Immigration News Briefs – April 2022

USCIS Urges Eligible Indian Nationals to Consider Applying for Adjustment of Status in the EB-2 Category Based on the April Visa Bulletin

USCIS -In the recently published April Visa Bulletin, the Department of State advanced the Date for Filing (also known as the application date) applications for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status in the employment-based, second preference (EB-2) category for India from Sept. 1, 2013, to Sept. 1, 2014.

If you are a noncitizen who has an approved immigrant visa petition in the EB-2 category chargeable to India and a priority date earlier than Sept. 1, 2014, USCIS encourages you to consider applying for adjustment of status in April by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You should include your Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, with your Form I-485 to save time. You are not required to file Form I-693 at the same time you file Form I-485, but filing both forms at the same time may eliminate the need for USCIS to issue a Request for Evidence to obtain your Form I-693. This may also help avoid adjudication delays if we decide that you do not need to be interviewed.

As previously announced, USCIS continue to encourage eligible applicants to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their pending adjustment of status applications in the EB-3 category to the EB-1 or EB-2 category if they meet the following criteria: a visa is unavailable to them in the EB-3 category; they have a pending or approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers; and a visa is available in the EB-1 or EB-2 category.

USCIS Updates Guidance on Employment Authorization for E and L Nonimmigrant Spouses

On March 18, USCIS updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the documentation that certain E and L nonimmigrant spouses may use as evidence of employment authorization based on their nonimmigrant status.

On Nov. 12, 2021, USCIS issued a policy announcement to clarify that it will consider E and L spouses to be employment authorized based on their valid E or L nonimmigrant status. Since the November 2021 announcement, the DHS added new Class of Admission (COA) codes to distinguish between E and L spouses and children.  As of Jan. 30, 2022, USCIS and CBP began issuing Forms I-94 with the following new COA codes for certain E and L spouses: E-1S, E-2S, E-3S, and L-2S. An unexpired Form I-94 reflecting one of these new codes is acceptable as evidence of employment authorization for spouses under List C of Form I-9.

If you are an E or L spouse age 21 or over who has an unexpired Form I-94 that USCIS issued before Jan. 30, 2022, it will mail you a notice beginning on or about April 1, 2022. This notice, along with an unexpired Form I-94 reflecting E-1, E-2, E-3, E-3D, E-3R, or L-2 nonimmigrant status, will serve as evidence of employment authorization. 

USCIS Preparing to Resume Public Services on June 4

USCIS is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is following the CDC guidelines.

While certain offices are temporarily closed, USCIS continues to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call the USCIS Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

As services begin to reopen, offices will reduce the number of appointments and interviews to ensure social distancing, allow time for cleaning and reduce waiting room occupancy. Appointment notices will contain information on safety precautions that visitors to USCIS facilities must follow.

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