In order to address the backlog and delays in processing immigration applications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the work permit validity for certain immigrants. New USCIS rules announced February 7, 2022, permit some foreign citizens to now renew their work permits in two-year increments rather than annually. The immigrants who will benefit from the new rule are:
• anyone granted asylum
• individuals who have self-petitioned for green cards under a program for domestic abuse survivors, VAWA
• immigrants who fled persecution and have deportation relief as withholding of removal
The new USCIS policy only applies to work permits issued on February 7 or after.
Pending immigration cases reached 1.6 million at the end of December, the largest immigration backlog in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 40 year history. USCIS spokesperson Matt Bourke said the change “is expected to reduce processing times and allow USCIS to concentrate efforts on its pending [employment authorization document] application caseload… These steps are just the beginning and USCIS will continue to work with urgency to bring down processing times across the board.”
In addition to extending work permit validity, USCIS has taken other measures to reduce the backlog:
• Thousands of immigrant spouses of H-1B and L-1 visa holders will be able to work legally without a separate work permit.
• Waived student visa in-person interviews and other non-immigrant visa applications through 2022.
• Waived H-1B in-person interviews and other non-immigrant visa applications through 2022.
Godoy Law Firm works with family-based and employment-based individuals who want to come to the United States to work temporarily or permanently. Contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322. Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties.
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