USCIS Decouples Form I-765 and Form I-131 Filed at the Same Time

Did you know that USCIS started separating Form I-765 and Form I-131 even if you filed them at the same time? Let's chat more!
USCIS Decouples Form I-765 and Form I-131 Filed at the Same Time

USCIS Decouples Form I-765 and Form I-131 Filed at the Same Time

USCIS announced that, in order to improve efficiency and reduce Form I-765 processing times for Form I-485 applicants, they may decouple Forms I-765 from Forms I-131 filed at the same times!

When will this start?

This new processing had already started from February 1st, 2022. 

How does this affect my Green Card I-458 application?

USCIS will try to process your Form I-765 first (ahead of Form I-131) and if they approve it, they will issue you an Employment Authorization Document without any notation about advanced parole (Form I-131 for traveling). This is not bad at all! After all, most of us need the work permit more than traveling permit!

USCIS will adjudicate the Form I-131 separately and once it's approved, you will receive a separate advance parole document. 

Keep reading...

USCIS Revised Form I-589 and I-765!

If you are in the middle of preparing for your Green Card application, be sure you use the most recent forms! USCIS recently revised Form I-589 and I-765. Let's see more details:

USCIS Revised Form I-589 and I-765!

USCIS Revised Form I-589 and I-765!

USCIS updates immigration forms from time to time. The most recent updates are for 
Here I will emphasize on Form I-765 which is one of the important forms along with Form I-485 Green Card application. 

Starting from Nov. 7th, 2022, USCIS will only accept the 07/26/22 edition. Until then applicants can still use the older versions (5/31/22 and 08/25/20 editions). 

Make sure you use the latest version before you submit your application! USCIS has the right to reject your application if you are using the wrong versions. 

Good luck! We will talk soon.

See more interesting posts and updates here:

Watch Out: USCIS Flexibility Periods for RFE Ends July 25, 2022!

Remember that during COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS extended certain flexibilities to assist applicants? No these flexibility periods have come to an end!

Watch Out: USCIS Flexibility Periods for RFE Ends July 25, 2022!

What was the flexibility timeframe set by USCIS?

March 1, 2020 to July 25, 2022.

How does it affect my application?

Currently, USCIS will still accept responses received wtihin 60 calendar days after the due date set in the following requests or notices (only if the date listed on the notice is between March 1, 2020 and July 25, 2022) So be sure to check your date on the notice! This applies to the following notices:

  • RFE 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
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant
Read more new posts:

*NEW* 3 Things You Need to Know About USCIS Citizenship Ambassador Initiative

NEW! USCIS recently announced the launch of the first citizenship ambassador initiative! Here is what you need to know about:

*NEW* 3 Things You Need to Know About USCIS Citizenship Ambassador Initiative

What is USCIS Citizenship Ambassador Initiative?

USCIS Ambassador Initiative is designed by USCIS to partner with community leaders to promote US citizenship through their own immigrant experience. This initiative is mainly for making a personal and local connection with lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) who may be eligible to apply for naturalization (citizenship) but don't have access or knowledge of the naturalization process.

In plain words - the government wants to help you learn about how to become a citizen if you are eligible!  

“Granting citizenship is vital to our nation’s economic prosperity, and a future built on America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.

How does the ambassador initiative work? 

USCIS has selected 8 community leaders across the US to connect with aspiring citizens. These ambassadors will connect eligible populations with the USCIS by:
  • sharing their experiences with the naturalization process
  • highlighting available information and resources
  • emphasizing the advantages of US citizenship
  • addressing myths and misconceptions
  • providing inspiration for other pursuing citizenship

Who are the partners?

See a full list here if you are interested. These ambassadors are all voluntary and unpaid! 
  • Magdalena Alvarado, President, Ser y Hacer Galveston, Galveston, TX;
  • Abdirizak Bihi, Executive Director, Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center, Minneapolis, MN;
  • Myriam Mezadieu, Chief Operating Officer, Catholic Legal Services, Miami, FL;
  • Nam Loc Nguyen, Former Director of Immigration and Refugee Department, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Orange County, CA;
  • Margarita Rocha, Executive Director, Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, Central Valley, CA;
  • Luis Shephard, Community Leader, Boston, MA;
  • Dr. Mara Vaughn, Professor, University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; and
  • Pao Yang, Executive Director, President and CEO, The Fresno Center (TFC), Fresno, CA.
Before you go...check out these articles!

How I prepared for N-400 Interview by myself with Ease

I started my preparation about 1-2 weeks before my N-400 citizenship interview and I believe that's more than enough for most people. I reviewed the tests and the dates of my trips during the last 5 years (the officer may ask about the most recent trip)
How I prepared for N-400 Interview by myself with Ease

If you want to know the process of applying for I-751 or N-400, click here to read: 

DIY How to Apply for Form I-751 Green Card Renewal by Yourself with No RFE! (Timeline Updated again!)

How to prepare for the N-400 Citizenship Tests

There will be three main tests and possibly some questions for the N-400 Yes/no questions. I gathered some great preparation materials here for your convenance. These really helped me prepare with ease and very efficiently. 

1. English reading test
For this part, the officer will show you a sentence on the tablet screen and ask you read it out loud.

Click here to see a video for practicing the English reading test!

2. English writing test
For this part, the officer will read out loud a sentence and ask you to write down the answer on a tablet with a pen. He will then check for your spelling and correctness. Remember to spell out numbers and no abbreviations such as NYC, otherwise those will be considered incorrect! (very important)

3. Civic test 
There's a list of 100 civic test questions on USCIS's website with answers. Click here to download it
You need to remember all questions. Unless you are over age of 65, then you can just study the questions with * symbol. 

During the civic test, the officer will ask you 10 questions of the 100 questions randomly and you will need to get 6 correct answers out of 10 to pass.

Having trouble remembering the answers? Try this video! It separates the questions by group.

4. N-400 Application Questions

The last part is the application questions. Sometimes the officer will test your understanding of the N-400 Yes/No questions. So just be prepared if you are being asked! Here is a great video that explains in more details.

That's it! You may be interested in learning more here:

I-751 and N-400 Combined Interviews with Real Questions!

Great news! We just passed our combined interviews for Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and the N-400 Citizenship Application. We want to share our experience with you while our memories are still fresh! So let's get to it:

I received my interview notices back in June 2022. The two interviews were scheduled for the same day so I know they are going to be combined or be back to back. We applied for both all by ourselves. 

I-751 and N-400 Combined Interviews with Real Questions!

For those who want to know the process of applying for I-751 or N-400, click here: 

DIY How to Apply for Form I-751 Green Card Renewal by Yourself with No RFE! (Timeline Updated again!)

I-751 and N-400 Combined Interviews

My interviews were scheduled for 2:30pm and on the notice, it mentioned that we won't be able to check in until 15 minutes before our interview time, therefore, we planned to get there around 2:15pm. 

Once we entered the door, we showed our IDs (driver's license) and went through the X-ray security. After that we checked in at the desk where my fingerprints and photo were taken. We then waited in the waiting room for another 10 minutes or so before the immigration officer came out to get us. 

We are very lucky to have a super nice officer to conduct the interviews!

I-751 Interview Questions

My husband was asked to come in with me. He asked just a few questions to confirm our date of birth, home address, etc. All basic background information. After that he asked us to go back to the waiting room for 5 minutes until his computer updates and removes the condition on my Green Card. 

N-400 Interview Questions

A few minutes later, the officer came out again and he asked me to go in alone. 

First he conducted the reading test: Abraham Lincoln was a president

Then the writing test. The officer said the sentence a couple times and asked me to write down on a tablet with a pen. My test question was: Lincoln was the president during the civil war

Now we moved on to our civic questions. Once I answered 6 questions correctly he stopped.

  1. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.
  2. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves? 
  3. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived? 
  4. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?  
  5. Name two national U.S. holidays.
  6. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?  

In a separate post, I will talk in more details about how to prepare well for your N-400 interview. Stay tuned!

After I passed the reading, writing, and civic tests, he moved on to my application details. He first confirmed a few questions on my application. This part is also just about my background information. Some questions such as:

  • What's your full name?
  • What are your children's names?
  • What's your email and phone number?
  • What's your home address/mailing address?
  • Do you want to change your legal name?
  • The YES/NO questions
  • Other chatting....not very important I believe
In the end, the officer showed me a screen of all my information and asked me to go through and make sure they are all correct. I then was asked to sign.

He then showed me the oath allegiance and asked me to sign again. 

Congelation's! That's the end of the interview. I was given a letter notice which includes my oath ceremony date and time.  

I hope this post helps! I will do another update for the oath ceremony, so come back to learn more. See you!

Don't forget to read more about other related topics:

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. 

You may be interested in these posts too:

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?



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