U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently resumed expedited processing (Premium Processing service) for all types of H-1B petition proceedings. H-1B petitions can now be filed under the 15-day Premium Processing adjudication program or a Premium Processing service request can be filed on a pending H-1B petition. Importantly, decision to use Premium Processing program should not be taken lightly as incidence of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) is generally higher for these expedited filings. Expediting already pending H-1B petitions can be especially risky and increase the chance for an RFE substantially. In some instances, however, Premium Processing may be critical for the petitioner or the foreign worker and it is important to discuss the options with immigration counsel.

DHS has determined that conditions in Sudan no longer support that country’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the TPS designation is set to expire on November 2, 2018. Current beneficiaries of Sudan’s TPS designation must undergo re-registration to preserve eligibility through November 2, 2018 and may obtain or extend their employment authorization through that date. Importantly, Sudanese nationals that will be losing their TPS benefits in November 2018, should review alternative immigration options at this time and apply for any alternative immigration benefits they may be eligible for before the end of the TPS program next year.

Based on the newly established data sharing partnership between USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), certain categories of foreign nationals in the U.S. are now able to apply for employment authorization and a social security number (SSN) using the new Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (EAD) administered by USCIS. The new Form I-765 edition includes additional questions that provide applicants with an opportunity to request an SSN without having to file a separate application with SSA. Within approximately two weeks of an EAD approval, these applicants should automatically receive their Social Security cards from SSA.