DOS Confirms NIEs Automatically Extended for 12 Months

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Dear All,
 DOS updated its FAQs concerning the automatic extension of NIEs for 12 months. In those FAQs, DOS confirms that Customs and Border Protection will recognize the validity of all NIEs approved by DOS.
 
DOS posted guidance on its website that confirms earlier reports of NIEs issued in the last 12 months being automatically extended for 12 months from the date of approval, and for multiple entries, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted. The extension applies to NIEs for travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations 9984 (China), 9992 (Iran), 10143 (Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa), and 10199 (India).

USCIS Provides Further Guidance on the Temporary Extension of the Form I-693 Validity Period

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Dear All,

In response to an inquiry from AILA, the USCIS has updated its website to clarify that: if an I-485 applicant receives a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for a new I-693 medical exam because the I-693 on file with USCIS is over two years old, but the applicant’s I-693 on file with USCIS is valid under the temporary extension to four years and they otherwise meet the requirements, then the applicant should respond to the RFE “by citing, printing out or otherwise mentioning this policy alert.”

Please note that, this temporary extension of the validity period of the I-693 medical exam is limited to I-485 applications adjudicated on or before September 30, 2021. USCIS has not indicated whether they intend to extend this temporary extension past September 30. It is anticipated that USCIS will return to the two-year validity policy on October 1, 2021.

As reported previously, USCIS is attempting to adjudicate as many adjustment of status applications as possible before the end of the fiscal year. USCIS provided advance notice to some I-485 applicants via text, email and/or phone call that an RFE would be issued for a completed I-693, so that the applicants would be able to respond with the completed I-693 as soon as possible upon receipt of the RFE. I-485 applicants would be well advised to wait until they receive the RFE to send any necessary I-693 to USCIS, as the RFE may be requesting more than just the I-693, and the RFE will include the proper submission instructions and correct USCIS office address for the filing (e.g., local office or service center).

Of particular concern are employment-based (“EB”) I-485 applications, where any unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers cannot be re-allocated for the next government fiscal year. As such, an EB I-485 applicant whose priority date is current or will be current in September 2021 under the Final Action Dates, who has yet to submit a I-693 or whose I-693 on file with USCIS will not benefit from the temporary extension to four years, would be well advised to complete their medical examination now so that they will be able to respond with the I-693 as soon as possible upon receipt of the RFE.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me us you have any questions. Thank you.

USCIS Further Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT until October 31, 2021

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Dear All,

Pursuant to the Court order in the matter of (Juyi Li v. USCIS), USCIS has extended the  flexibilities for refiling rejected Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorizations for Students.

In February 2021, USCIS announced flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021. Now this has been extended to October 31,2021.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for OPT and STEM OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 as filed on the original filing date if:

  • The original, timely filed application was received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through Oct. 31, 2021, inclusive; and
  • USCIS subsequently rejected it.
  • Refiled applications must be received by Nov. 30, 3021, for USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date.
  • Additionally, for applications received through October 31, 2021, applicants can file Form I-765 up to 120 days before the program end date.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you.