In this edition, find the latest news on USCIS Filing Tips, Affirmative Asylum Applications, Consular Fee Rule, updates and more!
USCIS Releases Filing Tips for Supporters and Beneficiaries of Uniting for Ukraine and for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released filing tips for supporters and beneficiaries of Uniting for Ukraine and for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. USCIS said it has received many duplicate filings of Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, and related inquiries. Some potential supporters are filing multiple Forms I-134A for the same beneficiary. “This adds to our workload, which delays processing,” USCIS said, noting that potential supporters who wish to support more than one beneficiary must file one Form I-134A for each beneficiary.
USCIS also has been receiving many Forms I-134A with multiple typos and errors, which also slows processing. Common mistakes include misspelling the beneficiary’s name, incorrect dates of birth, incorrect passport numbers, and incorrect email addresses.
As of January 6, 2023, potential supporters must use the new Form I-134A, instead of Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support. Those who filed before January 6 do not need to submit a new form.
- USCIS notice (May 2, 2023). https://www.aila.org/infonet/uscis-provides-filing-tips-for-supporters
Filing Location and Documentation Requirements Changed for Certain Affirmative Asylum Applications
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed the filing location and documentation requirements for certain affirmative asylum applications, and will soon release an updated Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
New Filing Location Details
USCIS has changed the filing location for certain affirmative asylum applications submitted by mail. Applicants should now mail Form I-589 to the lockbox that has jurisdiction over their place of residence, instead of to the service center. If filing by mail, an applicant should file at the appropriate lockbox location to ensure timely receipt of the application. However, USCIS said it will accept Forms I-589 submitted to a service center “until we formalize this change through a Federal Register notice.” See the “Where to File” section of the Form I-589 webpage to learn where to file the application.
Applicants who submit a properly filed Form I-589 to a lockbox will receive two notices: (1) acknowledgement that the lockbox has received and forwarded the Form I-589 to USCIS; and (2) after USCIS accepts the application, a standard Form I-589 receipt notice. Both notices will include the same receipt date that is used to determine eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application and for purposes of the one-year filing deadline, USCIS said.
The following categories of affirmative asylum applicants must continue to mail their asylum applications directly to the Asylum Vetting Center, following the instructions on the Form I-589 page, USCIS said:
- Loss of Derivative Status After Asylum Approval but Before Adjustment of Status (Nunc Pro Tunc)
- Loss of Derivative Status After Initial Filing but Before Final Decision
- Simultaneous Filing as a Principal Applicant and a Derivative Applicant
- Previously Issued a Final Action by USCIS on a Form I-589
- Previously in Immigration Court Proceedings
USCIS noted that online filing is also available and encouraged for affirmative asylum applicants who are not in immigration court proceedings and who do not have to submit their applications to the Asylum Vetting Center as indicated above.
New Form I-589 and Documentation Requirements
USCIS has published a new edition of Form I-589, dated 03/01/23. Starting July 31, 2023, USCIS will accept only the 03/01/23 edition of the form. Until then, the agency will continue to accept the 10/12/22 edition of Form I-589.Effective immediately, when submitting the Form I-589, an applicant no longer needs to submit a passport-style photo, multiple copies of the form, or multiple copies of the supporting documentation. See the Instructions for Form I-589 for more information.
- USCIS alert (May 31, 2023). https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-changes-filing-location-and-documentation-requirements-for-certain-affirmative-asylum
State Dept. Delays Effective Date of Consular Fee Rule
The Department of State (DOS) is delaying until June 17, 2023, the effective date of its rule raising consular fees for most nonimmigrant visas and special visas, published on March 28, 2023. DOS said this was to “provide for a 60-day delay in the effective date after receipt of the final rule in the Congress.”
Under the final rule, most consular service fees will be raised, although the fee increases are smaller than those proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking due to revised projections for fiscal year (FY) 2022-2024 demand, DOS said.
Below are the adjustments that DOS will implement under the final rule:
- The application processing fee for non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) (except the E category) will increase from $160 to $185.
- The application processing fee for H, L, O, P, Q, and R category NIVs will increase from $190 to $205.
- The processing fee for Border Crossing Cards for Mexican citizens aged 15 and over will increase from $160 to $185.
- The fee for E category NIVs will increase from $205 to $315.
The fee for the exchange visitor waiver of two-year residency requirement will stay at $120, instead of the proposed $510.
- DOS final rule, delay of effective date, 88 Fed. Reg. 34084 (May 26, 2023). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-05-26/pdf/2023-11420.pdf
- DOS final rule, 88 Fed. Reg. 18243 (Mar. 28, 2023). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-03-28/pdf/2023-06290.pdf
Unpacking EB-5 under the New Reforms & Integrity Act: Insights, Strategies, and Implications for Indian Investors
The world of investment immigration is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial for prospective investors to stay informed about the latest developments. We are excited to announce an upcoming webinar that delves into the intricacies of the EB-5 program and the impact of the new Reforms & Integrity Act (RIA) on Indian investors. WR Immigration is teaming up with EB5 Capital to explore the June visa bulletin, retrogression outlook, filing strategies, and much more, presented by renowned experts Joseph Barnett and Charlie Oppenheim.
Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to learn from the best in the field. Register now and secure your spot for the webinar that will empower you to navigate the complexities of EB-5 under the new Reforms & Integrity Act.
The landscape of EB-5 investment is evolving rapidly, and it’s crucial for Indian investors to stay up to date with the latest changes. Join us for this insightful webinar as Joseph Barnett and Charlie Oppenheim shed light on the June visa bulletin, retrogression outlook, filing strategies, and the impact of the Reforms & Integrity Act. This is an opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. Register now and embark on your EB-5 journey with confidence.
- Unpacking EB-5 under the new Reforms & Integrity Act (RIA) for Indian Investors. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AqDAowHMQ6SzgiY_ky3-Bw#/registration