USCIS Dedicated to Using as Many Employment-Based Green Cards as Possible by September 30
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the overall employment-based annual limit for immigrant visas in fiscal year (FY) 2022 is approximately twice as high as usual, primarily due to consular closures abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. USCIS said it is “dedicated to ensuring we use as many available employment-based visas as possible in FY 2022,” which ends on September 30, 2022.
USCIS explained that the annual limit for employment-based immigrant visa use in FY 2021 was 262,288, nearly double the typical annual total. Overall, USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) combined to use 195,507 employment-based immigrant visas in FY 2021. DOS issued 19,779 employment-based immigrant visas, and USCIS used 175,728 employment-based immigrant visas through adjustment of status, more than 52% higher than the average before the pandemic. Despite agency efforts, 66,781 visas went unused at the end of FY 2021, USCIS said. DOS has determined that the FY 2022 employment-based annual limit is 281,507 (slightly more than double the typical annual total) due to unused family-based immigrant visa numbers from FY 2021 being allocated to the current fiscal year’s available employment-based green cards. Through July 31, 2022, the two agencies have combined to use 210,593 employment-based immigrant visas (FY 2022 data is preliminary and subject to change). USCIS approved more than 10,000 employment-based adjustments of status applications in the week ending August 14, 2022, and DOS continues its high rate of visa issuance as well, USCIS noted.
Among other things, USCIS noted (emphasis in original):
If your underlying petition is approved and a visa is available to you, but you know that your previously filed Form I-485 does not have a valid Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, we recommend you visit a civil surgeon and have a valid Form I-693 on hand when we send the request to you. This is particularly important if you recently received a notice that your application was transferred from a USCIS service center to a USCIS field office, and you know your application does not have a valid Form I-693. If you are a noncitizen with pending adjustment of status applications, do not send an unsolicited Form I-693 to us…. The “60-day rule,” which has been temporarily waived, does not apply to Forms I-693 signed by the civil surgeon after you have filed Form I-485.
SOURCE: ABIL Immigration Insider, September 4, 2022, and https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/fiscal-year-2022-employment-based-adjustment-of-status-faqs
Office of Foreign Labor Certification to Modernize Permanent Labor Certification Program
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that it was awarded investment from the DOL’s Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). The $7.2 million TMF investment “will improve DOL’s permanent labor certification services, helping to increase efficiency, improve customer experience, and address fraud and security risks overall,” TMF said.
Brian Pasternak, Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, said, “By integrating the permanent labor certification process into the Foreign Labor Application Gateway, which uses [the General Services Administration’s] Login.gov, we will make it easier, faster, and cheaper for employers to access permanent labor certification services and create a more seamless immigrant visa processing experience.” Gundeep Ahluwalia, DOL’s Chief Information Officer, said, “The Department has developed a close working relationship with the TMF with past TMF awards and appreciates the opportunity to build technologies that ease the burden on U.S. employers.”
SOURCE: ABIL Immigration Insider, September 4, 2022, and https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor
New NFAP Study Shows that Immigrants Have Created More Than Half of America’s Startups
Immigrants have started more than half (319 of 582, or 55%) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more, according to a new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). Moreover, two-thirds (64%) of U.S. billion-dollar companies (unicorns) were founded or co-founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Almost 80% of America’s unicorn companies (privately-held, billion-dollar companies) have an immigrant found or an immigrant in a key leadership role such as CEO or vice president of engineering. 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.
According to the research, immigrants have fueled the rise in U.S. billion-dollar startups: Without immigrants today there likely would be fewer than half as many billion-dollar startup companies in the United States. As of October 1, 2018, there were 91 unicorn companies in the U.S. and 50 of them (55%) with an immigrant founder as of May 2022. That represents a more than 500% increase in both unicorn companies and immigrant-founded unicorn companies between 2018 and 2022.
The complete report can be accessed here: https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/2022-BILLION-DOLLAR-STARTUPS.NFAP-Policy-Brief.2022.pdf