November 24, 2023 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Nov 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, we bring you important updates on various immigration matters. Please take a moment to review the following key highlights:

USCIS Announces Availability of Additional H-2B Visas for FY 2024

In a significant update, the DHS and USCIS, in conjunction with the DOL, have published a temporary final rule introducing an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for FY 2024. This is in addition to the statutory cap of 66,000, nearly doubling the total available H-2B visas. This increase reflects the growing demand for nonagricultural labor and is a vital development for industries relying on this workforce.

USCIS Expands myProgress to Form I-485 and I-821

USCIS has expanded its myProgress system to include Form I-821 and Form I-485, initially available for family-based or Afghan special immigrant I-485 applicants. This system offers personalized estimates for processing milestones, enhancing transparency in case handling. Applicants can access myProgress through their USCIS online account, offering a clearer view of their application's progress.

Understanding the 540 Days EAD Extension Rule

In response to extended processing times, USCIS has temporarily increased the automatic EAD extension period to up to 540 days for certain categories. This rule, effective until October 26, 2023, aims to mitigate disruptions for individuals awaiting EAD renewals. Eligible categories include (a)(3), (a)(5), (a)(7), (a)(8), (a)(10), (a)(12), (a)(17), (a)(18), (c)(8), (c)(9), (c)(10), (c)(16), (c)(19), (c)(20), (c)(22), (c)(24), (c)(26) (H-4 EAD holders), and (c)(31). For detailed eligibility and guidance, our office is ready to assist you.

Self-petitioning for a U.S. Green Card

Self-petitioning for a U.S. green card is a pathway available to certain categories of individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria. Here are the primary ways to self-petition:

Employment-Based Extraordinary Ability (EB-1A):

  • This category is for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim.
  • Applicants must demonstrate extraordinary ability by providing evidence of a one-time achievement (like a major internationally recognized award) or meet at least three of ten criteria set by USCIS (such as published materials, original contributions, exhibitions or showcases, leading or critical roles in distinguished organizations, etc.).

National Interest Waiver (NIW) under (EB-2):

  • This is for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that their employment in the U.S. would greatly benefit the nation. Unlike other EB-2 applications, NIW petitions do not require a labor certification, or a job offer from a U.S. employer.

Special Immigrants (EB-4):

  • Certain ‘Special Immigrants' can self-petition, including religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, and others as defined by immigration law.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

  • VAWA allows certain spouses (including same-sex spouses), children, and parents of U.S. citizens, and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser's knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence.

Investors (EB-5):

  • This category is for investors who are investing a significant amount of capital (typically $1050000 million or $800,000 in a targeted employment area or through Regional Center investment) in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. that will create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

Each of these categories has specific criteria and documentation requirements. It's crucial to thoroughly understand these requirements and provide substantial evidence to support your eligibility. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended to navigate the complex process of self-petitioning for a U.S. green card.

We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.


Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.

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