Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • Last week, the FY2022 cap-subject H-1B registration window closed on March 25, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST. As a reminder, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) intends to notify employers and their authorized representatives of the registrations that have been selected by March 31, 2021. USCIS will accept H-1B cap petitions on behalf of selected beneficiaries for at least 90 days, beginning April 1, 2021.

  • On March 22, 2021, USCIS announced that employment-based adjustment of status applicants must use the final action dates chart for the April 2021 Visa Bulletin. As discussed last week, all first employment-based preference countries of chargeability are current for the month of April.

  • USCIS posted updated forms following the elimination of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule, including updated Forms I-129, I-539, I-539A, I-485 and I-485J. The current edition date for these forms is March 10, 2021. Beginning April 19, 2021, USCIS will only accept the March 10, 2021 editions of the updated forms, with the exception of Form I-129. Beginning July 1, 2021, USCIS will only accept the March 10, 2021 edition of Form I-129.

  • USCIS announced that it is 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 that were issued by USCIS from March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, including Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny and Notices of Intent to Revoke.

  • On March 22, 2021, American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) and Wasden Banias, LLP filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) challenging the extraordinary processing delays on extensions of status and extensions of Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) for H-4 and L-2 nonimmigrant spouses. USCIS’ current processing times for extensions of status are up to 15.5 months for H-4s and up to 16 months for L-2s, depending on the Service Center where the I-539 application was filed. The current processing times for EADs are up to 11.5 months depending on the Service Center where the I-765 application was filed.

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