USCIS Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests Set to Expire After July 25
After July 25, 2022, the flexibility periods for responding to USCIS requests, and for filing Forms I-290B and N-336 will expire. USCIS has stated in its most recent announcement on March 30, 2022, that it anticipates this may be the final extension of the additional flexibility periods.
On March 30, 2022 USCIS extended the 60-day flexibility period for responding to certain agency requests including:
1. Requests for Evidence;
2. Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
3. Notices of Intent to Deny;
4. Notices of Intent to Revoke;
5. Notices of Intent to Rescind;
6. Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and
7. Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
The agency also extended and expanded flexibilities for Form I-290B, Notice to Appeal or Motion and Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA) to allow consideration if:
1. The form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of the USCIS decision; and
2. The decision was issued between November 1, 2021 and July 25, 2022, inclusive.
SOURCE: AILA Doc. No. 22070803, July 8, 2022.
USCIS To Implement Second Phase of EB-1 and EB-2 Premium Processing
On July 15, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing the second phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. Similar to the first phase of the expansion, this phase only applies 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). Petitioners who wish to request a premium processing upgrade must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
Beginning August 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for:
· E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before July 1, 2021; and
· E21 NIW petitions received on or before August 1, 2021.
USCIS will reject premium processing requests for these Form I-140 classifications if the receipt date is after the dates listed above. USCIS has 45 days to take adjudicative action on cases that request premium processing for these newly included Form I-140 classifications. The agency said it will not accept new (initial) Forms I-140 with a premium processing request now.
On May 24, 2022, USCIS published a new version of Form I-907, dated 05/31/22. As of July 1, the agency is no longer accepting the older 09/30/20 edition of Form I-907.
SOURCE: ABIL Newsletter, July 17, 2022 and https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-to-implement-second-phase-of-premium-processing-for-certain-previously-filed-eb-1-and-eb-2
Social Security Administration To Resume Normal E-Verify Timeframes
E-Verify announced that starting July 15, 2022, employees whose E-Verify cases are referred to the Social Security Administration (SSA) will have the normal eight federal working days to contact their local SSA office to begin resolving the mismatch.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, E-Verify extended the timeframe for an employee to take action to resolve a Tentative Nonconfirmation (mismatch). For E-Verify cases referred on or after July 15, 2022, E-Verify will no longer provide extended timeframes for employees to visit SSA to resolve these mismatches. However, E-Verify cases referred between
March 2, 2020, to July 14, 2022, with an SSA mismatch will still have an extended timeframe to be resolved, E-Verify said.
SOURCE: · E-Verify announcement, July 5, 2022, https://bit.ly/3Rj1HHI
U.S. House: STEM Immigration Proposal Fails
Several immigration-related proposals were among more than a thousand amendments proposed for the House of Representatives’ Rules Committee to consider as additions to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 7900):
· A measure to streamline the path to a green card for immigrants with doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields failed as the Rules Committee deemed it “out of order” for consideration as an amendment to the defense bill. According to reports, other efforts to find a way to advance it also stalled in negotiations.
· However, a proposal to admit experts in science and technology for national security-related reasons will receive a vote on the House floor. The proposal appears to be limited to 10 experts per year to be selected by the Department of Defense.
· Also advancing to the House floor is a measure to ensure that “documented Dreamers,” who are dependents of foreign workers or applicants for permanent residence (green cards), won’t age out of legal status when they turn 21.
· Another amendment that advanced would exempt Afghan students from having to show nonimmigrant intent when they apply for student visas to the United States.
SOURCE, ABIL Newsletter, July 17, 2022, and “Immigration Measure for STEM Workers Adrift After Defense Flop,” Bloomberg Law, July 13, 2022, https://bit.ly/3PddJAR
USCIS Releases New I-9 Guidance for Employers of E and L Nonimmigrants
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published new guidance on Form I-9, Employment Authorization Verification, related to employees with E and L nonimmigrant status in its Handbook for Employers (M-274, Section 6.9, Other Temporary Workers).
SOURCES: “M-274 Update: New Section Added for Other Temporary Workers,” July 5, 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-related-news/m-274-update-new-section-added-for-other-temporary-workers-0 and “Handbook for Employers, Section 6.9, Other Temporary Workers, https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-resources/handbook-for-employers-m-274/60-evidence-of-status-for-certain-categories/69-other-temporary-workers”
DHS Issues Final Rule Changing NAFTA to USMCA
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule relating to the temporary entry of Canadian and Mexican citizen business persons into the United States. The final rule replaces references to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with references to the Agreement Between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada (USMCA).
The USMCA superseded NAFTA and its related provisions on July 1, 2020. Chapter 16 of the USMCA “generally maintains the same treatment as provided under NAFTA with respect to the temporary entry of Canadian and Mexican citizen business persons,” DHS said. The final rule “makes other minor, non-substantive conforming amendments and stylistic changes and corrects typographical errors.”
SOURCE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Final Rule, 87 Fed. Reg. 41027 (July 11, 2022), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-07-11/pdf/2022-14728.pdf