In a settlement agreement signed on January 19, 2023, USCIS agreed to “bundle” the adjudication of dependent applicants’ Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) with the primary applicant’s Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) if the forms are filed together as one package.

Stemming from a settlement

Hoping to recover some of its operating costs, reduce backlogs, and reestablish timely case processing, USCIS is proposing to adjust its fees for the first time since 2016.

The proposed rule is predicted to generate close to an additional $2 billion per year, on average, for USCIS by keeping humanitarian case fees low and adding

On January 4, 2023, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will resume immigrant visa processing for immediate relatives, family preference applicants, diversity visa applicants and visas for K fiancées.

Until then, the U.S. Embassy Georgetown in Guyana will continue to process immigrant visa applications for Cubans with appointments scheduled through the end of December 2022.

Consular

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue Form I-9 flexibility for another nine months until July 31, 2023, according to an announcement. DHS guidance remains the same. Employees who, due to COVID-19 policies, do not report to a physical location on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis continue to be temporarily exempt

Employers that sponsor foreign nationals for green cards using PERM Labor Certification have been watching as a growing number of states and localities require salary transparency in job postings. California soon may join that list.

If the amended version of California’s SB-1162, Employment: Salaries and Wages, is signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, California employers with

USCIS is resuming the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program beginning with already pending CFRP applications. This program started in 2007 and has been on hold for some time. It allows beneficiaries of approved Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative, to come to the United States on parole while waiting for an available visa number. 

Employers doing PERM cases need to be on the lookout for local laws that require salary transparency in recruitment ads. Pursuant to the Department of Labor’s PERM regulations, recruitment advertisements must include only the name of the employer, the job location, directions on how to apply for the position, and a description of the

The Jumpstart Our Legal Immigration System Act (Jumpstart), introduced by Zoe Lofgren (D-Calf.) in the House of Representatives, if passed, could revolutionize the green card process. The legislation would recapture thousands of unused family- and employment-based visas and allow beneficiaries to expedite their processes by paying additional fees.

The Jumpstart Act would help to

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act passed the House of Representatives on April 1, 2022. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill would clear marijuana-related convictions from people’s records and remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list. The bill specifically prohibits the denial of benefits and protections

Premium processing fees are going up (the bad news), but premium processing will be available for more types of cases (the good news) according to changes included in the recently passed Continuing Resolution (CR) that will fund the government until December 11, 2020. The changes are meant to provide additional funding to USCIS to bolster