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Immigration News Briefs

Provided by Humera Subhani Email Provided by Humera Subhani
November 2020
Immigration News Briefs

Big jump in visa priority dates for Indians

The October Visa Bulletin surprised many employment- based visa applicants by moving the EB3 (Employment-Based Skilled) category ahead by almost five years to January 1, 2015. It mostly affected those Indian nationals with priority dates from 2010 to 2015, as it allowed them to file for their adjustment of status applications from October 1, 2020.

Due to the unusual situation of EB3 moving faster than EB2 (Advanced Degree Professional), many Indian nationals are in the process of “downgrading” their I-140 approvals in order to concurrently file for EB3 I-140 and I-485 applications. This was very welcome news for those waiting for numerous years to file for adjustment of status, which would allow more flexibility in work and travel.

The EB3 category also became current for other countries of chargeability (including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal), so that EB3 applicants were able to file for their I-485s beginning October 1, 2020.

Premium processing fee rises; service expands

On September 30, 2020, Continuing Appropriations Act-2021, and Other Extensions Act was signed into law. Included in the bill was a provision that drastically changes the premium processing service offered by USCIS. On October 16, 2020, USCIS announced that effective October 19, 2020, premium processing fees will increase from $1,440 to $2,500 for benefit requests that are already eligible for premium processing services through the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, except for H-2B and R-1 petitions which will see an increase from $1,440 to $1,500. Any Form I-907 that is postmarked on or after October 19, 2020, must include the new fee amount.

Upcoming changes that are not yet implemented will have premium processing available for the following:

•All employment-based nonimmigrant petitions

• All I-140 petitions, including for EB1-C category and for EB2 National Interest Waivers (NIWs), both of which have not had premium available

• Form I-539 applications, which are used to apply for a change or extension of status for most dependents (e.g. H-4, L-2) along with F-1 students, B-1/B-2 visitors, etc.

• Form I-765, which is used to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)

More details, such as the fees required for each type of petition, will be released soon.

Federal judge blocks USCIS fee increase

A U.S. federal judge blocked an increase in immigration fees a few days before it was due to go into effect on October 2, 2020. The fees were set to go up by an average of about 20% depending on the type of application. The halted fee hikes include a $50 fee for asylum applications, the first time the U.S. would have charged such a fee. One of the most controversial increases was the cost for applying to be a naturalized citizen which was due to increase from $640 to $1,170.

The new rules were to also have eliminated certain categories of waiver eligibility such as showing extreme financial hardship. Some applicants would no longer have been eligible under tighter household income thresholds. USCIS will appeal this decision, but for now applicants have at least some time to apply under the old fee structure.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES—​​NOVEMBER 2020

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

​15Sep14

​15Sep14

2A

Current

Current

2B

08Jul15

08Jul15

3rd

​15Jun08

15Jun08

4th

​​08Mar05

​22Sep06

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Dec18

Current

2nd

​0​1Sep09

Current

3rd

​​01Mar10

Current

Other

​01Mar10

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current

 

 

 DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS—​NOVEMBER  2020

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

​​22Jul15

​​22Jul15

2A

01Aug20

01Aug20

2B

​​01May16

01May16

3rd

​​01Jun09

​​01Jun09

4th

22Nov05

​15Sep07

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Sep20

Current

2nd

15​May11

Current

3rd

01​Jan15

Current

Other

01​Jan15

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

CurrentB

 


Visa Bulletin for October 2020 is available on our website.
Please go to
http://www.khabar.com/magazine/ immigration

 


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