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USCIS Policy Guidance

Over the past several weeks, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been issuing several policy alerts that modify the way immigration will review and process cases in the future. Some of these policy alerts remove policies that President Trump’s administration administered. For example, USCIS announced that it would return to giving deference to previous decisions made by USCIS, provided that the facts or law did not change. President Trump’s administration required immigration to review all cases as brand new cases, regardless of whether or not there had been a previous approval. These changes are welcome and should make it easier for foreign nationals to receive the benefits they deserve. The following is a brief summary of some of these policy changes.

When seeking permanent residency in the US, foreign nationals are able to simultaneously file for an employment authorization document. These documents had been valid for one year and could be renewed so long as the permanent residency application was still pending. USCIS will not issue the employment authorization cards for two years rather than one.

Immigration officers may at times have questions regarding a case and are authorized to submit requests for additional information. President Trump’s administration allowed officers to deny requests without seeking additional documentation. A new policy alert notifies officers to again issue requests for additional evidence in all cases, unless it is absolutely clear that there can be no approval of the request.

A new policy guideline may also allow you to request that immigration expedite your visa request. However, for those work based applications that allow for premium processing (a guaranteed 15 day response), you cannot use this service. To request expedited requests you must show a financial or humanitarian need, the request will benefit the US government or that the request will help a nonprofit.

The most recent policy alert affects those applying for U visas, which are visas for foreign nationals who have been victims of a crime or assisted law enforcement officers in prosecution or investigation of a crime. In the past, you must have had an approved or at least deferred approval of a U visa to apply for a work authorization card. USCIS will now issue notices that they believe U visas have a bona fide chance of being approved, and once that notice is issued, the U visa applicant can seek work authorization requests. This should speed up the process to allow more U visa applicants to obtain work authorizations.

These new guidelines should help foreign nationals in the US. These guidelines also appear to pave the way for immigration officers to review the law and approve cases based on the law. If you are interested in coming to the US or need immigration help, please contact us at info@tntvisa.com or via WhatsApp at (754) 610 – 7266.

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