June 2, 2023 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Jun 02, 2023 | 0 Comments

Form ETA-9089 Submissions for PERM in Flag Deployed on June 1

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has an exciting notice for employers and individuals involved in the PERM labor certification process. On June 1, 2023, the PERM module in the FLAG (Foreign Labor Application Gateway) system will be completely deployed. The update has confirmed that users are now able to submit Form ETA-9089, the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, through the PERM module. This advancement is beneficial for employers yearning to hire foreign workers for permanent positions in the United States. The benefit of this PERM module in FLAG is that employers are able to efficiently complete and submit their PERM applications, leading to faster and more efficient processing by the OFLC.

However, the limitation in this development is the fact that linking Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) outside of the FLAG network is not yet available. In other words, employers are still not able to link their approved PWDs to their PERM applications through the FLAG system if the PWD was obtained outside of the FLAG system.

The PERM process is fundamental in the employment-based immigration system. It requires employers to go through a rigorous recruitment process to show that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position. By digitizing and refining this application procedure, the OFLC aims to enrich efficiency and fairness in the labor certification process.

Reminder to Use New Edition of Form I-693 After May 31

On March 31st, 2023, USCIS has affirmed that a new edition of Form I-693, the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, will be necessary for immigration medical examinations conducted on or after May 31, 2023. After this date, the new edition of the form released on March 9th, 2023, must be utilized and submitted. As part of the immigration medical examination, applicants are mandated to undergo a medical assessment conducted by a designated civil surgeon. The civil surgeon will fill out Form I-693 and provide the required documentation. If the I-693 form was signed by the civil surgeon between October 5, 2022, and May 30, 2023, applications have the option to submit either the 7/9/22 or 3/9/23 edition.

This form allows USCIS to determine the admissibility of applicants to the United States based on their health conditions. It is required for several immigration applications like adjustment of status, immigrant visa processing, and certain humanitarian programs. Using the incorrect edition of Form I-693 can result in a delay of the application process or rejection.

Also, it is important to note that USCIS encourages submitting Form I-693 and Form I-485 (the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) simultaneously in order to reduce the need for Request for Evidence. Submitting both forms concurrently will expedite adjudication. By submitting both forms at the same time, all required medical information is available to USCIS, which will simplify the immigration process.

USCIS Announces Filing Location Changes and Edits to Documentation Requirements for Affirmative Asylum

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced immediate edits to filing location and documentation requirements for certain affirmative asylum applications.

The first important change is that while certain affirmative asylum applications were required to be submitted by mail, applicants are now mandated to file their applications with the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over their place of residence. This advantageous update will lessen processing times and improve the asylum application experience as a whole.

Furthermore, a new edition of Form I-589, the Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal has been generated. This form has important updates to the application process and must be used from here on out.

In addition to these updates, the documentation requirements for affirmative asylum applications have been revised and added. Applicants are no longer required to submit passport-style photos, multiple copies of the form, or multiple copies of supporting documentation.

These changes are designed to ease the application process and reduce the burden on applicants by eliminating redundant or unnecessary documentation.

Document Submission for Diversity Visa 2024 and Future Programs No Longer Required

The Department of State (DOS) has presented important changes to the document submission process for the Diversity Visa (DV) program moving forward. In previous years, the DV program has required selectees to submit multiple documents to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) as part of the process. Now, the DOS has suspended the document submission requirement for DV-2024 and future programs.

With these new guidelines being instituted, selectees are instructed to submit the DS-260 immigrant visa application form for themselves and any accompanying family members to the KCC. This form displays biographical information and presents details about DV eligibility. It is a crucial component of the immigrant visa application process. Selectees and their accompanying family members must ensure that they accurately and thoroughly complete the DS-260 form to facilitate the visa application process.

During the application process, no other forms must be submitted. However, supporting documents will be evaluated later in the process with the KCC or the consular post handling your visa application. While the process for selectees has been simplified through these updates, remember to keep all relevant documentation and be prepared to submit them upon request to proceed with the visa eligibility process. 

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