On May 26, 2023, the U.S. Department of State announced the delay of the implementation of the final rule raising nonimmigrant visa application processing fees and the fee for a Border Crossing Card for Mexican citizens age fifteen and older. The effective date has been delayed from May 30, 2023, to June 17, 2023.
On February 15, 2023, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a final rule that would increase certain U.S. Department of State fees for visa services. This is the final step prior to publication of the final rule. Once published, the final rule will likely become effective sixty days from its publication, as it has been classified as a major rule change that is economically significant.
On January 4, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would increase fees for specific immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cited the expansion of humanitarian programs, federally mandated pay raises, additional staffing requirements, and the need for essential investments as reasons for the proposed increases.
The U.S. Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2022. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will accept employment-based I-485 adjustment of status applications per the Visa Bulletin’s Dates for Filing chart, rather than the Final Action Dates chart.
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The U.S. Department of State’s June 2022 Visa Bulletin reflects a significant advancement in the EB-2 India category. This has provided an opportunity for many applicants for permanent residence to move forward with the filing, adjudication, and approval of their I-485, Application[s] to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, the final step in the green card process. While a positive development for many, this forward movement has also created a challenge for certain H-1B extensions.
On March 16, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Afghan nationals for eighteen months. Under the designation, TPS will apply to nationals of Afghanistan who have continuously resided in the United States since March 15, 2022. The TPS designation is based on the ongoing armed conflict by the Taliban and the “extraordinary and temporary conditions” in Afghanistan that prevent Afghan nationals from returning safely.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainian nationals for eighteen months. TPS status will apply to nationals of Ukraine who have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022. According to DHS, this designation is based on “the extraordinary and temporary conditions” in Ukraine that “result from the full-scale Russian military invasion” that prevent Ukrainian nationals from returning safely.
On January 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security updated its travel advisory to require all foreign national travelers (except U.S. permanent residents) to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination when seeking entry to the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals. The new guidance expands upon already existing COVID-19 travel requirements and establishes similar COVID-19 vaccination requirements for non-U.S. travelers seeking entry to the United States by both air and land.
On October 1, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law a stopgap spending measure to fund the U.S. government through December 11, 2020. The spending measure includes a provision titled “Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act,” which authorizes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expand the premium processing program and to increase program fees.