USCIS has expanded premium processing for F-1 students to pending Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) applications based on Optional Practice Training (OPT) and STEM OPT. On April 3, 2023, the same will be extended to new EAD applications for OPT and STEM OPT. The cost for this premium processing will be $1,500 and the timeframe will
The Return of Stateside Visa Processing
For the first time in almost 20 years, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) may resume issuing nonimmigrant visas within the United States later this year. Reports indicate that a pilot program will allow stateside renewal of H-1B and L-1 visas.
The Department of Homeland Security has exclusive jurisdiction within the United States over the…
USCIS Returns to Concurrent Processing of Nonimmigrant Primary and Dependent Applicants’ Forms
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…
Foreign Student-Athletes and Name, Image, Likeness
Prior to 2021, collegiate student-athletes were not able to make sponsorship deals and profit from their names, images, and likenesses (NILs). However, in 2021, that changed when the NCAA adopted a new policy allowing student-athletes (those headed for professional teams, as well as less prominent players) to profit from, and build their brands, while in…
End of Paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will no longer issue a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, to individuals arriving to the United States at a land border. Now, the information that was on the I-94 is on the CBP’s I-94 website and available on the CBP One Mobile application.
It has taken some time…
DHS Increases Automatic Extension of Work Authorizations for Certain Individuals
As of May 4, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is increasing the automatic extension of work authorization from 180 days to 540 days for certain individuals.
Currently, certain individuals with expiring employment authorization documents (EADs) can continue working for an additional 180 days as long as they have timely submitted for a…
DHS on New Premium Processing
The Department of Homeland Security set out the specifics about the upcoming new premium processing benefits in the Federal Register on March 30, 2022. The details, however, did not include any specific implementation dates, which it said depends on when the revenues exist to cover potential costs.
USCIS Measures to Ease Processing Times
Just as the Biden Administration is proposing increased funding for USCIS to help reduce the agency’s backlog, USCIS is announcing future new actions to improve processing times.
- Plans to expand staffing, improve its technology, and establish new internal cycle time goals (the amount of time it takes to process a typical case). As the
White House, State Department Announcements on Travel Restrictions, Visa Interviews, and More
As 2021 comes to an end, the White House and the Department of State have announced:
- South African Travel Restrictions Lifted.
The 14-day travel restrictions on southern African countries will be lifted as of midnight on December 31, 2021. Adopted on November 29th, the restrictions based on spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant…
ICE: I-9 Flexibility to Continue Through April 2022
ICE has announced it will extend I-9 flexibility until April 30, 2022, due to continuing precautions related to COVID-19.
The guidance remains the same:
- Employees who work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 continue to be temporarily exempt from the in-person requirements associated with Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, until they start working