District Court Orders USCIS to Process New Investor Petitions in Previously Authorized EB-5 Regional Centers
On June 24, 2022, a U.S. district court in California ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process new I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) petitions from immigrants investing through previously authorized EB-5 regional centers. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act, part of omnibus spending legislation, took effect on March 15, 2022. It reauthorized and made changes to the regional center program following its expiration. The court’s decision in Behring Regional Center LLC v. Mayorkas followed USCIS’s determination that all prior regional centers needed to seek reauthorization after the program was reinstated.
Concluding that USCIS “acted based on an erroneous conclusion about what the Integrity Act requires,” the court ruled that the agency “is enjoined from treating the existing regional centers as deauthorized while this litigation is pending (or until the agency engages in a reasoned decision-making process regarding how to treat these centers under the Integrity Act).”
- EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/permanent-workers/eb-5-immigrant-investor-program
- Client Alert: The EB-5 Regional Center Program is Open for Business, Klasko Immigration Law Partners, https://www.klaskolaw.com/news/b-5-regional-center-program-is-open-for-business/
USCIS Issues Policy Alert on Effect of Returning to United States During 3- or 10-Year Period After Departure or Removal
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy alert on June 24, 2022, on inadmissibility under § 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically, the effect of returning to the United States during the statutory 3- or 10-year period after departure or removal (if applicable). Under the policy guidance, a noncitizen who again seeks admission more than 3 or 10 years after the relevant departure or removal “is not inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(B) even if the noncitizen returned to the United States, with or without authorization, during the statutory 3-year or 10-year period.” A noncitizen’s location during the statutory 3- or 10-year period and the noncitizen’s manner of return to the United States during the statutory period are “irrelevant” for purposes of determining inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(9)(B), USCIS said.
The alert also notes that some noncitizens may be able to file a motion to reopen their previously denied applications with USCIS using Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
- USCIS Policy Alert (PA-2022-15), June 24, 2022, https://bit.ly/3OoB1TV
Amendment to Salvage Unused Immigrant Visa Numbers Advances in House
The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed an amendment, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations for fiscal year 2023 that would recapture unused, expired family- and employment-based immigrant visa numbers lost for various reasons since 1992. The amendment would also provide visa relief for immigrants banned from traveling to the United States during the Trump administration.
Several previous attempts in Congress to restore unused visa numbers have been unsuccessful. It is unclear whether this amendment will ultimately succeed.
- “Amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill Offered by Ms. Meng of New York,” https://aboutbgov.com/3EM
- “Decades’ Worth of Unused Immigrant Visas Salvaged in House Bill,” Bloomberg Government, June 24, 2022, https://bit.ly/3xOTCBE
E-Verify Releases New Case Processing Features
On June 21, 2022, E-Verify released several new features “to increase awareness of existing duplicate cases and reduce overall case processing time.” E-Verify also redesigned the “Search Cases” page to provide “a more robust case query function.”
Among other things, the duplicate case lookback period was expanded from 30 days to 365 days.
- E-Verify New Features and Updates, June 2022, https://www.e-verify.gov/june-2022
USCIS Transfers Certain H-1B Petitions to California Service Center
Certain H-1B petitions and fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B cap petitions awaiting intake at the Vermont Service Center (VSC) are being transferred to the California Service Center (CSC) for data entry and adjudication. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it is transferring those cases “in response to the H-1B receipt issuance delays at the VSC.”
USCIS said, “Please allow time for the CSC to process the transferred cases and do not submit duplicate petitions out of concern that your previous submission did not arrive or has been misplaced. If your petition is transferred, you will not receive a transfer notice, but you will receive a receipt notice as soon as your petition is receipted. Petitions will be worked to completion at the CSC once transferred. For inquiries about case status, please use the petition receipt number.”
The agency said that receipt issuance delays continue “in other workloads across some service centers. We are actively trying to reduce these delays.”
Petitions should continue to be filed based on the addresses provided on the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker page, USCIS said.
- USCIS alert, June 16, 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-transfers-certain-h-1b-petitions-to-the-california-service-center
OFLC Announces 60-Day Public Comment Period on Prevailing Wage Application Forms
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced a 60-day public comment period relating to “proposed minor revisions” to the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination information collection. The information collection “ensures employers provide information about their job opportunities and terms of employment necessary to determine prevailing wages,” OFLC explained.
OFLC is seeking a three-year approval of the information collection and related retention requirements associated with the Form ETA-9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination; Form ETA-9141, General Instructions; Form ETA-9141, Appendix A, Request for Additional Worksite(s); Form ETA-9165, Employer-Provided Survey Attestations to Accompany H-2B Prevailing Wage Determination Request Based on a Non-OES Survey; and Form ETA-9165, General Instructions.
Written comments must be submitted by August 15, 2022, in accordance with the instructions provided in the notice.
- OFLC media release, June 14, 2022, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/foreign-labor
- “Agency Information Collection Activities for Prevailing Wage Determination Information Collection,” OFLC notice, 87 Fed. Reg. 35999 (June 14, 2022).
USCIS Announces 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Revisions to Premium Processing Service Request Form
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a 30-day public comment period relating to proposed revisions to Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. The information collection notice was previously published on March 30, 2022, allowing for a 60-day public comment period. USCIS received eight comments and is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days.
Written comments must be submitted by July 15, 2022, in accordance with the instructions provided in the notice.
- “Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of a Currently Approved Collection: Request for Premium Processing Service,” USCIS notice, 87 Fed. Reg. 36140 (June 15, 2022), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-06-15/pdf/2022-12877.pdf
CDC Rescinds Order Requiring Negative COVID-19 Test Before Flight to United States
As of June 12, 2022, air travelers to the United States no longer need to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery before boarding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced.
CDC continues to recommend that travelers boarding a flight to the United States get tested for current infection with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) and not travel if they are sick. CDC said it “continues to evaluate the latest science and state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes.”
- CDC media release, June 10, 2022, https://bit.ly/3Q9ZUEp
USCIS Corrects Employment Authorization Renewal Receipt Notices
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that between May 4, 2022, and June 2, 2022, it sent out receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with incorrect information. The incorrect notices included language relating to an extension for certain categories of renewal applicants instead of the correct language about a 540-day automatic extension.
USCIS has printed correction notices for affected applications and expects to complete sending out the notices by the third week of June.
- USCIS alert, Apr. 10, 2022, https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend
Ron Klasko and Dan Lundy of Klasko Immigration Law Partners served as co-counsel with Paul Hughes representing IIUSA, the regional center trade group, and its over 100 regional center members in the litigation case of Behring Regional Center vs. Mayorkas. The counsels successfully argued to extend the relief of regional centers which prompted the court to rule in their favor. Ron Klasko addresses the issues impacted by the preliminary injunction decision and what this means for clients, in this client alert.
IN THE NEWS
H. Ronald Klasko
On June 24th, a federal District Court issued a preliminary injunction signaling existing EB-5 regional centers are permitted to operate. IIUSA counsel Ron Klasko was quoted in these articles, GlobeNewswire, Law360, and Cision PR Newswire, about the ruling.
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Myriam spoke with F-1 and J-1 international students at Drexel on visa options beyond optional practical training.
Elise A. Fialkowski
On June 18th, Elise Fialkowski spoke at the 2022 AILA Annual Conference on a panel entitled The Overture and the Final Act: Hiring and Firing.
H. Ronald Klasko
On June 15th, Ron Klasko spoke at the 2022 AILA Annual Conference on a panel entitled EB-5 and International Entrepreneur Parole: Current State of the Programs.
William A. Stock
On June 15th, Bill Stock spoke at the 2022 AILA Annual Conference on a panel entitled Introducing Essential Terms and Concepts.
Michele G. Madera
On June 18th, Michele Madera was a discussion leader speaker at the 2022 AILA Annual Conference on a panel entitled Remote Management Is the Future: Ethically and Effectively Managing Freelance and Remote Employees.
H. Ronald Klasko
Partner Ron Klasko spoke on his expertise and work on the RIA preliminary injunction alongside General Counsel Paul Hughes in this event hosted by IIUSA.
ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS
The EB-1 Immigration Process
In this blog, Nigel James covers everything you need to know about the EB-1 immigration process, including who can apply for it and what evidence is needed for eligibility.
Client Alert: The EB-5 Regional Center Program is Open for Business
In this client alert, Ron Klasko addresses the issues impacted by the preliminary injunction decision and what this means for clients.
PRESS RELEASE: HIAS Pennsylvania Honors H. Ronald Klasko at 2022 Golden Door Awards
On May 24, 2022, Ron Klasko was honored for his leadership and support of immigrants at the annual Golden Door Awards hosted by HIAS Pennsylvania.
UK Introduces New Visa to Attract Recent Top Graduates – Should the U.S. Follow Suit?
In this article, Grace Waweru discusses the new visa introduced in the United Kingdom, called the High potential Individual (HPI) visa, which allows top university graduates to stay in the UK for at least 2 years after graduation without employment sponsorship.
Congratulations to Ron Klasko for being featured on the cover of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent. Follow us on all of our social media platforms for more news! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
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This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.