USCIS Extends EADs Validation Period from 180 Days to 540 Days

Great news - USCIS announced recently a Temporary Final Rule that temporarily increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) from 180 days to 540 days!
USCIS Extends EADs Validation Period from 180 Days to 540 Days

When does this take effect?

This policy will take effect on May 4, 2022, and will grant an automatic extension of up to 540 days.

Who is qualified?

Certain EAD renewal applicants with a timely filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization renewal application pending during the 18-month period after publication of the rule.

USCIS Waives Interviews for Low-Risk I-751 Petitioners

Great News! Are you in the process of removing your conditions on residence? If your Green Card is marriage-based and you are considered "low-risk", then there's a good chance that your immigration interview can be waived! Let's hear more about it:

USCIS Waives Interviews for Low-Risk I-751 Petitioners 

USCIS Waives Interviews for Low-Risk I-751 Petitioners

Previously, all conditional permanent residents are required to undergo an interview if they obtained their Green Card via consular processing, however, USCIS announced recently that they are going to adopt a risk-based approach when waiving interviews for conditional permanent residents (CPR) who have filed to remove conditions on residence. 

When will this go into effect?

This new update is effective immediately! This new update is one of the actions the agency takes to increase efficiencies and improve processing times. This is expected to allow for a better use of staffing resources.

Who is considered "low-risk"?

An agency offer will determine:

  • There is sufficient evidence about the bona fides of the marriage. 
  • There's no indication of fraud or misrepresentation in supporting documents
  • No complex facts or issues to resolve
  • No criminal history that render the CPR removable
  • Joint-filing requirement is also eligible for a waiver if applicable. 

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USCIS Released the New Versions of Several Forms

USCIS released the new versions of several forms! If you are submitting your application after April 7th, 2022, be sure to use the latest version from USCIS's website. Here's a quick list for your convenience:

USCIS Released the New Versions of Several Forms

USCIS Released the New Versions of Several Forms

What USCIS forms are updated?

What is the cutoff date?

April 7th, 2022! Starting from April 7th, you can't use any older versions of these forms, otherwise your application can be rejected. It's always good to double check before you submit your application!

Read more USCIS news updates:

3 New Actions USCIS Takes to Ease Backlogs

As you may know, USCIS has been trying different measurements to reduce the current backlogs, and now they are coming up with more actions! Here are some of the key changes:
3 New Actions USCIS Takes to Ease Backlogs

1) Reducing Processing Backlogs

USCIS established a new internal cycle time goals this month. These goals are internal metrics that will guide the backlog reduction efforts of the USCIS workforce. As cycle times improve, processing time will follow and you will receive decision more quickly!

2) Expanding Premium Processing


USCIS intends to begin implementing premium processing availability of Form I-539, Form I-765 and Form I-140 in fiscal year 2022. 

They also plan to begin this phased implementation process by expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager, or EB-2 immigrant classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.

3) Improving Access to Employment Authorization Documents (EAD)


USCIS has begin streamlining the EAD processes, including:
  • extending validity periods for certain EADs 
  • providing expedited work authorization renewals for healthcare and childcare workers. 
  • ensure certain individuals will not lose their work authorization status while their applications are pending
They are also decoupling the combo card that used to be a combination card of the EAD and travel permit. Click here to learn more.

Before you leave...Have you checked out these?

USCIS Confirmed to Separate EAD & AP Combo Cards

As you may know, USCIS has been issuing EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and AP (Advanced Parole, aka travel permit) together as a 'combo card' a while now. 

However, due to long delays in processing these documents, USCIS has confirmed that they will decoupling these two cards and make standard, separate documents in an effort to expedite the processing times.

USCIS Confirmed to Separate EAD & AP Combo Cards

How does this affect my application?

The current processing times are around 11-13 months for EADs. Most applicants apply concurrently EAD and AP cards along with their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Status (Green Card). USCIS has been trying to clear the backlog and avoid employment interruption. Now with the decoupling decision, we should be the processing times being shortened. 

These new EAD cards will no longer have a notation "serves as I-512 Advance Parole" and can not be served as a travel permit. You need a separate AP document to be able to travel internationally. 

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USCIS Now Accepts Credit Cards for Most Form Fling Fees!

Did you know? USCIS announced that they will begin accepting credit card payments for most of the form filing fees!

You may have heard of USCIS's credit card payment pilot program and now finally they are accepting this newest payment option. 

USCIS Now Accepts Credit Cards for Most Form Fling Fees!

How do I pay USCIS fees by credit card?

You will have to attach Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. 

What forms are accepting credit card payments?

Nearly all form filing fees! Although, you have to know that Form I-129 is an exception. I-129 is for petition for a nonimmigrant worker for H-1B and H-2A visas.

At the end of the pilot period, USCIS will evaluate and announce the next steps for opening up this new payment option for other forms. Stay tuned!

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March 2022 USCIS News Updates

As we move back to our normal lives, don't forget to keep following what's new from USCIS! Let me make it easier for you by summarizing some of the key updates:

What's New with USCIS in 2022?

1) USCIS launched a H-2A Employer Data Hub: It's a place to provide information on employers petitioning for H-2A workers. This will help search for H-2A petitioners from 2015 to 2021. You will be able to see employer name, city, state, ZIP code, worksite state, and more! Learn more here.

2) USCIS's Application Support Centers (ASC) are back! The ASC had been having delays due to Pandemic-related protocols but now they are back in full operation. They will be rescheduling most of the biometrics appointment. Learn more here.

3) H-1B and H-1B1 Fee Payments Rule: For all H-1B and H-1B1 petitions received on or after April 1, 2022, USCIS no longer accept a single, combined fee payment for Form I-539, Form I-765, or Form I-824 is filed concurrently. It's always good to separate the payments! Learn more here.

4) New USCIS forms: Some of the Green Card application forms are going to be updated in April! So keep an eye on those. I will come back and give more updates on that. Stay tuned!

5) USCIS Now Accepts Credit Cards for Most Forms: Did you know? USCIS announced that they will begin accepting credit card payments for most of the form filing fees!

6) USCIS Confirmed to Separate EAD & AP Combo CardsUSCIS has confirmed that they will decoupling these two cards and make standard, separate documents in an effort to expedite the processing times.


That's it for now! Stay tuned for more updates soon.

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New H-2A Employer Data Hub

USCIS is coming out with an H-2A Employer Data Hub! See what this is all about:

USCIS Launched a New H-2A Employer Data Hub

What it is? 

H-2A Employer Data Hub was created by USCIS to provide the public with information on employers petitioning for H-2A workers. This is meant to be increasing transparency in employment-based visa programs. USCIS also launched the H-1B Data Hub back in 2019.

What does it do?

This data hub will allow you to search for H-2A petitions from 2015 through 2021. You will be able to see employer name, city, state, ZIP code, worksite state, NAICS code, and SOC code. You and your employers will have a better understanding of the approval and denial rates and be able to make a better decision.


No More Combined Fee Payments for H-1B Petitions

 If you are applying for H-1B visa, you will want to know this! USCIS will stop accepting a single combined fee payment when you file some forms concurrently. Let's take a look in detail:

USCIS Will No Longer Accept Combined Fees for H-1B Petitions

USCIS Will No Longer Accept Combined Fees for H-1B Petitions

For All H-1B and H-1B1 petitions received on or after April 1, 2022, you should not combine fee payments for these forms:

  • Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-765, Application for Emplooyment Authorization
  • Form I-824, Application for Action on an Aprpovied Application or Petition
When you file them together with an H-1B or H-1B1 peition (Form I-129) you need to separate the payments, aka each form comes with its own fee payment. Otherwise USCIS has the right to reject your entire package! 

Only Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service may be combined with Form I-129.

Why this change?

USCIS is transitioning to e-processing of immigration benefit requests and they will be using multiple systems to receipt and process the requests. Learn more on USCIS's page.

More new updates here:

When Can I Expect My Biometrics Appointment?

Great News - After being delayed a long time, USCIS's Application Support Centers are finally back in full service! Now the big question is, when will we receive our biometrics appointments?

When Can I Expect My Biometrics Appointment?

When Can I Expect My Biometrics Appointment?

Due to Pandemic-related protocols, USCIS hasn't been keeping up with the biometrics appointments; but now they are back in full operation and will be rescheduling or issuing new biometrics appointments!

Noe that it can take 90 days (or even longer) depending on the locations to schedule biometrics appointments. For those whose appointments were canceled, it may be rescheduled also. So be patient! 

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