International Law and Immigration

Immigration Update: August 2023

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A monthly publication of the International Law and Immigration Section of the California Lawyers Association.

Editor-in-Chief, Payal Sinha

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has updated its Nonimmigrant Exchange Visitor (J) Visa Classification

On June 8, 2023, USCIS issued policy guidance regarding the nonimmigrant exchange visitor (J) visa classification, including USCIS’ role in the adjudication of waivers of the 2-year foreign residence requirement and change of status requests under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has updated its Employment Authorization Documents Based on Compelling Circumstances

On June 14, 2023, USCIS issued policy guidance to address eligibility criteria and standards for applications for employment authorization involving compelling circumstances. USCIS may provide employment authorization to beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions who face delays due to backlogs in immigrant visa availability. Beneficiaries who face adverse circumstances resulting from termination from employment and loss of nonimmigrant status, may qualify for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if they face compelling circumstances beyond the usual hardship associated with job loss.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has updated its Application Support Center Reschedule Requests and Missed Appointments

On July 6, 2023, USCIS issued policy guidance to address procedures related to biometric services appointments at an Application Support Center (ASC). These regulations provide that a person scheduled for an ASC appointment may, before the date and time of the appointment, request to reschedule the appointment for good cause.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its Incorporating Guidance on Applicability of the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

On July 20, 2023, USCIS issued an update for the USCIS Policy Manual to help applicants for adjustment of status more easily identify whether they are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has updated its Applications for Re-Parole and Work Authorization Renewal Are Fee-Exempt for Certain Afghan Nationals

On June 9, 2023, USCIS issued a policy update effective through July 31, 2024 in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider, on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit, a two-year extension of the original parole period for Afghan parolees who have already applied for asylum or for adjustment to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (such as adjustment of status as a special immigrant).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that Certain Individuals Requesting Parole Can Now File Form I-131 Online

On June 9, 2023 USCIS announced that certain individuals requesting parole based on urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit can file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, online.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its Expansion of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program and the Opening of the Grant Application Period

On June 9, 2023, USCIS announced the expansion of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which provides funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Expands Premium Processing for Applicants Seeking to Change into F, M, or J Nonimmigrant Status

On June 12, 2023, USCIS announced the expansion of premium processing for applicants filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and seeking a change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status. Online filing of Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, will also be available for these applicants.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Rescinds Prior Administration’s Termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua

On June 13, 2023, the DHS announced the rescission of the prior Administration’s terminations of the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua and the extension of TPS for these countries for 18 months.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides guidance on Employment Authorization Documents based on compelling circumstances

On June 14, 2023, USCIS released policy guidance on the eligibility criteria for initial and renewal applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) in compelling circumstances based on existing regulatory requirements at 8 CFR 204.5(p). 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launches online rescheduling of Biometrics Appointments

On July 6, 2023, USCIS launched a new self-service tool allowing benefit requestors, and their attorneys and accredited representatives, to reschedule most biometric services appointments before the appointment date. The new tool cannot be used to reschedule an appointment that has been rescheduled two or more times, is within 12 hours, or that has already passed.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces ‚ÄúFamily Reunification Parole Processes‚ÄĚ for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

On July 7, 2023, DHS announced the implementation of new family reunification parole (FRP) processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s successful combination of expanded lawful pathways and strengthened enforcement to reduce irregular migration.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Expands myProgress to Form I-765 and Form I-131

On July 12, 2023, USCIS announced the expansion of myProgress (formerly known as personalized processing times) for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Updates Visa Availability Approach for Managing Form I-526 Petition Inventory

managing the inventory of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, to promote greater efficiency.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Updates Policy Manual to Make It Easier to Identify Who Is Subject to the Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility

On July 20, 2023, USCIS incorporated important information regarding the categories of adjustment of status applicants to whom the public charge ground of inadmissibility applies from the appendices in Volume 8, Part G, of the USCIS Policy Manual, to Chapter 3, Applicability, to make it easier to identify whether the public charge ground of inadmissibility applies to a specific adjustment of status category.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) To Publish Revised Form I-9

On July 21, 2023, USCIS announced that on August 1, 2023, it will publish a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Will Conduct Second Random Selection from Previously Submitted FY 2024 H-1B Cap Registrations

On July 27, 2023, USCIS revealed that in March 2023, USCIS conducted an initial random selection on properly submitted electronic registrations for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 H-1B cap, including for beneficiaries eligible for the advanced degree exemption. Only those petitioners with selected registrations for FY 2024 are eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.

Invitations to be Issued for Family Reunification Parole Process

On July 28, 2023, the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) will begin issuing invitations under the family reunification parole (FRP) processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras starting from July 31, 2023. More information can be found here.

Second Random Selection from Previously Submitted Registrations Complete for FY 2024 H-1B Cap

On July 31, 2023, USCIS announced that they would need to select additional registrations to reach the FY 2024 H-1B numerical allocations.


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