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Posted on June 15 2022

Five new steps taken for immigrants in the process of US immigration

By  Editor
Updated November 22 2023

News Highlights

  • 5 new changes have been announced by USCIS to set US immigration back on track
  • The changes cover various areas ranging from premium processing to visa extensions

US immigration update

Here's some latest news to be aware of if you are planning to migrate to US.

The USA has taken some very significant steps in a period of 2 months with an aim of setting US immigration and visa processing on track again. These new measures have also been taken to clear backlogs that were created after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scope of changes involves premium visa processing as well as granting extensions to international students. Here are the 5 new changes made by the USA.

Work authorizations (applicable to spouses of those who hold L, H, and E visas)

There’s a new guide that has been published for work permits for spouses of those who have L, E, and H spouses.

  • From now on application for EADs won’t be required for L and E dependent spouses.
  • Some E, H-4, or L dependent spouses will have the qualification for an automatic extension of their current employment authorizations and accompanying EADs. This is applicable, provided they file an application properly for the visa renewal before their expiry and have a Form I-94 that hasn’t reached expiry showing their current status.
  • Their automatic EAD extension will continue until the end date given in Form I-94 displaying valid status, the approval/denial of the renewal application of EAD, or 540 days counted from the expiry date of the previous EAD (whichever comes first).

*To learn more about US dependent visas, click here.

J-1 visa extension

STEM students, including those who graduated recently and want to start academic training, under 30 days after completion of their STEM-related studies, are now allowed to extend their J-1 visas for not more than 36 months.

The DHS has also added 22 new fields of study, They have been added to the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) program.


Here’s how you can get a US Green Card faster

O-1 Visa guidelines

An extended guideline has been published for O-1 work visas. This is for those with aptitude considered remarkable in certain fields such as education, sciences, athletics, arts, business, or motion picture/television production.

The applicant has to exhibit:

  • Extraordinary ability by sustained national/international acclaim, or
  • A record of achievement considered extraordinary in the television industry & motion picture, and have to be coming temporarily to the US to keep on working in the area of extraordinary ability

The new guideline lays its focus on submitting evidence with the same significance to that criterion with the intention to establish sustained acclaim as well as recognition. This is so in case the applicant demonstrates that a certain criterion doesn’t readily apply to their jobs.

Premium Processing (For holders of EB-1 and EB-2 visas)

A premium process has been introduced for 140 petitioners. They were having pending petitions under the visa categories of EB-1 and EB-2.

There will be a phased expansion. The phases are:

  • From June 1, 2022: Form I-907 requests for E13 multinational executive and manager petitions (received no later than January 1, 2021) will be accepted.
  • July 1, 2022, onwards: Form I-907 requests for E21 NIW petitions (received no later than June 1, 2021, and E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received not later than March 1, 2021) will be considered.

The premium processing availability of the following will continue to take place during the several phases of expansion:

  • I-765 EAD forms
  • Additional Form I-140 employment petitions
  • Change of status I-539 forms

Extension of authorized work period

Certain applicants for renewal who have filed the following qualify for an automatic extension of their employment authorization reaching expiry and/or EADs during the period their application status is “pending”. This includes employment, family, specialty, asylum, TPS, and diversity applicants.

  • Form I-765
  • Application for Employment Authorization

With this, the applicant's authorized period of work will extend from 180 days to 540 days. The USCIS expects that this will help immigrants steer clear of gaps in employment owing to EAD renewal applications that are pending.

If you are willing to migrate to US, talk to Y-Axis, the leading immigration and career consultant in the UAE.

If you find this blog engaging, you may also like:

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