USCIS Policy Updates for Certain Permanent Residency Card Renewal Applicants
In response to lengthy processing times for naturalization applicants, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has updated its Policy Manual to allow for the automatic extension of Permanent Resident Cards (i.e., “Green Cards”) for individuals with properly filed and pending Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. As such, on December 12, 2022, USCIS began updating the language on Form N-400 receipt notices to indicate an automatic 24-month extension of Green Card validity for these applicants, without regard to whether each applicant has filed a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. However, applicants who applied for naturalization prior to December 12, 2022 will not receive a receipt notice with this extension and must file Form I-90 or receive an Alien, Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunications (“ADIT”) stamp in their passport (if eligible), which serves as temporary evidence of their permanent residence status.
USCIS also announced that receipt notices for Form N-400 after December 12, 2022 can be presented with an expired Green Card as evidence of continued status and as a List A document for Employment Eligibility Verification purposes.
USCIS Provides I-9 Compliance Updates for Certain Parolees from Ukraine and Afghanistan
USCIS has recently announced that Ukrainian and Afghan parolees entering the U.S. under Ukrainian Humanitarian Parole (“UHP”) for Ukrainians and Operation Allies Refuge (“OAR”) for Afghans are employment authorized incident to their parole status. An unexpired I-94, Arrival-Departure Record (“I-94”) for these individuals may serve as an acceptable List A document to show identity and work authorization for purposes of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Further, an I-94 with a “DT” class of admission issued between February 24, 2022 and September 30, 2023 and indicating Ukraine as the country of citizenship, may be used as an acceptable List A document to temporarily show identity and work authorization for Form I-9. The Immigration and Reform Act prohibits employers from hiring and employing individuals not authorized to work in the U.S. and steep fines may be imposed for failing to follow these requirements. Please contact immigration counsel for guidance regarding proper completion of Form I-9 and to ensure that all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are authorized to work in the U.S.
Department of Labor Processing Delays and PERM Implications
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently released its December 2022 processing timelines for prevailing wage determinations (“PWDs”), indicating that these determinations are taking anywhere from 11 months to 1 year to be completed. This is in stark contrast to earlier in 2022, when the DOL was issuing determinations within approximately 6 months and prior years, when PWDs were taking 4 months or less. The ongoing lengthy delays negatively impact employers who have started the PERM Labor Certification process for their employees and may lead to devastating consequences for time-sensitive PERM applications. With this in mind, employers must carefully assess their employees’ immigration proceedings, related timelines, and PERM process planning. Contact your immigration counsel to discuss potential issues and plan further immigration proceedings for affected individuals.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Immigration Practice Group at Munsch Hardt recently assisted a global team transfer for a North American transportation conglomerate following its major acquisition by an international company.