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Revised Adjustment of Status Form Allows Foreign Nationals to Apply Concurrently for Permanent Residence and an Unrestricted Social Security Number

Summary A new edition of Form I-485, dated 03/29/21, allows applicants to request a Social Security Number or a replacement Social Security card permitting unrestricted work authorization when they apply for permanent resident status.Under the new process, adjustment of status…

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President Biden Announces Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Hong Kong Residents

Summary The president has designated Hong Kong for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).The DED order blocks the removal of certain Hong Kong residents from the United States for at least 18 months. The order instructs the Department of Homeland Security to…

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DHS Extends Filing Deadline for Initial TPS Applicants from Venezuela, Syria and Burma (Myanmar)

Summary The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the initial registration periods for applications under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Venezuela, Syria and Burma (Myanmar), from 180 days to 18 months.The registration period for eligible individuals to submit…

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USCIS Extends Accommodations to F-1 Optional Practical Training Applicants Affected by Processing Delays

Summary As a result of a recent court order, USCIS is extending some flexibilities to F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) who have been negatively affected by agency delays in receipting and processing Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD)…

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Federal Immigration Agencies Issue Regulatory Agendas

Summary The agenda reflects the regulatory priorities of the Biden Administration for the coming months.The Department of Homeland Security is planning a proposed rule to amend aspects of the H-1B program, including a redefinition of the employer-employee relationship, rules for…

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USCIS Runs Second Lottery Selecting More FY 2022 H-1B Cap Cases

Summary Earlier today, employers began receiving USCIS notifications that additional H-1B cap registrations were selected in a second FY 2022 cap lottery draw.The additional selection is taking place because USCIS did not receive enough H-1B cap petitions during the initial…

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The Status of DACA

On July 16, a federal district court in Texas issued a permanent injunction against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to correct some procedural legal defects in the program. However,…

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Employers May Seek Remaining FY 2021 Returning Worker H-2B Visas, Cap Likely to be Reached Quickly

Summary Employers may file FY 2021 H-2B visa petitions for returning workers from any country who have held H-2B status in fiscal years 2018, 2019 or 2020, after USCIS failed to receive enough petitions to exhaust the Northern Triangle carveout.USCIS…

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DHS Extends and Redesignates Somalia for Temporary Protected Status; Expands Employment Options for Somali F-1 Students

Summary The Department of Homeland Security has extended and redesignated Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023.The registration period for new TPS applicants will run from July 22, 2021 to March 17, 2023. Eligible individuals will also be able…

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U.S. Land Border Restrictions on Travel From Canada and Mexico Extended Through August 21

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to implement the ban on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders and ferry travel with Canada and Mexico through August 21, 2021, according to a set of notifications to be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register. The restrictions were…

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Federal District Court Rules Against the DACA Program

Summary A federal district judge in Texas issued a permanent injunction against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but has temporarily stayed portions of his injunction pertaining to current DACA beneficiaries.DACA deportation relief and employment authorization will remain…

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August 2021 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s August Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including China and India, will remain current.EB-2: China will advance by four months to April 1, 2018,…

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I-9 Update: USCIS Broadens Its Policy on Use of Receipts in the Employment Eligibility Verification Process

Summary USCIS recently clarified its policy that, if an employee presents a receipt for a lost, stolen or damaged document to complete Form I-9 verification, the employee must return in 90 days to present either the replacement document for which…

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USCIS Reverses Initial Guidance on Adjustment of Status Applications Submitted Under the EB-5 Regional Center Program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reversed its initial guidance on how the agency will treat EB-5 Regional Center adjustment of status filings while Congress deliberates reauthorization of the program. The agency now says it will reject regional center-affiliated adjustment of status filings,…

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DHS Extends and Redesignates Yemen for Temporary Protected Status; Expands Employment Options for Yemeni F-1 Students

Summary The Department of Homeland Security has extended and redesignated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023.The registration period for new TPS applicants will run from July 9, 2021 to March 3, 2023.…

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State Department Expands Validity of National Interest Exceptions to Regional COVID Travel Bans

Summary The State Department issued guidance expanding the validity of national interest exceptions (NIEs) granted under the regional COVID-19 travel bans. NIEs will now be valid for one full year after approval and allow for multiple entries – a significant…

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EB-5 Regional Center Program to Expire on June 30

The EB-5 Regional Center Program will lapse at midnight tonight as Congress will not reach an agreement on reauthorization before that time. Though Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had attempted to fast-track their EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of…

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USCIS Extends Existing COVID-19 Extensions for RFEs, NOIDs, Appeals and Other Responses Through September 30, 2021

In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is further extending its 60-day deadline extension policy for responses to various agency actions to September 30, 2021. The accommodation will continue to be available to individuals/companies responding to or filing the following:  Requests for…

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U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico Land Border Restrictions Extended Through July 21

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to implement the ban on “non-essential” travel across U.S. land borders and ferry travel with Canada and Mexico through July 21, 2021, according to a set of notifications to be published in Wednesday’s Federal Register. The restrictions were…

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July 2021 Visa Bulletin

According to the State Department’s July Visa Bulletin, final action cutoff dates for issuance of an immigrant visa will be as follows:  EB-1: All countries, including China and India, will remain current.EB-2: China will advance by seven months, to December 1, 2017,…

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USCIS’s FY 2022 H-1B Cap Statistics Show Significant Drop in Lottery Selection Rate

During the FY 2022 H-1B cap registration period, employers submitted 308,613 registrations for selection in the cap lottery, 12% more than in the FY 2021 filing season. However, despite the increase in registrations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selected…

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USCIS Revises Policies to Reduce Administrative Barriers

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a set of policy revisions aimed at reducing burdens on those eligible for U.S. immigration benefits. The changes follow a February 2, 2021 executive order in which President Biden instructed federal agencies to conduct a review of immigration…

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ICE Extends Interim COVID-19 Protections for Form I-9 Compliance Through August 31

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is extending until August 31, 2021 its relaxed enforcement of the normal requirement to physically inspect the original documents presented by new hires during the I-9 process and thus allow eligible employers to continue to implement remote I-9…

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DHS Announces New Temporary Protected Status Designation for Haiti

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has announced that he will designate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and related benefits because of ongoing political, security, and economic conditions that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Eligible Haitian nationals and those who…

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DHS Designates Burma (Myanmar) for TPS; Expands Employment Options for Burmese F-1 students

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has designated Burma (Myanmar) for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from May 25, 2021 through November 25, 2022. According to a Federal Register notice that will be published tomorrow, the designation will permit eligible Burmese nationals and…

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