Automatic Extension Period Increased for Green Card Validity

As of September 26, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) began automatically extending the validity of expired Permanent Resident Cards (i.e., green cards) from 12 to 24 months for lawful permanent residents who have timely and properly filed an application to renew an expiring or expired green card. Individuals who file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Residence Card, on or after September 26th will receive a Form I-797 receipt notice granting a 24-month extension of their green card validity and individuals with pending applications will receive amended receipt notices indicating a 24-month extension of their green card validity before their 12-month extension period expires.

USCIS also announced that I-90 receipt notices granting a 24-month extension of green card validity may be presented with an expiring or expired green card as a List A document as evidence of continued permanent residence status for Form I-9 purposes.

I-9 Compliance Flexibilities Extended through July 31, 2023

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced an extension of the Form I-9 flexibilities first announced in March 2020 and set to expire on October 31, 2022, through July 31, 2023. The flexibilities continue to allow employers to inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility in-person only for employees who physically report to work at a company location on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis. For those hired on or after April 1, 2021 who work exclusively remotely as a result of COVID-19-related precautions, they remain temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements for Form I-9 until they resume non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or until the flexibilities expire. Contact your immigration counsel to ensure your company’s I-9 practices remain compliant with government policies.

60-Day Form I-693 Physician Signature Rule Extended

USCIS has extended the temporary waiver requiring a civil surgeon’s signature within 60 days of submitting Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record before applying for an underlying immigration benefit. The waiver, which was originally set to expire after September 30, 2022, has been extended through March 31, 2023 to help applicants who have been impacted by processing delays. As such, USCIS will accept applications for immigration benefits, even if a civil surgeon signed an applicant’s Form I-693 more than 60 days before the application was submitted to USCIS.

EMPLOYER PRACTICE ALERT: USCIS has indicated that employers should continue using Form I-9 after its October 31, 2022 expiration date until further notice. The Department of Homeland Security will announce when the newest version of Form I-9 will be released.

DID YOU KNOW? The Munsch Hardt Immigration Team recently assisted a high-level corporate executive of a prominent education organization obtain U.S. permanent residency as an individual of extraordinary ability. While the “extraordinary ability” standard is high, it is possible to meet and accomplished employees and their employers should not discount the EB-1 Green Card route without careful consideration and consultations with immigration counsel.