June 2021 was a very active month for US Immigration. GLF provided updates via our Google Business Page, LinkedIn and Twitter handles on numerous US Immigration matters including:

  1. USCIS updated policy manual to improve Immigration Services
  2. USCIS issued relaxations on certain Lockbox filings.
  3. Mailing address of Vermont Service Center was changed
  4. FY-2022 H-1B Cap Registration Process data is out!

We at GLF post regular updates on our Google Business Page, LinkedIn and Twitter 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 June 2021.

USCIS issued updates to its Policy Manual to improve its services:

  1. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Validity Period: Updated policy on EADs increasing the validity period to two (2) years from existing one-year renewal term on EADs for certain adjustment applicants (I-485);
  2. Request for Evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) issuance: Updated RFE and NOID policy returns adjudications to the principles of the 2013 memo. July 2018 memo allowed officers to deny any immigration benefit request without first issuing an RFE or NOID. Now, there would be limited circumstances where officers could deny a case without an RFE or NOID and USCIS encourages officers to issue RFE or NOID if the defect in the filing could be cured and emphasized that unnecessary RFEs and NOIDS should be avoided;
  3. Expedited Processing: Restored the ability of nonprofit organizations to be considered for expedited processing, even if premium processing was available for the requested benefit among other changes. 

USCIS issued relaxations on certain lockbox filings to applicants impacted by delays at a USCIS lockbox. These temporary relaxations are effective for a period of 60 days from June 10 until August 9, 2021:

  1. For filings between October 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, if rejection were due to the expiration of filing fee payment while awaiting processing, applicants would be allowed to resubmit the request with a new fee payment. USCIS would consider the original filing date and also waive the $30 dishonored check fee;
  2. USCIS also gave an opportunity to applicants to resubmit the application if the benefit request was submitted on time but due to delays at the lockbox the applicants had reached an age where they became ineligible for the benefit requested. If established, USCIS will re-accept the request as received on the original filing date.

USCIS confirmed that the above flexibilities will not be applicable to Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322.

Started from June 14, 2021, the Vermont Service Center would no longer be receiving incoming mails at their St. Albans, VT facility.

Mails sent to the previous address (St. Albans, VT) would be forwarded to the updated address (Essex Junction, VT) for a period of one year. However, from July 2022, any mail sent to the former address would be returned to the sender by the United States Postal Service or the courier service used.

The new addresses for VSC is as follows:

  1. Premium Processing Mails: Premium Processing Service, USCIS Vermont Service Center, 30 River Road, Essex Junction, VT 05452-3808
  2. H-1B Cap Mail: USCIS Vermont Service Center, 38 River Road, Suite 1000, Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001
  3. All Other Mail: USCIS Vermont Service Center, 38 River Road, Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001

USCIS announced that it received a total of 308,613 H-1B registrations during the initial registration period for FY-2022, out of which 87,500 were selected to move to filing.

USCIS received registrations from more than 37,000 prospective petitioners and roughly 48% the registrations were under the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). The H-1B cap electronic registration process was well-received by users, who provided a high satisfaction score of 4.87 out of 5.

USCIS received more registrations this year compared to last (FY-2021). FY-2021 also saw a second round of selection process in August 2020 that led to the selection of 18,315 more registrations. But it was surprising to see that during FY 2021, USCIS received 274,237 H-1B registrations and selected 106,100 registrations whereas this year USCIS selected only 87,500 out of 308,613 registrations. 87,500 total selections were way too close to the 85,000 cap and we are as such expecting that there will be a second round of selection this year also.

At GLF, we will continue to follow further developments in the above discussed and other matters, while we provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available. GLF receives numerous emails and phone calls every day seeking comments on various proposed bills and media reports that are often inaccurate. It is our job to separate fact from fiction and advice clients on important and relevant updates. The best way to receive accurate information is through GLF Newsletters.

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Posted in: Newsletter