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Jan 21, 2021

Online Tools to Decrease Wait Times in Immigration During COVID

Owing to the pandemic, federal immigration agencies are facing significant delays in processing various immigration applications. On January 8, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) acknowledged delays in processing as the result of COVID-19 restrictions, increases in filings, and current postal service volume and other factors. » Read More

Jan 19, 2021

USCIS Announces Delays in Biometric Appointments Due to COVID-19

Earlier this month, U.S. immigration authorities provided the first-ever update about the situation at Application Support Centers, when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications filed at the USCIS lockbox facility. In a sense, the agency’s issues date back almost to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when in-person services at USCIS offices were canceled from March to June of 2020. » Read More

Sep 25, 2020

Flexibility in Responding to USCIS Requests Extended

On September 11, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended the flexibilities in responding to various requests raised by the agency. The flexibility was originally announced on March 30 in response measure to the coronavirus pandemic. This measure will help applicants, petitioners, and requestors who must respond to the following: » Read More

Sep 18, 2020

DHS Expands Use of Biometric Data in Immigration

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced plans to expand the use of biometric data in determining family relationships for immigration purposes. A proposed rule with the new protocols for biometrics use is expected to be published soon. This rule is also said to allow more uses of new technology as they become available. » Read More

Aug 28, 2020

USCIS Halts Furlough of 70% of Workforce; Still Processing Times Likely To Increase

On August 25, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the anticipated temporary furlough of more than 13,000 employees, scheduled to begin on August 30, has been averted. The agency was able to avoid this due to a steady increase in the day-to-day inflow of revenue and receipts, along with unprecedented spending cuts. » Read More

Aug 10, 2020

Significant Fee Rise in Immigration Forms Affects Businesses and Immigrants

On July 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule with a significant rise in its fee schedule, affecting both individual immigrants and businesses. The new schedule has added new fees, establishing multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions, and limiting the number of beneficiaries for certain forms. » Read More

Jul 27, 2020

ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Until August 19, 2020

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an extension of flexibility in complying with the Form I-9 requirements. This was originally extended on March 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to extend this policy once again for an additional period of 30 days. » Read More

Jun 24, 2020

Arbitrary H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Denials Have Employers Thinking Federal Litigation Rather Than Administrative Review

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data between 2015 and 2019 show that denials of the H-1B Specialty Occupation Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions have quadrupled for both initial H-1B petitions and those seeking the continuation of employment with the same employer.

According to immigration policy analysts, including the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), this is a result of more restrictive Trump administration policies, specifically the 2017 “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. » Read More