U.S. Immigration Alerts

U.S. Immigration Updates – Week of October 16, 2023

State Dept. Releases November 2023 Visa Bulletin

 The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for November 2023. For employment-based visas, the Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing for India and Canada have not changed from October. Final Action Dates remain the same except for the employment-based second preference (EB-2) category for Mexico, the Philippines, and “all other” countries which have advanced to July 15, 2022.

SOURCE: Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2024/visa-bulletin-for-november-2023.html

 

USCIS Provides Guidance on Interpretation of EB-5 Program Changes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided additional guidance on its interpretation of changes to the EB-5 program made by the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), specifically the required investment timeframe and how USCIS treats investors who are associated with a terminated regional center.

USCIS said that because of the changes made by the RIA, investors filing petitions for classification “no longer need to sustain their investment throughout their conditional residence, which may be many years in the future and dependent on factors outside the investor’s control such as visa availability.” Instead, USCIS said:

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) now requires only that the investment must be expected to remain invested for at least two years, provided job creation requirements have been met. Although the statute does not explicitly specify when the two-year period under INA § 203(b)(5)(A)(i) begins, we interpret the start date as the date the requisite amount of qualifying investment is made. In other words, we will use the date the investment was contributed to the new commercial enterprise and placed at risk in accordance with applicable requirements, including being made available to the job-creating entity. If invested more than two years before filing the I-526 or I-526E petition, the investment should generally still be maintained at the time the I-526 or I-526E is properly filed so we can appropriately evaluate eligibility.

Because the statute does not explicitly specify whether it applies only to post-RIA investors or also to pre-RIA investors, USCIS said it interprets INA § 203(b)(5)(M) to apply to pre-RIA investors associated with a terminated regional center. USCIS “will extend the deadline for pre-RIA investors to respond to a regional center termination notification until the agency adjudicates their Form I-526 petition. If needed, we may issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny for the investor to establish continued eligibility.” USCIS also said it “will extend the deadline for pre-RIA investors to respond to a regional center termination notification until the agency adjudicates their Form I-526 petition. If needed, we may issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny for the investor to establish continued eligibility.”

SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom: Oct. 11, 2023.

USCIS Launches New Online Change of Address Tool

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a new Enterprise Change of Address (E-COA) self-service tool to allow those with pending applications, petitions, or requests to update their addresses with USCIS online.

USCIS said that with E-COA, most individuals with a USCIS online account can update their mailing and physical addresses with USCIS for pending applications, petitions, or requests in a single place, eliminating the need to update the address in multiple places; fill out a paper AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address Card; call the Contact Center; or visit a USCIS Field or Asylum Office. E-COA will automate address changes for almost all form types. The exceptions are listed at uscis.gov/addresschange.

To use the E-COA tool, individuals need a USCIS online account, and must enter their last name, date of birth, and new physical and mailing addresses. Individuals are also encouraged to include information about their pending application, petition, or request.

Changing your address with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will not change your address with USCIS. Please update your information with both USCIS and USPS. Address changes made through E-COA will not affect Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Privacy Act (PA) requests. If you need to change your address for a FOIA or PA request, please email FOIAPAQuestions@uscis.dhs.gov.

SOURCE: USCIS Newsroom: Oct. 12, 2023.

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