Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- Last Thursday, the Department of State (“DOS”) hosted a live chat with Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of DOS’ Visa Control and Reporting Division, to address issues of general interest regarding the September Visa Bulletin and the upcoming start of FY2022. Notable takeaways from this live chat were that Charlie expects that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will use the dates for filing chart for all employment-based categories in the October Visa Bulletin, however, he does not anticipate an advancement of the final action dates or the dates for filing from the September Visa Bulletin. Also, at this time, Charlie does not believe that the final action date for EB-3 India will reach January 2015 in FY2022. For more information regarding this live chat, please view the full video.
- Related to last week’s announcement regarding the extension of Form I-693 validity for employment-based I-485 applications, USCIS updated its website to provide further guidance on how applicants should respond to a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) regarding an I-693 medical exam. USCIS stated that if an I-485 applicant receives an RFE for a new I-693 medical exam because the I-693 on file with USCIS is over two years old, but the applicant’s I-693 on file is valid under the temporary extension to four years and the applicant otherwise meets the requirements, the applicant should respond to the RFE by citing, printing out, or otherwise mentioning USCIS’ policy alert on the extension of Form I-693 validity.
- Following a continued national increase in COVID-19 cases, USCIS has further updated its national visitor policy. Under the updated policy, visitors may not enter a USCIS facility if they have returned from domestic air, international air, or cruise ship travel in the past ten days, unless they are fully vaccinated. This policy applies to all visitors at USCIS facilities, including applicants, attorneys, and interpreters.
- As an update to last week’s announcement regarding Social Security Number (“SSN”) applications during the adjustment of status process, USCIS posted an updated Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to add questions needed to apply for an SSN or a replacement card. The current edition date for this form is March 29, 2021. Beginning October 13, 2021, USCIS will only accept the March 29, 2021 edition of the updated form.
- Due to the rapidly changing security situation in Afghanistan, the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul has closed. Nonimmigrant visa appointments remain unavailable and all immigrant visa appointments, including Special Immigrant Visas, at the Embassy have been cancelled. DOS stated that it would be first assisting U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”) to depart Afghanistan. DOS also stated that it would be focused on assisting immediate family members of U.S. citizens and LPRs, including those that have pending immigrant visa applications. Immigrant visa applicants should continue monitoring official U.S. Government websites, including state.gov, for updated information.
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