Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it has received enough H-1B cap electronic registrations during the initial registration period of March 1-18, 2022 to reach the FY 2023 H-1B numerical allocations for the Regular cap and the Master’s cap. On April 1, 2022, USCIS began accepting H-1B cap-subject petitions for selected beneficiaries and will continue to accept petitions for this round of cap selections until June 30, 2022.
- USCIS recently issued its new plan to reduce caseloads and processing times, including setting new internal cycle time goals, creating premium processing availability of Form I-539, Form I-765, and Form I-140 in FY 2022, and working toward a temporary final rule for streamlining Employment Authorization Document processes. Some of these changes have already taken effect and USCIS plans to carry out a phased implementation of all of these changes by the end of this fiscal year.
- USCIS announced that it is again extending flexible deadlines for responding to certain requests and notices from the agency. Petitioners and applicants have an additional 60 calendar days beyond the due date to respond to certain requests and notices issued by USCIS from March 1, 2020 through July 25, 2022, including Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, and Notices of Intent to Revoke. USCIS anticipates that this may be the final extension of these flexibilities.
- In an effort to eliminate backlogs, as of February 17, 2022, USCIS has directed the Nebraska Service Center (“NSC”) and Texas Service Center (“TSC”) to cease adjudication of all employment-based (“EB”) Form I-485 cases other than those based on 4th preference petitions. Instead, the National Benefits Center (“NBC”) will add non-4th preference EB Form I-485 cases to their existing EB workload, prioritizing applications for which immigrant visas are immediately available. A transfer notice will be issued to the Form I-485 applicant (and attorney of record, if applicable) once the application is sent to NBC for continued adjudication. Form I-485 cases already under review by an officer will continue to be adjudicated at the NSC and TSC, as will cases with pending Requests for Evidence.
- On May 6, 2022, USCIS will delete all E-Verify records that are dated on or before December 31, 2011. Employers have until May 5, 2022 to download case information from the Historic Records Report if they want to retain information about these cases. For information on how to download Historic Records Reports, please see the USCIS fact sheet and instructions for downloading.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) announced that NEXUS and U.S./Canada FAST enrollment centers will reopen on April 19, 2022. As of April 5, 2022, conditionally approved applicants may schedule interviews at centers in the United States on the Trusted Traveler portal. NEXUS and FAST enrollment centers in Canada remain closed until further notice. Applicants may enter the United States to complete their interview, but they must meet all applicable travel requirements. In order to prioritize new applicants requiring interviews, CBP asks existing NEXUS and FAST members to refrain from scheduling an appointment at this time. However, existing members are encouraged to renew their membership applications online before the expiration date on their cards to maintain their membership privileges until they are able to complete an interview at a later time.