As published in the Immigration Daily on June 20, 2022

  1. Some movement on July visa bulletin.

Finally, some movement on family-based (FB) cases on the dates of filing chart although the employment-based (EB) categories hardly moved with the exception of the China and India EB-2 categories on both dates of filing and final action charts. The July visa bulletin is out with the following developments – FB final action dates – Only Mexico advanced, F-1 moved 1½ months to 3/15/00, F-2B two months to 4/1/01, F-3 one month to 10/15/97, and F-4 three months to 6/1/00. FB dates for filing had a lot of movement as worldwide F-1 advanced 1½  months to 7/1/16, F-2B one week to 10/1/16, F-3 one month one week to 10/1/09, and F-4 one week to 11/8/07. The rest of the action here was Mexico’s F-1 moving forward seven months to 12/1/01, F-2B three months one week to 8/8/01, F-3 1 ½ months to 4/15/01, and F-4 two weeks to 3/15/01. It should be noted that F-2A remains current for all countries under both charts. EB final action dates – China EB-2 moved one month forward to 4/1/19, and the big story is that India EB-2 moved three months to 12/1/14. EB dates of filing saw China EB-2 moving forward one month to 5/1/19 and India’s EB-2 moving forward one month to 1/1/15. The Central American countries El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras EB-4 and certain religious workers categories advanced almost 6 months to 12/8/17. Diversity cases – all DV numbers in July are current for all countries except Egypt, Nepal, and the Bahamas, and all numbers for all countries will be current for August.

It should be noted that USCIS is using dates of filing for FB cases and final action dates for EB adjustment of status applications.

  1. Renewed guidance on distance learning.

ICE reaffirmed to all SEVIS users on 5/31/22 that the policy of allowing schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to Covid-19 only applies to students who were actively enrolled on 3/9/20, and have continually complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status. Students enrolling after 3/9/20 must adhere to the existing regulations regarding online learning. Under the March 2020 guidance, active F and M students are permitted to temporarily count online courses towards a full course of study in excess of the regulatory limits. Under the regulatory limits, online courses cannot count toward a full course of study for M and English language training students, and only one online or distance learning class can count toward a full course of study for an F-1 student during each term or semester.

  1. Changed lockbox for some I-485 EB filings.

Be aware that for cases with pending or approved I-140s, there is a change of address for I-485’s beginning on 6/6/22 for persons residing in New Jersey or New York. The I-485’s must now be sent to the Elgin lockbox. If filing concurrent I-140/I-485’s, those still go to the Dallas lockbox. The address of the Elgin lockbox is:


Attn: NFB
PO Box 4115
Carol Stream, IL 60197-4115


Attn: NFB (Box 4115)
2500 Westfield Dr.
Elgin, IL 60124-7836

  1. NVC current processing times.

In responses provided to the American Immigration Lawyers Association in lieu of the National Visa Center participating in the Spring 2022 liaison meeting, NVC acknowledged that its processing times continue to be lengthy due to substantial backlogs and that practitioners should refer to the NVC time frames page on to track the current public inquiry form response time and that the processing dates are updated weekly. It should be noted that NVC is also no longer answering its telephones so that it can catch up on the backlog. NVC now wishes everyone to look at its site for processing times before sending in inquiries which are not yet up to the date of processing. The site can be accessed at, or you can just type in on Google “NVC processing times”.

Currently NVC is taking two weeks to create a visa case and enter the data from the petition into the system after getting the file from USCIS (working on cases received 6/2/22 as of 6/13/22); taking 2 ½ months to review documents being sent to them (reviewing documents sent to NVC on 3/30/22 as of 6/13/22); taking one month and three weeks to respond to inquiries (responding to inquiries received on 4/22/22 as of 6/13/22).

  1. USCIS says “go Fish”

We realize that USCIS is behind the 8 ball in many areas, but it should improve especially in providing information to individuals on the status of their cases. The superficial improvements to the published processing times are not very helpful, especially when applicants are given an unrealistic distant date in the future on which they can inquire about their cases after putting in their receipt dates and clicking onto “Get Inquiry Date”. Also the site’s assurance that a person’s case is processing normally is based on no actual knowledge whatsoever. More disturbing is the lack of accommodation in the local USCIS offices with the mantra that everything has to go through the USCIS Contact Center before appointments can be scheduled locally. The difficulty here is that live representatives in the Contact Center are hard to reach and ofttimes unwilling to set up appointments for people to go to the local field office. A further problem is the nonsensical and essentially “go Fish” answers that are being given by USCIS on case inquiries that take about a month to respond to and can come from a variety of immigration offices and service centers that clearly have not even looked at or studied the case, most likely have not even accessed the file, and do not know what to do except to give platonic and not useful answers. For example, on an I-212 (Application for permission to reapply for admission into the US after deportation or removal) case remanded to the New York District office over a year ago, our most recent response last week was from the California Service Center thanking us for the inquiry with the message, “We will review your request and provide notification if additional information is needed.” At the very least, USCIS should make an effort to really solve people’s problems than to provide answers from a service center having nothing to do with the case, having no knowledge of it, and giving the appearance of merely satisfying a USCIS scorecard by racking up robot answers.

Q&A’s published on the World Journal Weekly on June 5, 2022 1. Do my H4 status wife need to file a form I-539? 2. U.S Citizenship 3. EB2-NIW Policy Alert Jan 21, 2022 4. Did not include green paper in new application 5. I-130 for brother 6. Do I need to apply for a visa? 7. How come my mom was denied a reentry visa?

1. Do my H4 status wife need to file a form I-539?

I am currently employed at Company A where my H1B is valid till 06/2023. My wife is in the US on H4. Both of our I-94s are valid till 06/2023. I recently got a job offer from Company B who is processing my H1B transfer. The attorney from company B asked me to fill out the I-539 form for my wife. My questions are: 1. Do I even need to file Form I-539 for my wife since her I-94 is valid till 06/2023 and is not dependent upon the employer but my H1B status? 2. If I have to file the I-539 form, then what date do I put in box 1 of Part 3: Processing Information? 06/2023?

Mr. Lee answers,
You are correct that where your H-1B is valid until 6/2023 and your wife has H-4 status until the same date, you do not need to extend your wife’s status as it is not dependent upon the employer but upon your maintaining H-1B status. Your wife may wish to do so, however, to keep the same date as yours on your H-1B transfer. If you decide to file the I-539, your wife would put in the same proposed date of validity as your new H-1B on box 1 of part three.

2. U.S Citizenship

I’m 22 years old. I moved in US on April 2nd of year 2014, I was 14 back then. I was only a legal resident when I came here holding a green card, but my dad is a US citizen since 2010 can I still apply for citizenship through my father now that I am 22. If I can how should I process my papers?

Mr. Lee answers,
You appear to be qualified for automatic US citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, if you were in the legal and physical custody of your father after coming to the US and before the age of 18. In such case, you should be able to file Form N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship to USCIS with the filing fee of $1170. You can apply online by creating an online account with USCIS or send by paper to the Phoenix lockbox of USCIS. The address of the lockbox is:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
USCIS P.O. Box 20100
Phoenix, AZ 85036
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Attn: Form N-600
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034-4850 

3. EB2-NIW Policy Alert Jan 21, 2022

I would like to understand USCIS Policy Alert issue on Jan 21, 2022. Am eligible for EB2 category, However my employer has not started the process yet Q1 – Can I use EB2-NIW category? Q2 – Without Employer, can I file EB2-NIW category independently based on my degree and experience? I am a China Born Australian Citizen Looking forward to lodge my perm filing with a Lawyer if I can file independently.

Mr. Lee answers,
The policy alert defines a USCIS attempt to attract and make the process somewhat easier for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM individuals to immigrate to the US. It has traditionally been easier for a NIW case to be approved where there is an employer. USCIS appears to have softened on the need where STEM people are concerned. For a more comprehensive look at your case, you should consult with an immigration lawyer who can look over your background and discuss your options including NIW.

4. Did not include green paper in new application

I applied green card and I got a rejection notice due to error in payment. I sent a new application but did not attach the green letter but only I-767C rejection letter of I-485 on top of my new application. I am playing by credit card and attached the G-1450 form also. Not attaching the green letter on the new application will make any difference to the new application?

Mr. Lee answers,
The green paper’s purpose is to alert USCIS personnel that a rejected application is being resubmitted. It makes it easier for USCIS to identify re-submittals. If you are resubmitting the entire package and timing is not an issue, the green sheet has less value. On the other hand, it has more value as an identifier if USCIS has already separated the materials, retained some, and returned the rest to you. 

5. I-130 for brother

I applied for my brother back in August 2008 and I-130 was approved 2010.  Di I still have to wait?

Mr. Lee answers,
In the month of May 2022, the dates for filing visa chart for most countries of the world other than India, Mexico, and the Philippines (longer waiting times) is only up to October 1, 2007. The dates for filing chart controls the time that further steps short of immigrant visa interviews can begin. The final action dates chart which controls when immigrant visa interviews can be scheduled and immigrant visas issued is currently only up to March 22, 2007 for most countries of the world. With an August 2008 priority date, your brother will have to continue waiting. Unfortunately, progress in your brother’s category has been very slow recently. Hopefully it will begin to speed up soon. 

6. Do I need to apply for a visa?

Canadian citizen. I visited the US for 3.5 months. Came back to Canada for a few weeks and would like to visit the US again for 4 months. It is unclear online if the 6 month allowance resets when I go back to Canada or if I am only allowed to visit for 6 months in a 12 month period. Visit only. No work, no school.

Mr. Lee answers,
An individual coming to the United States for purposes of visiting with visa (or for Canadians without visas) must still prove to Customs and Border inspectors that he or she is only visiting the US and not attempting to make the US the country of residence. Visiting the US shortly after leaving may raise questions concerning your intent. Six months is a guide and not a hard and fast rule, but visitors are encouraged to only be in the US six months and less during a year.

7. How come my mom was denied a reentry visa?

My mom is a green card holder and overstayed in the Philippines due to pandemic (since Jan 2020) she is a 62 yrs old and is a high risk (diabetes and hypertension) she is also a tax filer in the US, she is married to a US veteran. She has been in out of the USA since 2005. Pls advise me on this. Her green card is not even expired.

Mr. Lee answers,
A reentry permit must be applied for while the applicant is in the United States. Since your mother is overseas, she has choices of trying to apply for a special immigrant visa with the American Embassy or boarding a plane back to the US and explaining with documents her situation to Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry. Immigration lawyers by and large suggest the second course of action since it appears to be more difficult to obtain a special immigrant visa.