GLF has prepared the following draft referencing content in AILA8 (Doc. No. 22051301) dated June 09, 2022.
Here are some of the important and much needed updates from Department of State:
NIV INTERVIEW WAIVER:
- NIV interview waiver is one of the steps taken by DOS to reduce the visa backlog burden. Expanded interview waivers to include certain first-time applicants
- DOS has issued more family-based preference visas in the first half of FY 2022 than it did in all FY 2021.
- DOS will continue to engage with general public through its Travel.Gov social media platforms with regards to EB-2/EB-3 Final action dates and to educate and address concerned individuals.
- If the approval notice from USCIS has not been transferred to NVC even after the completion of 60 days, then attorneys can reach to NVCResearch@state.gov to address their issue and submit the approval notice and relevant documents.
- Changes in DS-260 form after it has been submitted to NVC can result into loss of ‘spot in line’ for scheduling. However, applicant can make changes in the DS-260 form in CEAC site portal or by informing to the officer during the interview process.
- CEAC classification to upload in a best way is to scan documents properly in order to help NVC review process efficiently. Ensure documents are uploaded under the right sponsor or applicant name. In case of any issues faced during uploading documents, applicants can visit nvc.state.gov/fin and nvc.state.gov/document.
UKRAINIAN IV AND NIV ISSUANCE:
- No current plans to reopen consular services in Ukraine for now and will continue with the limited reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, consular processing and ACS services outside of Ukraine.
- Applicants can request to have their case transferred to another embassy or consulate. Frankfurt has been designated for the majority of Ukrainian IVs and Warsaw for Ukrainian adoption cases. DOS has made it clear that Consular Affairs is considering all staffing decisions in adding of staff to Frankfurt and Warsaw posts
- A denial in one category does not itself necessarily bar eligibility for a visa in another category. Applicants are advised to review the Department’s guidance on the various visa categories for which they may be eligible, and to select the category that most closely corresponds with their intended activities.
- B visa applications from Ukrainians will be adjudicated in accordance with existing standards for all other applicants.
- Passport services are available at Ukrainian Embassies and Consulates outside of Ukraine depending on demand and supplies. But under certain circumstances, the applicant can seek a waiver of the passport requirement, and the Department, acting jointly with DHS, may waive the passport requirement on a case-by-case basis.
- If a minor cannot secure a passport, but a parent/legal guardian possesses a valid passport, and the child is added to the parent/guardian’s passport to satisfy DOS requirements for visa issuance
MISSION MEXICO ISSUES:
- The US consulate in Tijuana, Mexico recently announced for consolidating all TN visa processing with efficient management and staffing resources
- Due to certain TN backlogs no temporary measures had been taken by DOS. There is no plan to shift the current TN processing post to any other location in Mexico.
Delay in Visa Issuance – DOS responded stated that it cannot always specify the cause for delays. However, visas are printed within several days after a consular officer makes the issuance decision. DOS will process the case only if it receives all the responses and it is not always possible to process on First in First out basis. And it is seeking to improve efficiency with new workflow processing reducing the timeline for pending cases.
INTERAGENCY ISSUES: PIMS/KCC:
Regarding the delays in USCIS approvals being uploaded into PIMs, DOS has asked members to refer to USCIS on change to their processes.
RIGHT TO COUNSEL/ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION AT INTERVIEW:
DOS stated that each post establishes its own policies regarding attorneys’ physical access to the consular section and visa interviews.
PANDEMIC IMPACT ON WHERE EMPLOYEES WORK:
Employees raised concern if DOS will approve the L-1 applications for intercompany transferees who will work remotely while in the United States. ? In response DOS stated that while reviewing an L visa application, consular officers will consider all relevant factors related to the applicant’s employment and the provisions of INA and there is no requirement that L visa applicants work exclusively in the office
APPLICANTS IMPACTED BY LARGE-SCALE DISRUPTING EVENTS:
Blanket authorisation for Direct I-130 filings for certain Afghan, Ethiopian, and Ukrainian Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens expiring on September 30, 2022, is temporary and there are no plans to extend the same. And it will also accept the I-130 filed by the petitioner who is not a resident of the consular district if they meet certain criteria, including physical presence requirements.
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