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Opinion

USCIS updates  

US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin - The Freeman

There are three pertinent and important updates that I would like to share with you. Make sure that you are aware of these updates as you try to consider your immigration options.

First, USCIS has once again extended certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through Oct. 23, 2022, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, 2020, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive.

Notices such as the following: Requests for Evidence; Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14); Notices of Intent to Deny; Notices of Intent to Revoke; Notices of Intent to Rescind; Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, or a Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA) if the form was filed up to 90 calendar days from the issuance of a decision we made; and that decision between was made Nov. 1, 2021, and Oct. 23, 2022, inclusive.

Second, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending temporary waiver of the requirement that civil surgeons must sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, no more than 60 days before an individual applies for the underlying immigration benefit (including Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).

The waiver was originally effective until Sept. 30, 2022, but USCIS extended it to March 31, 2023, to further ease processing delays and associated difficulties in timely completing the immigration medical examination. This waiver applies to all Forms I-693 associated with applications for underlying immigration benefits that have not been adjudicated, regardless of when the application was submitted to USCIS or when a civil surgeon signed the Form I-693.

This waiver will help applicants who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related processing delays, which have sometimes delayed immigration medical examinations. It also will help many applicants, including Afghan nationals evacuated under Operation Allies Welcome, who completed immigration medical examinations but could not apply for adjustment of status within 60 days of a civil surgeon signing their Form I-693.

Third, if you are applying for renewal of your green card, effective Sept. 26, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is automatically extending the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (also known as green cards) to 24 months for lawful permanent residents who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.

Lawful permanent residents who properly file Form I-90 to renew an expiring or expired green card may receive this extension. Form I-90 receipt notices had previously provided a 12-month extension of the validity of a green card.

USCIS has updated the language on Form I-90 receipt notices to extend the validity of a green card for 24 months for individuals with a newly filed Form I-90. On Sept. 26, USCIS began printing amended receipt notices for individuals with a pending Form I-90.

These receipt notices can be presented with an expired green card as evidence of continued status. This extension is expected to help applicants who experience longer processing times, because they will receive proof of lawful permanent resident status as they await their renewed green card.

If you no longer have your green card and you need evidence of your lawful permanent resident status while waiting to receive your replacement green card, you may request an appointment at a USCIS Field Office by contacting the USCIS Contact Center, and we may issue you an Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (ADIT) stamp after you file Form I-90.

IMMIGRATION

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