Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has announced several new USCIS policies meant to improve the legal immigration system, eliminate barriers, and reduce burdens on applicants.

He issued the following new policies:

  1. Expedite Criteria

USCIS generally does not consider expedite requests for petitions and applications where Premium Processing Service is

In Sanchez v. Mayorkas, 593 U.S. ____(June 7, 2021), the U.S. Supreme Court resolved the circuit split on whether a grant for temporary protected status (TPS) authorizes eligible noncitizens to adjust status to lawful permanent resident even if they entered the United States unlawfully – the Court held that it does not.

Previously, courts

Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance, USCIS is opening its doors to “unmasked,” “fully vaccinated” people.

According to USCIS’ new visitor policy:

  • Fully vaccinated people (those who are at least two weeks out from a dose of a single-dose vaccine or the second dose in a two-dose

ICE announced that I-9 flexibility will be extended again – this time through the whole summer until August 31, 2021.

Since March 2020, companies that have been operating remotely have been able to inspect Section 2 Form I-9 documents virtually, over video link, by fax or via email. In April 2021, the Department of

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will be extending Haitian Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until November 2022. It also has officially set out the application procedures for Burmese TPS, which the Secretary of DHS announced in March 2021, but had not yet issued implementing instructions.

Based on pending litigation,

The Biden administration is breathing life into the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). It has announced that the IER will be launched anew, because it will “strengthen and grow our nation’s economy through increased capital spending, innovation, and job creation.”

Although there were stops and starts, the IER was never actually eliminated by the Trump administration.

USCIS expects to suspend biometrics requirements for H-4, L-2 and E-1, E-2, and E-3 Form I-539 applications beginning May 17, 2021, for at least 24 months. It will retain the discretion to require biometrics on a case-by-case basis.

The suspension is intended to eliminate the adjudication backlog that has prevented H-4 and L-2 spouses from

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced DHS to delay full enforcement of the REAL ID law from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023, the agency has announced.

The REAL ID law requires every air traveler 18 years or older to show genuine REAL ID-compliant identification documents at airport security checkpoints for domestic travel. Those under

Deference is back! USCIS announced that, effective immediately, it will reinstate its 2004 policy of deferring to prior determinations of eligibility.

Rescinded by the Trump administration, this policy directed officers to “generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating petition extensions involving the same parties and facts as the initial petition.” This means that