In this edition, find the latest news on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ announcement to automatically extend the validity of Permanent Resident Cards for some applicants, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s announcing a new visa foil, the Department of Homeland Security’s extension of temporary protected status for Haiti, and more.
Green Cards Automatically Extended for Naturalization Applicants Who File on 12/12/22 or Later, USCIS Says
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it is automatically extending the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) for lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who applied for naturalization on December 12, 2022, or later.
USCIS will update the language on Form N-400 receipt notices to extend green cards for up to 24 months for these applicants. The receipt notice can be presented with the expired green card as evidence of continued status as well as for identity and employment authorization under List A of Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) if presented before the expiration of the 24-month extension period, the agency said.
LPRs who filed for naturalization before December 12, 2022, will not receive a Form N-400 receipt notice with the extension. If their green card expires, they must still file Form I-90 or receive an ADIT stamp in their passport to maintain valid evidence of their LPR status. LPRs who lose their green card still must file Form I-90, even if they have applied for naturalization and received the automatic extension under the updated policy. USCIS said this is because noncitizens must carry within their personal possession proof of registration, such as the green card and any evidence of extensions, “or may be subject to criminal prosecution under INA 264(e).” Applicants who require an ADIT stamp may request an appointment at a USCIS Field Office from the USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS Announces ‘Important’ H-2B Supplemental Cap Petition Filing Updates Before Publication of Temporary Final Rule
On December 8, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced “important” filing updates for petitioners who will be requesting additional H-2B workers for fiscal year 2023 under the upcoming temporary final rule. USCIS said it was announcing these updates to assist petitioners who wish to begin preparing their petitions before publication of a rule in the Federal Register.
Highlights of the announcement include:
Centralized Filing Location
Petitioners requesting additional H-2B workers under the upcoming rule must file their petitions at the California Service Center. Petitions filed under the supplemental allocations in this rule at any location other than the California Service Center will be rejected and the filing fees will be returned. This change does not affect the filing locations for petitions filed under the permanent H-2B regulations, whether they are cap-subject or cap-exempt.
Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing
Immediately upon publication of the upcoming rule, USCIS is temporarily suspending premium processing for H-2B supplemental cap petitions until January 3, 2023. Until premium processing resumes for H-2B supplemental cap petitions, USCIS said it will reject any Form I-907 concurrently filed with a Form I-129 filed under the supplemental allocations in the upcoming rule. USCIS has warned employers not to “file a request to upgrade to premium processing until you have received a receipt notice and can submit your request with the receipt number for your H-2B petition. If you request an upgrade to premium processing and have not provided this information, we will reject your Form I-907 and return the filing fee.”
Premium processing remains available for all other H-2B petitions.
- “USCIS Announces Important Filing Information for Upcoming FY 2023 H-2B Supplemental Cap Petitions,” USCIS Alert, Dec. 8, 2022.
- “DHS to Supplement H-2B Cap With Nearly 65,000 Additional Visas for Fiscal Year 2023,” USCIS Alert, Oct. 12, 2022.
CBP Announces New U.S. Bridge Visa Foil
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on November 21, 2022, that it has begun issuing a new visa foil with an image of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The foil has been redesigned to replace the Lincoln visa foil. As each consular post depletes its Lincoln visa foil stock it will begin to issue the Bridge visa foil. All Lincoln Visas will remain valid until the printed expiration date, unless revoked or canceled.
Questions on boarding travelers should be directed to the appropriate Regional Carrier Liaison Group, Immigration Advisory Program Officer, or Joint Security Program Officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
Example of new foil:
Under Court Order, OFLC to Propose Rescission of H-2B Registration Requirements and Provide Unique H-2B Temporary Registration Numbers
In response to a federal court order in Padilla Construction Company v. Walsh, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) plans to rescind H-2B registration requirements and propose conforming edits throughout its H-2B regulations.
In the interim, DOL said it will use the Notice of Acceptance (NOA), issued when an H-2B application meets regulatory requirements and the employer can begin recruiting U.S. workers, to inform an H-2B employer of DOL’s determination of the employer’s temporary need for services or labor:
Where an employer is determined to have a temporary need for services or labor, the NOA will provide the employer with a unique temporary need registration number, which may remain active for up to three years and which will be considered as one piece of evidence during [DOL’s] adjudication of the employer’s temporary need in future application filings. [DOL] will use a Notice of Deficiency to inform an H-2B employer when its temporary need for an application filing is in question, to request additional information, and also to inform an employer of deactivation of its temporary need registration number if the number has expired or if it appears that the employer no longer demonstrates a temporary need.
OFLC said the announcement of its future proposal to rescind H-2B registration requirements will not affect H-2B application filings for the 2023 peak application filing season for the second-half visa cap.
DHS Extends and Redesignates TPS for Haiti for 18 Months
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension of temporary protected status (TPS) for Haiti for an additional 18 months, from February 4, 2023, through August 3, 2024. DHS also redesignated Haiti for TPS, allowing Haitian nationals residing in the United States as of November 6, 2022, to apply for TPS through August 3, 2024, so long as they meet all eligibility requirements.
A soon-to-be-published Federal Register notice will explain the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew their employment authorization documents (EADs) and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD, DHS said.
DHS noted that “Haitians entering the United States after November 6, 2022, are not eligible for TPS and, like other individuals without a legal basis to remain in the United States, will be subject to removal.”