Business Immigration in a Minute by Honigman LLP

  • On November 19, 2021, U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (“USCIS”) conducted a third random selection of H-1B registrants from the previously submitted FY2022 H-1B cap registrations to meet the fiscal year’s H-1B numerical allocations. The petition filing period for the registrations selected on November 19, 2021 will begin on November 22, 2021 and close on February 23, 2022. Individuals with selected registrations will have their myUSCIS accounts updated to include a selection notice, which includes details of when and where to file. 

  • Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act by a vote of 220 to 213. The comprehensive bill includes immigration reforms that provide protection from deportation and work authorization for certain undocumented immigrants, recapture an estimated 400,000 unused green cards that have been waiting in a backlog, and allow eligibility for COVID-related financial assistance to children with undocumented parents. The bill is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

  • In light of last week’s Department of Homeland Security settlement agreement and USCIS’ subsequent policy statement that automatically extended Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) for L-2, E, and certain H-4 nonimmigrant spouses for up to 180 days while a timely filed EAD renewal application is pending, USCIS has issued a reminder on Form I-9 completion in relation to these EAD extensions. Employers are reminded that an EAD that appears on the face of the card to be expired is automatically extended when the employee also presents a Form I-797C that shows a timely filed EAD renewal application in the same employment eligibility category as the EAD. More information on what documentation may be presented and recorded on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, in relation to these EAD extensions for L-2, H-4, and E nonimmigrant spouses can be found here

  • The U.S. Department of State recently released the December 2021 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 and DV-2022 results. All first employment-based preference countries of chargeability remain current for December. Additionally, for December 2021, employment-based applicants must use the dates for filing chart for adjustment of status applications. 

  • USCIS released a tip sheet on how to communicate effectively with the USCIS Contact Center. The sheet provides guidance on call times, receiving case information, when to expect call-backs, scheduling appointments, requesting expedited processing, and more.

  • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program issued a Broadcast Message on the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (“SEVIS”) reminding designated school officials (“DSOs”) to ensure that F-1 students file their Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, for Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) within the 30-day period after (1) DSOs authorize the students for OPT in SEVIS and (2) DSOs provide students with an updated Form I-20 that is endorsed for OPT.

  • USCIS announced that it will open a new lockbox facility in Elgin, Illinois in early 2022 following its adjustment of several filing locations for some applications in October 2021. USCIS also indicated that it will move the Arizona lockbox location from Phoenix to Tempe in summer 2022.

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