Tuesday, August 3

USCIS implements 3 changes that facilitate the process for the “green card” and other visas


Remember to check the USCIS website for any changes.

Photo: USCIS – Editorial / Courtesy

During the president’s administration Donald Trump Changes were made that complicated legal immigration processes, including the issuance of a “green card”, but the current government is going in the opposite direction and the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released new settings.

It was the Secretary of Homeland Security himself, Alejandro Mayorkas, who reported the changes in criteria and circumstances for expedited application processing; a new Guidance for Request for Evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), as well as increasing the validity period for employment authorization documents (EAD) to two years.

“We are taking steps to eliminate policies that do not promote access to the legal immigration system and we will continue to make improvements that help people navigate the path to citizenship and modernize our immigration system,” Mayorkas defended.

The shares are subject to the executive order of the president Joe Biden signed on February 2, to restore confidence in the legal immigration process and welcome new citizens.

“These policies are consistent with the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration to remove unnecessary barriers to our nation’s immigration legal system and reduce the burden against non-citizens who may be eligible for immigration benefits,” said the Director. Acting USCIS, Tracy Renaud.

He added that there would be new changes to help regain confidence in the process.

“USCIS is committed to promoting policies and procedures that ensure that we operate in a fair, efficient, and humane manner that reflects America’s heritage as a land of opportunity for those who seek it,” he said.

Accelerated processing

USCIS has policies so that immigrants can opt for an expedited process. Each case is unique and officials will evaluate when there is a justified urgency for expedited approval of a benefit.

“Applicants for benefits and USCIS officers receive further guidance on when expedited processing can be justified,” the agency says.

It is specified that Nonprofit organizations whose application is in support of the cultural and social interests of the United States may request expedited processing, which parallels premium (or express) processing, which applies mainly to work visas such as H-1B.

“Expedited processing is a service for special situations that USCIS considers for applicants … who urgently need to have their application adjudicated,” the agency notes.

However, those expedited applications for immigrants who have a final order of removal or deportation proceedings are coordinated between USCIS and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE).

Evidence and denial

The Trump Administration applied two changes that complicated visa processes, including the “green card” and even naturalization, since activists reported a considerable increase in RFE and NOID, which lengthened the processes, but there were also dozens of cases where they were denied the benefits without asking for proof, which was considered the beginning of a person’s deportation process.

The agency takes up adjudicative principles from a June 2013 memorandum instructing agency officials to issue an RFE or NOID, so that additional evidence could demonstrate eligibility for an immigration benefit.

“As part of the updated RFE and NOID policy, USCIS is repealing a July 2018 memorandum that allowed agency officials to deny certain applications for immigration benefits rather than first issuing an RFE or NOID,” he said.

The Biden Administration’s adjustment will allow non-citizens to correct errors deemed “innocent” and “unintentional omissions.”

“In general, a USCIS officer will issue an RFE or NOID when the officer determines that additional (requested) information or explanation can potentially establish eligibility for an immigration benefit,” it was noted.

Work permit

One of the biggest problems that immigrants face when they make their visa applications is the lack of possibility to work, although the Employment Authorization (EAD) allows it, the period is limited and can expire before obtaining the immigration benefit that was requested. .

Now the Biden Administration extends the validity of that permit to two years, that will be for initial permits and renewals.

“Increasing the validity period of EADs for certain adjustment applicants is expected to reduce the number of employment authorization requests received by USCIS and allow the agency to shift limited resources to other priority areas,” it was considered.

The agency recognizes that there is a constant delay in the processing of applications, since for example 370,000 of those requests were received during fiscal year 2020, a number that changes every year and can now be reduced.


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