As published in the Immigration Daily on October 24, 2023
- EAD’s Increased to Five Years for Many Categories – Question.
USCIS on 9/27/23 announced that it is increasing the length of time for EAD’s in certain categories to five years for initial and renewal EAD’s. These include applicants for asylum or withholding, adjustment under section 245, and suspension or cancellation of removal cases. Also those admitted as refugees, paroled as refugees, and granted asylum or withholding. It clarified that certain Afghan and Ukrainian parolees are employment authorized incident to parole.
Question: As is known, an EAD is only an ancillary application dependent upon the fate of the principal benefit being requested. How does an employer in good faith who does not use E-Verify know that the job applicant is no longer authorized to work when the principal immigration application has been denied since the job applicant will still be presenting an immigration document that is still facially valid for employment as it is one of the documents on the I-9 “A” list that establishes both identity and employment authorization? While recognizing that USCIS has better things to do with its time than constantly extending employment authorization, perhaps a lesser amount of time, three instead of five years, would be more appropriate.
- Keeping Straight Ukrainian and Venezuelan TPS Timetables
With extensions and re-designations to the TPS programs of Ukrainians and Venezuelans, we thought to offer a short timetable of the benefits for each nationality to make them clearer as to deadlines to apply, date to be in the US for eligibility, and time limits of stay:
- First registration was from 4/19/22-10/20/23.
- Extension goes from 10/20/23-4/19/25.
- Re-registration for extension is from 8/21/23-10/20/23.
- Redesignation for those continuously resident in US since 8/16/23 and physically resident in US on 10/20/23 and thereafter.
- Redesignation also goes from 10/20/23-4/19/25.
- Registration period for redesignated goes from 8/21/23-4/19/25.
- Expected eligible Ukrainians for redesignation are 166,700 in addition to the 26,000 eligible for extension under the initial program.
- First registration and extensions were until 9/9/22 and 3/10/24.
- New TPS extension announced by DHS on 9/20/23 until 9/10/25.
- Reregistration for extension goes from 1/10/24-3/10/24.
- Redesignation for those continuously residing in the US since 7/31/23 and continuously physically present in the US since 10/3/23.
- Redesignation time goes from 10/8/23-4/2/25.
- Registration date for initial registration goes from 10/3/23-4/2/25.
- Expected eligible Venezuelans for redesignation or 472,000 in addition to the 243,000 eligible for extension under the initial program.
More complete information can be found for Ukrainians in the Federal Register / Vol. 88, No. 160 / Monday, August 21, 2023, and for Venezuelans in the Federal Register / Vol. 88, No. 190 / Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
- USCIS Adjudicating Dependent Nonimmigrant Applications Almost Simultaneously with Principal Petitions.
In case you missed it, USCIS posted a notice on its I-129 page that for H-4 and L-2 dependents who are applying in the same package with their principal’s I-129 petition, it will adjudicate the dependent I-539 application(s) directly after approving the I-129 petition. This includes H-4 and L-2 work authorization requests. The news is welcome to all as USCIS in the past adjudicated the dependent applications separately and could take weeks or months to make a decision, leaving a family in suspense even though knowing that the dependent application(s) would in all likelihood be approved. Hardship could arise in the situation where the dependent spouse was waiting for approval of employment authorization to take up or continue employment. The new policy may encourage the use of premium processing for the entire case in such situations. We remind dependents that no biometrics fee is required for the I-539 and that a mistaken combination payment for I-539 and biometrics will result in rejection of the application and upon resubmission not considered to be part of the above policy unless the I-129 was simultaneously rejected and the entire package resubmitted at the same time.