Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP
- The Department of State (“DOS”) recently released the July 2023 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 lottery, retrogression for EB-3 for Mexico, the Philippines and the rest of the world and retrogression for EB-3 for India. As predicted, due to steady number use and high demand, EB-3 final action dates for India retrogressed by more than three years. EB-3 for Mexico, the Philippines and the rest of the world retrogressed by approximately four months. EB-1 and EB-2 final action dates and dates for filing for India, China and all other countries remain unchanged in July. For July 2023, employment-based applicants must use the final action dates chart for adjustment of status applications.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) issued Frequently Asked Questions after the Student and Exchange Visitor Program terminated its COVID-19 guidance to coincide with the end of the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency on May 11, 2023. This document provides answers to commonly asked questions about the impact of the termination of COVID-19 flexibilities.
- ICE issued a broadcast message after DOS recently announced that consular officers can now issue F and M student visas up to 365 days in advance of an international student’s program start date. The announcement clarifies that although consular officers can now issue these student visas up to 365 days in advance of an international student’s program start date, this new guidance does not change the requirement for issuing Forms I-20, paying the I-901 SEVIS Fee, or seeking admission into the United States. Specifically, international students can only enter the United States 30 days before the program start date listed on their Form I-20. Students who attempt to enter the United States more than 30 days before their program start date may be found inadmissible by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the phased expansion of premium processing for applicants filing Form I-539 and seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status. As of June 13, 2023, USCIS is accepting premium processing requests for applicants seeking a change of status to the classifications above who have a pending Form I-539. Beginning June 26, 2023, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for applicants seeking a change of status to the classifications above when filed together with Form I-539.
- The Department of Labor (“DOL”) updated its processing times for permanent labor certification (“PERM”) applications and prevailing wage requests. As of May 31, 2023, the DOL is adjudicating PERM applications filed in or before July 2022 and processing prevailing wage requests filed in or before November 2022.