ARTICLE
10 April 2024

U.S. Immigration Update: Monthly Review – March 2024

FG
Fakhoury Global Immigration

Contributor

At Fakhoury Global Immigration, our motto is Global Vision, Personal Attention. We provide our clients with the most comprehensive legal immigration services available while tailoring them to their specific requirements. Offering a full range of immigration legal services, we aspire to be the one-stop solution for all our clients’ global and U.S.-based needs. Our team of lawyers and paralegals are specialists in all U.S. and major international visa classifications. We provide comprehensive and peerless legal services that are cost-competitive, custom tailored, fully compliant, and successful in achieving our clients’ objectives.
The updates involve payment of the Asylum Program Fee, the required paperwork, and whether self-petitioners are required to pay the fee.
United States Immigration
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USCIS Updates Its FAQ Webpage

Including Additional Information on the Asylum Program Fee

USCIS Fee Rule Went Into Effect on April 01, 2024

US, District Court Refuses to Postpone Implementation

  • Effective Monday, April 01, 2024, the new fee schedule for USCIS services goes into effect.
  • The USCIS's fee rule is being challenged by a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of ITServe Alliance, an employer group, and an EB-5 investor.
  • The plaintiffs contend that the fee rule was promulgated without adequate notice and comment; that it contravenes the Administrative Procedure Act (APA); that it arbitrarily imposes an Asylum Program Fee in excess of the USCIS's statutory authority; and that it raised EB-5 immigrant investor fees without consideration of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022.
  • The plaintiffs requested injunctive relief from the imposition of the new fees. The judge denied the motion for relief but did not dismiss the plaintiff's case.

SOURCE: Stuart Anderson. Forbes, April 01, 2024: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2024/04/01/higher-uscis-immigration-fees-take-effect-judge-refuses-to-block/?sh=1552b5782cc6

USCIS: H-1B Cap Petitions May Be Filed Starting April 01, 2024

  • H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY2025, including those petitions eligible for the advanced degree exemption, may be filed with USCIS beginning April 01, 2024, if filed for a selected beneficiary and based on a valid registration.
  • Only petitioners with registrations for selected beneficiaries may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2025.
  • An H-1B cap-subject petition must be properly filed at the correct filing location or online at my.uscis.gov and within the filing period indicated on the relevant selection notice.
  • The period for filing the H-1B cap-subject petitions will be at least 90 days.
  • Petitioners must include a copy of the application selected notice with the FY 2025 H-1B cap-subject petitions.
  • Petitioners must also submit evidence of the beneficiary's valid passport or travel document used at the time of registration to identify the beneficiary.
  • Petitioners filing for selected beneficiaries based on their valid registration must still submit evidence or otherwise establish eligibility for petition approval, as registration and selection only pertains to eligibility to file the H-1B cap-subject petition.

SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom, April 01, 2024: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/notice-of-fy-2025-h-1b-cap-initial-registration-selection-process-completion-and-cap-season

USCIS Announces H-1B Cap Completion of Initial Registration Process

  • On April 01, 2024, USCIS announced that it had received enough electronic registrations for unique beneficiaries during the initial registration to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2025 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap), including the advanced degree exemption.
  • USCIS randomly selected enough properly submitted registration for unique beneficiaries project as needed to reach the H-1B Cap.
  • USCIS has notified all prospective petitioners with selected beneficiaries that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for such beneficiaries.

SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom, April 01, 2024: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/notice-of-fy-2025-h-1b-cap-initial-registration-selection-process-completion-and-cap-season

USCIS Announces Filing Location Change for Certain Employment-Based Forms

  • On April 1, 2024, USCIS is changing the filing location from service centers to a lockbox for concurrently filed Forms I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service; I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; and I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and for related Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, filed with the application package.
  • The USCIS alert includes the addresses to use based on where the beneficiary will work.
  • Starting May 2, 2024, the agency may reject concurrently filed Forms I-907, I-140, and I-485, and any related Forms I-131, I-765, and I-824 filed with the application package, that are received at USCIS service centers.

SOURCE: USCIS alert (Mar. 29, 2024)

USCIS Clarifies Policy Guidance on Expedited Requests

  • S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 21, 2024, that it has updated guidance in its USCIS Policy Manual, effective immediately, to clarify how the agency considers expedite requests related to government interests and emergencies or urgent humanitarian situations, including travel-related requests.
  • The update also clarifies how to make an expedite request and explains how USCIS processes expedite requests.
  • The update also clarifies that USCIS will consider expediting Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to benefit requestors in the United States "when they have a pressing or critical need to leave the United States, whether the need to travel relates to an unplanned or planned event, such as a professional, academic, or personal commitment."

SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-updates-policy-guidance-clarifying-expedite-requests

USCIS Issues Guidance Clarifying Anti-Discrimination Policy for USCIS Employees and Contractors Interacting with the Public

USCIS issued guidance on March 15, 2024, to further clarify its anti-discrimination policy pertaining to USCIS employees and contractors interacting directly or indirectly with members of the public.

The guidance:

  • Clarifies USCIS' anti-discrimination policy, specifically pertaining to USCIS employees interacting directly or indirectly with members of the public.
  • Confirms that USCIS provides agency-wide training on its anti-discrimination policy to all its employees and contractors who interact directly or indirectly with members of the public.
  • Affirms that USCIS is committed to providing consistent public service in accordance with its mission statement and core values.

Source: USCIS Policy Alert, PA-2024-04 (Mar. 15, 2024).

E-Verify Updates Tutorial

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 13, 2024, that E-Verify updated its tutorial and knowledge test "to accurately reflect E-Verify's processes, images, branding, and resources, and to provide new and existing users with an improved experience."

  • The tutorial requirement and process has not changed. USCIS said that new users must complete all lessons and pass the knowledge test with a score of 70% or above to begin using E-Verify.
  • Existing users who successfully completed the knowledge test before this update can review the new content but are not required to retake the tutorial.
  • Users may review or retake the tutorial by navigating to the "Take Tutorial" option under the Resources menu in their account.
  • Users who were in the process of completing the tutorial but had not yet passed the knowledge test will have their progress reset. These users must start the tutorial over and complete the knowledge test to gain access to their accounts.

USCIS: Reminder – Certain Updated

Forms Take Effect April 1, 2024 With No Grace Period

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a reminder that under the new fee final rule effective April 1, 2024, the new 04/01/24 editions of several forms will be required, including:

Note: USCIS will only accept the 04/01/24 edition of these forms if they are postmarked on or after April 1, 2024.

USCIS: Reminder – Premium Processing Fees Have Increased

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminded employers that fees for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, increased as of February 26, 2024. The new fees are:

  • $2,805 if you are requesting premium processing of Form I-129 requesting E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-3, L (including blanket L-1), O, P, Q, or TN nonimmigrant classification.
  • $1,685 if you are requesting premium processing of Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R nonimmigrant classification.
  • $2,805 if you are requesting premium processing of Form I-140 requesting EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 immigrant visa classification.
  • $1,685 if you are requesting premium processing of Form I-765 with eligibility category (C)(3)(A), (C)(3)(B), or (C)(3)(C).
  • $1,965 if you are requesting premium processing of Form I-539 seeking change of status to F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, or J-2 nonimmigrant status.

USCIS said that if it receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after February 26, 2024, with the incorrect filing fee, it will reject the Form I-907 and return the filing fee. For filings sent by commercial courier (e.g., UPS, FedEx, and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt, USCIS said.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

ARTICLE
10 April 2024

U.S. Immigration Update: Monthly Review – March 2024

United States Immigration

Contributor

At Fakhoury Global Immigration, our motto is Global Vision, Personal Attention. We provide our clients with the most comprehensive legal immigration services available while tailoring them to their specific requirements. Offering a full range of immigration legal services, we aspire to be the one-stop solution for all our clients’ global and U.S.-based needs. Our team of lawyers and paralegals are specialists in all U.S. and major international visa classifications. We provide comprehensive and peerless legal services that are cost-competitive, custom tailored, fully compliant, and successful in achieving our clients’ objectives.
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