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Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Provides Greater Flexibility in Processing Work Authorization Requests for Asylum Applicants

USCIS is up to its old tricks again. It truly boggles the mind how they can announce a policy under the guise of providing “flexibility” when the reality is that their actions will negatively impact many thousands of people and provide additional anxiety and turmoil in their lives. Today, USCIS announced that they are removing[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Rescinds Two Policy Memos Regarding H-1B Petitions and Issues New Guidance

In the wake of the ITServe victory, part of USCIS’ settlement with the plaintiffs in that case was that the agency agreed to rescind its “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites” memo (commonly known as the third party placement memo) from 2018. That memo provided USCIS the justification to give a[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

July 2020 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The July 2020 Visa Bulletin was released yesterday. This month again saw the final action date for EB1 India move forward significantly, advancing another 334 days after advancing 312 days the previous month. Hopefully the coming months continue the progress of this severely backlogged category. Otherwise, no major anomalies to report.   Commentary:   July[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

June 2020 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The June 2020 Visa Bulletin was released earlier today, marking another month with a late release date. Nevertheless, this month saw significant movement in the EB1 India category for the first time in what feels like forever. EB1 All Countries being current has allowed unused visa numbers in that category to be allocated to EB1[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

USCIS announced today that they are extending their flexibility in responding to agency requests, expanding on their previous announcement from back at the end of March. The flexibility now applies to any RFEs, NOIDs, NOIRs, etc. received between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, and extends the response deadline an additional 60 days beyond[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Offices Preparing to Reopen on June 4

USCIS announced today that they are tentatively planning to re-open their offices and resume in-person services on June 4, 2020. For most cases, USCIS will automatically reschedule any interviews, ceremonies, appointments, etc. that were affected by the office closures. It remains to be seen whether this re-opening date will get pushed back.   Copied from[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

USCIS Updates Policy on False Claims of U.S. Citizenship

Today, USCIS announced an update to its Policy Manual regarding false claims to U.S. citizenship. The agency is adopting a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) precedent decision in Matter of Zhang from June 2019. Essentially, intent is not a factor when the government is alleging that an alien made a false claim to U.S. citizenship[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

May 2020 Visa Bulletin Commentary

The May 2020 Visa Bulletin was released today. Nothing particularly major to report for this month, other than the very late release date of the bulletin. It is worth monitoring to see whether COVID-19 or Trump’s recent Executive Order will have any effect on priority dates in the coming months.   Commentary:   May 2020[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

DHS and USDA Move to Protect American Farmers and Ensure Continued Flow of America’s Food Supply

All it took was a global pandemic for USCIS to start behaving somewhat reasonably. The agency recently announced some temporary flexibility and relaxation of requirements as pertains to H-2A agricultural workers in order to promote stability and prevent disruption in the agriculture sector, and ensure the continuity of the nation’s food supply chain. First, it[…]

Tahmina Watson Immigration law update

COVID-19 Delays in Extension/Change of Status Filings

USCIS announced today that the agency recognizes that COVID-19 is presenting unique immigration-related challenges, particularly in the sense that a global pandemic may make it difficult for nonimmigrants to depart the United States at the end of their period of authorized stay. USCIS says it is carefully examining all of these issues and is considering[…]