In January 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made several updates to certain immigration policies. These changes primarily concern issues pertinent to employment authorization for immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders.
Read more about these changes below and reach out to an immigration attorney for legal assistance should you require additional information or services.
USCIS Extends Green Card Validity for Conditional Permanent Residents with Pending Work Authorization Forms
Due to an increase in Form I-751 and Form I-829 processing times, USCIS announced in January that it will extend Green Card validity for conditional permanent residents with pending forms.
For those with newly filed forms I-751 and I-829, USCIS will extend Green Card validity for up to 48 months to accommodate the current processing times.
USCIS Agrees to Bundle Work Authorization for H-1B & L-1 Visa Spouses
USCIS settled in January with plaintiffs in Edakunni v. Mayorkas, agreeing to reverse Trump-era policies that previously delayed work authorization for spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
USCIS is returning to a system it developed during the Obama administration, which bundles adjudication for I-539s and I-765s for H-4 and L-2 derivatives with I-129s when the forms are submitted together.
Whereas adjudicating these forms in turn could take up to two years, returning to the bundle adjudication would take an average of four months or shorter. The delay, as alleged in a separate lawsuit, made it “mathematically” impossible for spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa spouses to keep their employment.
The change in policy reverting back to the bundle system is in effect as of Jan. 25, 2023.
USCIS Allows Certain Asylum Applicants to File for Work Authorization Online
USCIS announced in January 2023 that those applying for asylum in the U.S. could file their Form I-765 work authorization online.
Now in effect, this policy change only applies to work authorization applicants under category (c)(8), Pending Asylum and Withhold of Removal Applicants and Applicants for Pending Asylum under the ABC Settlement Agreement. If you submit an application and aren’t a qualified applicant, your application fee may not be returned.
How to File a Form I-765
Qualified asylum applicants can start their Form I-765 on USCIS’s website by creating a free account. This account not only allows applicants to fill out and submit their forms, but also allows them to communicate with USCIS about their applications. If someone previously created an online USCIS account, it may be used for this purpose.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
If you require legal assistance for any immigration-related matter, Verma Law Firm can provide the legal support you require. Our attorney is an experienced advocate who can help our clients achieve meaningful solutions to their immigration-related legal matters.
Learn more during an initial consultation – schedule yours with us today by contacting us online.