USCIS ISSUES PROPOSED RULE FOR FEE CHANGE FOR CERTAIN APPLICATIONS
In an attempt to “fully recover its operating costs, reestablish and maintain timely case processing, and prevent the accumulation of future case backlogs,” USCIS has proposed a fee increase on certain nonimmigrant worker petitions. Few details have been released so far though the core elements of the proposed rule are as follows: application fees for nonimmigrant worker visas will increase, existing fee waiver eligibility for low-income and vulnerable populations will be preserved, adding new fee exemptions for certain humanitarian programs, limiting the fee increase for naturalization applicants, and distributing fees based on the applicants ability to pay. The 60-day public comment period began January 4, 2023 and ends on March 6, 2023.
NEW YORK CITY REGIONAL CENTER ANNOUNCES FIRST I-829 APPROVALS TO EB-5 INVESTORS
The New York City Regional Center has just issued 1,833 Form I-829 petition approvals to investors in NYCRC offerings with a total of 5,311 individuals being granted permanent residency in the United States. The project is a Subway Wi-fi Infrastructure offering and included $75 million EB-5 loan to Transit Wireless to aid in the construction of a new and improved wireless infrastructure network to operate in all 281 New York City subway stations. The infrastructure will include advanced connectivity for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless customers.
BIDEN-HARRIS ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW BORDER ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS
On January 5, 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced new enforcement measures they claim will “increase border security and reduce the number of individuals crossing unlawfully between ports of entry.” In order to do this, the administration has declared they will be “imposing new consequences for individuals who attempt to enter unlawfully.” Among the impending consequences is an increase in the use of expedited removal which would mean that individuals who enter the United States without permission, do not have a legal basis to remain, and cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 will be removed to their home country and subject to a five-year ban on reentry. They also aim to “expand legal pathways for safe, orderly, and humane migration” by expanding the newly incorporated Venezuela parole process to citizens from Nicaragua, Haiti and Cuba. They also plan to “take thousands of smugglers off the streets and counter smuggler misinformation.”
STEM EMPLOYERS CAN HIRE QUALIFIED STEM STUDENTS AND GRADUATES
Earlier this week, the White House released a statement declaring that STEM talent “critical to the prosperity, security, and health of the Nation.” As such, the Early Career STEM Research Initiative will now allow STEM business to serve as sponsoring hosts for exchange visitors. STEM employers who wish to become J-1 Host Organizations can apply through the BridgeUSA program within the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that connects the employers with approved J sponsors who then match the candidates with the employers.