entrepreneurs-and-u-s-billion-dollar-companies/

New Publications and Items of Interest

“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://www.immpactlitigation.com/

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

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

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Feel free to reach out with any questions or for help i

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