US Immigration Update – At Richards and Jurusik we handle a broad scope of US immigration matters. Our monthly updates provide a sampling of cases we have had approved during the month as well as relevant immigration updates. Come back each month as we keep you up to speed on US Immigration Law.
US Immigration Update for September 2022
As the backlogs caused by COVID are being cleared we are starting to see cases process more quickly, immigrant visa appointments scheduled for employment-based clients, E visa interviews being scheduled in 4-6 months, and work authorization attached to adjustment applications being issued within 3-5 months, and general case processing with USCIS speeding up. USCIS has also re-instated waiving many employment-based green card interviews and I-751 removal of conditions interviews.
- On August 31, 2022, we received our first notice of an immigrant visa interview in Montreal, Canada for an employment-based immigrant visa. Read the full update
- On September 8, 2022, The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule on Public Charge Inadmissibility grounds. DHS has vacated the 2019 rule and will rely on the 1999 Field Guidance. This new final rule will be effective December 23, 2022. Read the full update
- On September 15, 2022, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the next phase in the Form I-907 Premium Processing expansion for qualifying EB-1 and EB-2 petitioners with pending I-140 Petitions. Read the full update
- On September 26, 2022, the Government of Canada announced that starting Oct. 1, 2022, international travelers will be able to enter Canada without providing proof of vaccination, taking a pre-arrival test, or undergoing quarantine. This includes an end to mask requirements on domestic planes and trains, as well as ArriveCAN application prior to entry to Canada. This does not impact travel restrictions for the United States ONLY to Canada. Read the full update.
- On September 28, 2022, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that effective Sept. 26, 2022, they will automatically extend the validity of US Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards) for 24 months for those who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Read the full update.
Case Highlights for September 2022
We received many successful results in the month of September covering immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, US permanent residence (Green Cards), and US citizenship. The following is a selection of case highlights for September 2022:
- TN1 and TN2 Visa Status – We have received inquiries from an increasing number of people reporting TN visa denials for extensions. In some cases, the denials were for individuals that held TN status for numerous years in the same profession. We have also seen an increase in denials for those working as Computer Systems Analysts as well as Management Consultants. Among our approvals, we received several approvals by mail with USCIS and at US ports of entry for Management Consultants with border denials, Registered Nurses, Scientific Technicians/Technologists, Engineers, and many more.
- L1A and L1B Visa Status – This month we received numerous L1 visa approvals from large corporations, small businesses expanding operations into the USA, to L1B sales professionals. If you are processing in the Buffalo Port interviews can be as long as 3 weeks out. Plan accordingly. Among our approvals we received approvals for an L1B Technical Sales Professional transferred from Russia to the USA, an L1B Company Trainer being transferred from Canada to the USA to train on the company’s Chinese procedures, L1A approvals through USCIS for an Indian Nationals transferred to a US Office as Engineering Managers, L1A new office approvals through CBP for technology start-up companies expanding operations to the USA, L1A new office approvals through CBP for a Canadian logistics companies expanding operations to the USA, and many more.
- H1B Visa Status – H1B petitions are being processed relatively quickly with standard processing. If there isn’t an immediate need we have had approvals in as little as 3 months. Many premium processing cases were approved in less than 10 days. Among our approvals, we had an H1B approval through USCIS for a Cardiac Perfusionist placed at a Cap-exempt institution within 15 days via premium processing, an H1B visa approval through USCIS for a Physician working with a Medical Staffing Company within 15 days via premium processing, H1B visa transfer approval within 3 months through USCIS for an engineering professional via standard processing, and many more.
- E1 and E2 Visa Status – We have seen interview times decrease with a client able to schedule their interview for a new business registration within 2 months. E visa renewals and employees of E visa registered companies are receiving interviews rather quickly with employees obtaining interviews in as little as a month. Among our approvals, we received an E1 visa registration for a jewelry company, an E2 visa registration for a fire protection company, an E2 renewal for a yogurt franchise, an E2 registration for a videography company, an E2 registration for an IT company, and many more.
- PERM 9089 – The US Department of Labor continues to struggle with COVID backlogs. Prevailing wage determinations are taking around 6 months to process and 9089s are taking around 8 months to process. Make sure you plan well in advance and if you are going from TN to a green card through PERM, timing is essential. We received several green cards for client and their families that went from TN1, and H1B to green cards through the PERM process.
- I-130 Petitions for Spouses and Relatives – USCIS continues to clear out backlogs and processing times are decreasing. EAD card issuance has dropped to an average of 3-4 months and interviews in the Buffalo area on average 6-8 months. Also, USCIS is waiving interviews for many qualified family-based green card cases. In general case processing times are decreasing.
- I-140 Petitions for Employees – USCIS is waiving the majority of employment-based green card interviews. We have seen I-140 Adjustment cases being processed in as few as 6 months
- I-751 Removal of Conditions – We are seeing an increased number of approvals for I-751 cases without interviews with approvals in around 12 months. When filing for removal of conditions make sure you have substantial proof of relationship during the previous 2 years to qualify for the interview waiver. Interview waivers are at the discretion of the field office even when substantially supported.
- NVC/Consular Processing Highlights – NVC processing and review times are speeding up. We have seen the time from a case being documentary qualified to interview in Montreal, Canada decrease from 6 to 4 months. We also saw our first employment-based immigrant visa interview scheduled since COVID. All signs that things are returning to normal. The US Department of State (DOS) previously cleared most cases from administrative processing within 60 days. The DOS now provides no timeframe for clearing cases and indicates that no inquiry should be made unless the case has been in administrative processing for 180 days or more. We recently had a case cleared within 60 days and others that have been pending for over 5 months. There is no way to tell how long a case in administrative processing will take to be cleared.
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The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 20 years of experience helping people to live and work in the United States. Contact us today for a free assessment of your legal situation.