Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • The Department of State recently released the September 2022 Visa Bulletin. In addition to the final action dates and dates for filing charts for employment-based immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases, it contains notes on the diversity visa category. Section D of the September Visa Bulletin foreshadows that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and DOS expect to reach the total employment-based green card numbers available for issuance in FY 2022 before the end of this fiscal year on September 30, 2022. If this happens, USCIS and DOS will not be able to approve any further employment-based green card applications until FY 2023 begins on October 1, 2022. EB-2 and EB-3 India and China final action dates and dates for filing will remain unchanged in September. All first employment-based preference countries of chargeability will remain current for September. For September 2022, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications.

  • E-Verify recently updated its Initial Enrollment process, including new screens to ensure consistency with other recently updated pages in E-Verify. Notably, E-Verify has made the following changes to the Initial Enrollment process. First, anyone enrolling a company in E-Verify will have to set up a temporary user account to complete the enrollment process, known as an Enrollment Point of Contact (“POC”). The Enrollment POC is different from the standard E-Verify POC and the Enrollment POC can only access E-Verify to enroll a company. Next, the person identified as the Memorandum of Understanding signatory will become the E-Verify POC, not any Program Administrators who are added during the enrollment process.  Additionally, Corporate Administrators are not required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, but they will still become the E-Verify POC. Only one Corporate Administrator can be added during the enrollment process.  Finally, Corporate Administrators that add a new child company location in E-Verify are required to add a Memorandum of Understanding signatory and at least one Program Administrator for the child company they enroll.

  • 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 October 23, 2022, including Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, and Notices of Intent to Revoke.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of July 31, 2022, DOL is adjudicating ETA 9089 PERM applications filed in or before December 2021 and processing PERM prevailing wage requests filed in or before January 2022.

  • USCIS announced that it will permanently accept copies of original signatures for all forms and documents, even if the form instructions state that the form requires an original handwritten (“wet”) signature. This makes permanent the temporary signature policy that USCIS announced in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • USCIS is implementing the second phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140 under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. Similar to the first phase of the expansion, this phase only applies to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under the multinational executive and manager classification or the classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (“NIW”). As of August 1, 2022, USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests for multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before July 1, 2021 and NIW petitions received on or before August 1, 2021.

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