Many organizations and practitioners across the country—including USCIS itself—report historic delays continuing into the summer. This extends to embassies and consulates abroad, where practitioners indicate slowdowns in nonimmigrant visa processing and an increase in administrative processing, including delays in the PIMS system (where USCIS approval notices appear to the consular officers). We will continue to advocate for expedite requests where possible, and assist with navigating administrative process when applicable.
Breaking News – United States CDC Ends COVID-19 Testing Requirement for International Travelers
Effective as of June 12, 2022, international travelers will no longer be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the United States. Reporting confirms that the CDC has determined that the requirement is no longer necessary due, in part, to widespread vaccine availability, but will reevaluate its decision to end the testing requirement in 90 days. We will continue to advocate for expedite requests when applicable and assist with navigating administrative processing as the consulates worldwide face delays.
Firm News – BIL Attends American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference 2022, New York, New York
After COVID-19 prevented large gatherings for two years in a row, the American Immigration Lawyers Association is again holding its annual conference in person this month. Each year, BIL sends a group of attorneys and case managers to the conference for its continuing education offering and its networking opportunities. This year, the conference is taking place in New York, New York. We are wishing safe travels to the group from BIL attending this year’s conference!
ICYMI: Premium Processing Slowly Phased in for I-140’s (Multinational Managers; NIW’s) for Limited Applications Currently Pending
Beginning June 1, 2022, USCIS will allow premium processing upgrades for currently pending I-140 petitions in the Multinational Manager EB-1 category and categorization as member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW) filed before January 1, 2021.
Then, beginning July 1, 2022, USCIS will accept premium processing upgrades for Multinational Manager I-140s filed before June 1, 2021 and NIW I-140s filed before March 1, 2021.
USCIS previously announced premium processing for these categories would be 45-day processing time.
Initially, these efforts to expand premium processing for certain I-140’s do not affect many clients because of the restrictive timing requirements, and we are monitoring the position cases for applicability.
Applications for Naturalization (N-400’s) have faced historically delayed processing times. Because of these delays, the American Immigration Council filed suit citing the unreasonable delays and failure to process applications filed in 2020. According to the suit, and USCIS’s own admissions, many A-files have been trapped in USCIS caves unable to be retrieved on a regular basis, causing delays. This article explains more information about the suit.
Citizenship and Immigration Service Ombudsman Notes over 4,000 Vacancies within USCIS
According to AILA, the CIS Ombudsman’s Office provides best practices for communicating with USCIS, noting that there are 4,400 vacancies at USCIS, and thus wait times for contacting USCIS are significant. This is important to keep in mind when contacting USCIS going forward. We will continue to follow best practice for contacting USCIS as the agency continues to face delays.
Reports Indicate Little Movement in Visa Backlog for the Month of May
In May, reporting shows that there were 421,136 pending interviews, which was only a reduction of around 200 interviews from the April backlog. The Service has also decreased the number of interviews scheduled in May, meaning the backlog continues. We will continue to watch and advocate for reform in this area, with the backlog an important note going forward with adjustment applications and managing processing expectations.
The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 2022. The June visa bulletin came with the announcement that the government would only accept the Final Action Dates chart for employment based preference categories, and this continues for July 2022.
The movement in the majority of categories is small, with EB-3 India remaining the same, likely until the end of the fiscal year. EB-2 India moves 3 months in the Final Action Dates Chart, with EB-2 China showing one month movement and EB-3 China remaining the same. Apart from India and China, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-1 remain current worldwide.
New Brown Immigration Webinars!
Please join Managing Partner, David Zaritzky Brown, on June 23rd at 1:00 PM CST for a new round of webinar learning. Now that we’re through the H-1B cap filing period (and our move!), it’s time to connect and update our community on the latest changes in business immigration law, how to respond to these new dynamics, and highlight what we expect coming down the pipeline. Additionally, David will provide updates from our annual conference in mid-June. David will also update how “long-tail Covid” continues to impact the government agencies we work with on a daily basis.
For those individuals who are interested in attending but away on the 23rd, David will repeat this session on June 29th, also at 1:00 PM CST.
Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website to join the LIVE chat.
If you have contacts or colleagues who may benefit from our talks, you are welcome to invite them to join our VIP invitation list by sharing our webinar schedule where they can subscribe for further information.
Don’t miss these opportunities to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!
Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **