• Ashenberg Law Group

March 2022 Newsletter

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IMMIGRATION UPDATES

 

1. March 2022 Visa Bulletin: Advancement in EB-2 for India Nationals


The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the Visa Bulletin for March 2022, which shows slow advancement in EB-2 and no advancement in EB-3 employment-based categories, and no movement in family-based categories. The cutoff dates for issuance of employment-based immigrant visas are as follows:

  • EB-1: All countries are current.

  • EB-2: China remains at March 1, 2019; India advances to May 1, 2013. All other countries are current.

  • EB-3 Professional and Skilled Workers: China remains at March 22, 2018; India remains at January 15, 2012. All other countries are current.

USCIS will accept adjustment of status applications F2A Spouses and Minor Children of Green Card Holders based on the “Final Action Dates” charts, and all other family-based cases and all employment-based cases based on the “Dates for Filing” charts.

The March 2022 Visa Bulletin can be found here.


2. FY 2023 H-1B Cap E-Registration Begins Today at Noon EST!


Starting today (March 1, 2022) noon EST, and up until March 18, 2022 noon EST, employers seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2023 must complete an electronic registration for each beneficiary. Petitioners will be required to pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. Remember, only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions!


FY 2023 H-1B Key Dates


March 1: H-1B e-registration period opens at noon EST.

March 18: H-1B e-registration period closes at noon EST.

March 31: Date by which USCIS intends to notify selected registrants.

April 1: The earliest date that FY 2023 H-1B cap-subject petitions may be filed.


ALG attorneys have extensive experience working on H-1B cases, so feel free to reach out to us. The next 2 weeks will be the last chance for you to prepare for and participate in the FY 2023 H-1B cap-subject lottery!


3. USCIS Urges Eligible Applicants to Switch Employment-Based Categories


On February 18, 2022, USCIS released a news alert urging eligible applicants to switch, if possible, to first (Priority Workers) or second (Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability) employment-based preference categories.


The overall employment-based annual limit for FY 2022 is twice as high as usual since it includes all unused family-sponsored visa numbers from FY 2021, which was approximately 140,000.


USCIS’ alert can be found here.


4. USCIS Announces New Agency Mission Statement


On February 9, 2022, USCIS announced the its new mission statement, “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.”


The new mission statement is a reflection of feedback from USCIS employees, the priorities of the Biden Administration, and the USCIS Director’s vision for an inclusive and accessible agency.


USCIS’ alert can be found here.


5. USCIS Updates Guidelines on Maximum Validity Periods for New Employment Authorization Documents for Certain Applicants


On February 7, 2022, USCIS published updated policy guidance to change the maximum validity period that may be granted for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued to certain applicants, as well as to provide general guidance on adjudicating Form I-765.


Effective immediately, USCIS will generally grant new and renewed EADs that are valid for two years to applicants in the following categories:

  • (a)(3): Admitted as a refugee;

  • (a)(5): Granted asylum;

  • (a)(10): Granted withholding of deportation or removal; and

  • (c)(31): VAWA self-petitioner.

Additionally, USCIS will generally grant new and renewed EADs up to the end of the parole or deferred action period to applicants in the following categories:

  • (c)(11): Paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit; and

  • (c)(14): Granted deferred action (non-DACA).

USCIS’ alert can be found here.