Monday, August 8, 2022

SEPTEMBER 2022 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the September 2022 Visa Bulletin.  This is the eleventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2022. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A:  Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

 

EB

Worldwide

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01APR19

01DEC14

C

3rd

C

22APR18

15FEB12

C

Other workers

08MAY19

01JUN12

15FEB12

08MAY19

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS is expected to use the Table B Dates of Filing chart for I-485 employment-based filings. See: USCIS Visa Bulletin Dates

MU Law Analysis

As is often the case toward the end of the fiscal year, there was not much movement as the USCIS and DOS seek to use the remaining visas in the fiscal year. We are repeating the same message as last month.

EB-3 Other Workers, which is the category for occupations that require less than two years of education or experience to perform the job, remains retrogressed to 08May2019.  This date will not advance until October 1, 2022, with the start of the new fiscal year. 

The India and China EB-2 categories remain unchanged.  EB-3 India and EB-3 China advanced one month each.

The WW and Philippine EB-3 remained current. We may see a retrogression of WW and Philippine EB-3 before the end of the fiscal year, once the full allotment of visas is exhausted. This is common, and nothing to be too concerned about, as we have explained in the past.

Monday, July 25, 2022

PREMIUM PROCESSING WILL EXPAND TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL PENDING EB-1 AND EB-2 I-140 PETITIONS: PHASE 2

In the second phase of its initiative to expand premium processing eligibility, on July 15, 2022, USCIS issued a news alert that its premium processing program will be expanded again to include additional pending I-140 petitions filed under the EB-1 and EB-2 categories.

MU’s discussion on the first phase of the initiative can be found here.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for:

·       EB-1 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before July 1, 2021; and

·         EB-2 NIW petitions received on or before Aug. 1, 2021.

New (initial) I-140 filings for the categories above are not eligible for premium processing at this time.

USCIS has 45 days to issue an RFE, approval, or denial on cases that request premium processing for these newly included Form I-140 classifications. Per USCIS’s I-907 website, the fee for filing Form I-140 requesting EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant visa classification is $2,500.

USCIS will reject any premium processing requests for the classifications above that are filed before the appropriate start date. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

CGFNS WILL ACCEPT ADDITIONAL ENGLISH EXAMS FOR VISASCREEN STARTING AUGUST 1, 2022

On May 24, 2022, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services updated their list of tests and scores acceptable for foreign healthcare workers. This full list can be found here.

Upon this HRSA update, CGFNS International, Inc. stated that starting August 1, 2022, CGFNS will accept additional English exams for the VisaScreen process. Currently, CGFNS only accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFLS) and International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) for the English exam requirement of the VisaScreen.

CGFNS will be issuing an announcement of the full details of the additional tests and score requirements on August 1, 2022. CGFNS has confirmed that they will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) and Pearson PTE Academic (PTE) for VisaSceen purposes starting August 1, 2022. CGNFS has also stated that they will accept PTE and OET exams taken before August 1, 2022, as long as they are still valid on August 1, 2022.

Acceptance of these additional English exams only applies to the CGFNS VisaScreen process, each state still has their own requirements for state licensure.

 

Monday, July 18, 2022

EMPLOYMENT-BASED ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS: MEDICAL EXAMINATION REMINDER

As we grow closer to September 30, 2022, USCIS issued a reminder to applicants of the proper process regarding submitting Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. In order to ensure efficient processing, the Service recommends the following when submitting a medical exam Form I-693:

1.)  If you have already submitted your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, then you should not send the Form I-693 separately until USCIS issues a notice requesting the form be sent to them.

2.)  Similarly, if a Form I-693 was not included with your I-485 petition, and the underlying petition (I-130 or I-140) is approved, and your priority date is current on the final action chart, then you may want to schedule an appointment with a civil surgeon so that you can have the completed I-693 on hand when the request arrives. To locate a civil surgeon please visit the USCIS website here.

3.)  If you have not yet filed your I-485 but are planning on filing it in the immediate future, USCIS recommends including a completed form I-693 at the time of filing.

4.)  USCIS has temporarily extended the time that the civil surgeon’s signature remains valid on the Form I-693 until September 30, 2022. Signatures currently are valid for two years from the date the form is signed.

USCIS has the goal of using all the available employment-based immigrant visas (green cards) this fiscal year even with the increased number of immigrant visas available. Should you have any questions regarding your personal case, please reach out to your attorney or contact at MU.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

AUGUST 2022 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the August 2022 Visa Bulletin.  This is the eleventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2022. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A:  Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

 

EB

Worldwide

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01APR19

01DEC14

C

3rd

C

22APR18

15FEB12

C

Other workers

08MAY19

01JUN12

15JAN12

08MAY19

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS is expected to use the Table B Dates of Filing chart for I-485 employment-based filings. See: USCIS Visa Bulletin Dates

MU Law Analysis

As is often the case toward the end of the fiscal year, there was not much movement as the USCIS and DOS seek to use the remaining visas in the fiscal year.

EB-3 Other Workers, which is the category for occupations that require less than two years of education or experience to perform the job, remains retrogressed to 08May2019.  This date will not advance until October 1, 2022, with the start of the new fiscal year. 

The India and China EB-2 categories remain unchanged.  EB-3 India and EB-3 China advanced one month each.

The WW and Philippine EB-3 remained current.  We may see a retrogression of WW and Philippine EB-3 before the end of the fiscal year, once the full allotment of visas is exhausted. This is common, and nothing to be too concerned about, as we have explained in the past.

 

Friday, July 8, 2022

TPS HOLDERS MAY NOW BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS: USCIS RESCINDS ITS DECISION IN MATTER OF Z-R-Z-C

In a memorandum issued on Saturday, July 2, 2022, USCIS announced a new policy that will broaden a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder’s ability to permanently remain in the United States.

The memorandum announces USCIS rescinded its decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C, which barred TPS beneficiary’s from using admittance to the United States after authorized travel as a way to satisfy the requirements to adjust status (file for a green card).

The new policy allows TPS holders who return to the United States after authorized travel to be considered “admitted and inspected” and “present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission”. This will satisfy the law and give TPS holders a new path to apply for permanent residency within the United States.

USCIS may also allow past, authorized travel of a TPS holder to count towards adjustment of status if the travel satisfies the following requirements:

·         The TPS holder obtained prior authorization to travel abroad temporarily on the basis of being a TPS beneficiary;

·         The TPS was not withdrawn, terminated, or expired during the period of travel;

·         The TPS holder returned to the United States in accordance with the authorization to travel; and

·         Upon return, the TPS holder was inspected by immigration officers at a designated port of entry and paroled or otherwise permitted to pass into the United States in accordance with the TPS-based travel authorization.

If you are a TPS holder and have questions about your specific situation, please reach out to your MU attorney.

 


Friday, June 17, 2022

COVID TESTS NO LONGER REQUIRED FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

As of Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. EDT, the CDC issued an order rescinding the requirement that inbound air travelers to the US from abroad present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than one day before departure or show documented recovery in the past 90 days.

The CDC still recommends that all travelers remain up to date with vaccinations and that travelers still test before, and after travel. Likewise, the CDC still encourages the usage of face masks in indoor public transportation settings.

The CDC will continue to monitor the effects of the pandemic and reserves the right to reassess the need for a testing requirement should the situation change.

MU will provide any updates should the CDC issue a new order, but for now, the requirement is no longer I place. Should you have any questions or require additional information regarding personal travel plans please reach out to your designed MU attorney.

Monday, June 13, 2022

JULY 2022 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the July 2022 Visa Bulletin.  This is the tenth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2022. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

 

EB

Worldwide

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01APR19

01DEC14

C

3rd

C

22MAR18

15JAN12

C

Other workers

08MAY19

01JUN12

15JAN12

08MAY19

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS is expected to use the Table B Dates of Filing chart for I-485 employment-based filings. See: USCIS Visa Bulletin Dates

MU Law Analysis

As we mentioned last month, we have recently added another row, EB-3 Other Workers.  These are EB-3’s for occupations that require less than two years of education or experience to perform the job.  Among healthcare occupations, nurse aides are the common.  The retrogression to 08May2019 probably reflects full usage of this category in this fiscal year.

The India and China EB-2 categories each advanced.  India improved by three months and China improved by one month.

EB-3 India and EB-3 China will remain unchanged from May, as they did in June.  We do not expect forward progress in these categories for the rest of the fiscal year.

The WW and Philippine EB-3 remained current.  We may see a retrogression of WW and Philippine EB-3 before the end of the fiscal year, once the full allotment of visas is exhausted.   This is common, and nothing to be too concerned about, as we have explained in the past.


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

USCIS WILL CONSIDER AN INTERFILING REQUEST TO MEET THE “SOUGHT TO ACQUIRE” REQUIREMENT UNDER THE CSPA

USCIS has updated its Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) webpage to confirm that an interfiling request, a written request to transfer the underlying basis of a pending adjustment of status application, meets the “sought to acquire” requirement under the CSPA.

Under the CSPA, certain derivative, unmarried, child applicants for a Green Card are protected from the risk of “aging out”, or reaching age 21, before their Green Card Application is adjudicated by USCIS.

To be eligible for protection under the CSPA, an unmarried, child applicant who has filed Form I-485 must seek to acquire lawful permanent resident status within 1 year of a visa becoming available. This is referred to as the “sought to acquire” requirement.

Previously, the only ways to meet the “sought to acquire” requirement were as follows:

·         Filing Form I-485;

·         Submitting Form DS-260;

·         Paying the Green Card fee to the Department of State;

·         Paying the Form I-864 review fee to the Department of State; or

·         Having a Form I-824 filed on one’s behalf.

USCIS has clarified that interfiling is also now included in the list above, as an interfiling request meets the “sought to acquire” requirement under the CSPA.


Friday, May 27, 2022

NVC SUSPENDS ITS TELEPHONE INQUIRY LINE

The National Visa Center (NVC) has announced that it is suspending its telephone inquiry line effective May 23, 2022. The move comes as an attempt to address a backlog of inquiry requests at the NVC.

The NVC is facing “critical backlogs” of inquiry requests, and current response times to inquiries are approximately 2 months. The NVC will still accept inquiry requests for immigrant cases using its online form, but asks that follow-up inquiries not be made while the first inquiry is still within the NVC’s reported response timeframe.

The NVC has not yet announced when it expects to resume accepting inquiry requests via telephone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

PREMIUM PROCESSING WILL EXPAND TO INCLUDE CERTAIN PENDING EB-1 AND EB-2 I-140 PETITIONS

As part of its initiative to expand premium processing eligibility, on May 24, 2022, USCIS issued a news alert that its premium processing program will be expanded to include certain pending I-140 petitions filed under the EB-1 and EB-2 categories.

This expansion of premium processing only applies to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions and will occur in phases:

·         Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 premium processing upgrade requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before Jan. 1, 2021.

·         Beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 premium processing upgrade 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.

New (initial) I-140 filings for the categories above are not eligible for premium processing at this time.

USCIS will reject any premium processing requests for the classifications above that are filed before the appropriate start date. 


Sunday, May 15, 2022

JUNE 2022 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the June 2022 Visa Bulletin.  This is the ninth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2022. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

 

EB

Worldwide

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01MAR19

08JUL13

C

3rd

C

22MAR18

15JAN12

C

Other workers

08MAY19

01JUN12

15JAN12

08MAY19

Table B: Dates of Filing

The USCIS is expected to use the Table B Dates of Filing chart for I-485 employment-based filings. See: USCIS Visa Bulletin Dates

MU Law Analysis

You will notice that we have added another row, Other Workers.  These are EB-3’s for occupations that require less than two years of education or experience to perform the job.  Among healthcare occupations, there are most commonly nurse aides.  The retrogression to 08May2019 probably reflects full usage of this category in this fiscal year.

For the other categories, we saw exceptional news for India EB-2, which advanced a full year.  All EB-1, along with Worldwide and Philippine EB-3 remained current.  We do expect a retrogression of WW and Philippine EB-3 before the end of the fiscal year.  This is common, as we have explained in the past.

EB-3 India and EB-3 China will remain unchanged from May.  We do not expect forward progress in these categories for the rest of the fiscal year.