Below are a few quick news items regarding immigration that may be relevant to you.
- Signature now required for delivery of secure USCIS documents
USCIS will begin using the US postal services Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery system to mail permanent resident cards, employment authorization/advance parole and other documents. The immigrant beneficiary will have to sign for the document when the post office delivers it. An agent can also be designated to sign for the document but will have to fill out a Form 3801 or 3801-A issued by the postal service before they can be listed as an agent. More information on how to track delivery of your document can be found by clicking this link which will direct you to the relevant USCIS website.
- Processing of Adjustment of Status cases has slowed significantly
I mentioned in a previous blog post that the processing of family-based Adjustment of Status (green card) applications would slow down significantly when USCIS instituted their new policy of interviewing employment-based Adjustment of Status applications in October 2017. I recently checked the Atlanta USCIS processing times chart for Form I-485. A few months ago USCIS was showing the processing time to be about ten months. The USCIS processing time chart now shows an estimated time range of between 10.5 and 23 months to process the adjustment applications. In other words, it could take more than twice as long to get your green card than it did prior to October 2017. As a side note, I have also noticed that consular processing applications through the National Visa Center (NVC) slowed significantly. Some attorneys are reporting that NVC is taking approximately four months to issue receipt numbers and fee bills. I have noticed this in my practice as well.
- 190,098 H-1B petitions filed this year
USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the H-1B filing season which began on April 2ndand ended on April 6th. The season ended on April 6thbecause USCIS had more than 85,000 H-1B petitions on that date. 85,000 is the maximum number of H-1B visas that can be issued by the US government in any fiscal year. USCIS conducted its computer-generated random selection process (lottery) on April 11thto determine which petitions would be reviewed. You should find out if your case was selected in the lottery in late May and into June, possibly even later.
The world of US immigration law changes frequently. Check back next month to see what else is new.