Department of Homeland Security
USCIS’s Automatic Extension Policy Set to Expire after October 26, 2023
During the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) rolled out a series of flexibilities to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors due to delays in government processing times and in response to remote work mandates. In particular, USCIS’s temporary employment authorization policy allowed certain applicants who filed timely renewals of Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to receive an automatic extension of their employment authorization for up to 540 days. Eligible applicants include individuals: (1) who file their Form I-765 to renew their employment authorization document (“EAD”) and the renewal application remains pending; (2) whose renewal category is eligible for automatic extension; and (3) whose category on their current EAD matches the “class requested” listed on the Form I-797C, Notice of Action receipt notice, subject to certain exceptions.
After October 26, 2023, unless the policy is extended by USCIS, an automatic extension of employment authorization will roll back to the 180 day limit. As such, eligible applicants are encouraged to file their Form I-765 by October 26, 2023, to receive the 540-day extension where applicable. Please reach out to immigration counsel for assistance with EAD renewal applications.
USCIS Launches New Form for Requesting In-Person Appointments
As part of the government initiative to streamline the immigration process, USCIS has introduced its online form for scheduling in-person field office appointments for ADIT stamps, Emergency Advance Parole, Immigration Judge Grants, among other services. The process allows individuals or their legal representatives to request an in-person appointment at a local field office and request a specific time/date for an appointment. Following USCIS review of the application and office availability for in-person appointments, an appointment date and time will be confirmed. Please note that USCIS cannot guarantee that the requested appointment date and time will be granted and may reach out to the requestor or legal representative directly regarding any concerns or to obtain additional information. Contact immigration counsel for assistance with USCIS’s new online appointment system.
Department of State
Visa Application Fee Receipt Extension Expiration
The Department of State (“DOS”) has announced the end of its temporary extension for Machine-Readable Visa (“MRV”) payment fee validity, and all MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, will expire on September 30, 2023. MRV fee validity (generally valid for 365 days from the date of payment) was extended through September 30, 2023, if issued before October 1, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, all applicants with MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, must schedule their visa appointments or submit an interview waiver application before September 30, 2023. Please note that the interview does not have to take place before September 30th, but must be scheduled prior to this date or the MRV fee will be forfeited.
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Munsch Hardt’s Immigration Practice Group successfully represented one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies with regard to a complex government inquiry into the specialized nature of a critical U.S. position. Our legal team has extensive experience in handling complex Requests for Evidence (“RFEs”) to ensure our clients have access to top talent worldwide.