March was a very active month for US Immigration. GLF provided updates via our Google Business Page, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook handles on numerous US Immigration matters including:
1) USCIS extends RFE response deadline by 60 days due to Covid-19;
2) USCIS may reopen H-1B petitions denied under three rescinded Policy Memos;
3) USCIS struck down the Public Charge Rule;
We at GLF post regular updates on our Google Business Page, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook handles. Additionally, we also periodically send out GLF Newsletters when the subject matter is extensive and relevant for a detailed analysis. Presented below is a consolidated summary of all updates posted on GLF’s various social media handles for March 2021.
USCIS EXTENDS RFE RESPONSE DEADLINE BY 60 DAYS DUE TO COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, USCIS had further extended the deadline on RFEs. Now the applicants get another 60 days to respond (beyond the due date listed on the RFE) for RFEs issued between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, both dates inclusive.
Other than RFEs, the extension of deadline applies to the below requests as well:
1) Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14)
2) Notices of Intent to Deny
3) Notices of Intent to Revoke
4) Notices of Intent to Rescind
5) Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers.
6) Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory
Information After Grant; and
8) Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion; and
9) Filing date requirements for Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA).
Please note that the response to the USCIS should be submitted within 60 days from the due date as mentioned in the request or notice.
USCIS MAY REOPEN H-1B PETITIONS DENIED UNDER THREE RESCINDED POLICY MEMOS
On March 12, 2021, USCIS announced that it may reopen or reconsider the denials made earlier on Form I-129 Petitions based on three Rescinded Policy Memos. It will continue to use its discretion to accept the Motion to Reopen filed within 30 days of its decision or filed before the end of validity period requested in the Labor Condition Application.
The Rescinded PMs are as follows:
1) Policy Memorandum 602-0114 which rescinded the two following PMs
a) “Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements” issued on January 8, 2010; and
b) “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites,” issued on February 22, 2018.
2) Policy Memorandum 602-0142.1 which rescinded PM 602-0142 – “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions’,” issued March 31, 2017.
Both PM 602-0114 and PM 602-0142.1 clarified that they would apply to all pending H-1B Petitions, including the Motions on and Appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B Classification. Petitioners who received inappropriate denials or adverse decisions on the three rescinded memos have been asked to file the Form I-120B, Notice of Appeal or Motion with the appropriate fees, provided there is time left in the H-1B validity period and the relevant Labor condition application.
USCIS STRUCK DOWN THE PUBLIC CHARGE RULE
Beginning March 9, 2021 USCIS has stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule. This development is consistent with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012. DOJ had also stopped defending this Rule in the Courts and had asked for dismissal of all pending Appeals in the Federal Courts.
Here are the ramifications of this significant development:
1) Form I-944 was removed from USCIS website.
2) No need to include Form I-944 with I-485 filings after March 9, 2021.
3) Applicants may ignore any I-944 related RFEs for I-485s filed after March 9, 2021.
4) USCIS will be ignoring the I-944 and accompanying evidence for I-485 filings filed before March 8, 2021, where I-944s were included.
For I-129 and I-539:
1) From March 9, 2021, USCIS stopped considering information pertaining to Public Benefits (Part 6 of I-129 and Part 5 of I-539)
2) Employers and Beneficiaries were asked to ignore any Public Benefits related RFEs for I-129s and I-539s filed after March 9, 2021.
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GLF will continue to follow further developments in this matter and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available.
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