September 2020 Immigration Alert

Updates to USCIS Policy on New Forms, Premium Processing, and Filing Fee Increases Take Effect on October 2, 2020

As previously reported in Epstein Becker Green’s August 2020 Immigration Alert, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will increase filing fees effective October 2, 2020. In line with the announcement, USCIS has updated its Policy Manual and the Federal Register with the following changes:

  • USCIS will revise the edition date of certain forms. As a result, any affected form filed on or after October 2, 2020, that does not possess the 10/02/2020 edition date will not be accepted. The forms affected by this change include H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, L, O, E, TN, H-3, P, Q, and R petitions (Form I-129); a Request for Action on Approved Form (Form I-600/600A); the Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765); and the Request for Fee Waiver (Form I-912).
  • Premium processing adjudications will move from 15 calendar days to 15 business days, excluding weekends and holidays.
  • If USCIS is not able to complete premium processing within 15 business days, the agency will refund premium processing fees and may thereafter adjudicate the case under normal processing times.
  • Premium processing fees may be subject to increases based on inflationary rates under the Consumer Price Index.
  • I-485 application fees for minors under 14 years of age will increase to the I-485 application fee for adults.
  • USCIS may require that permanent resident cards (i.e., green cards), EAD work authorization cards, advance parole or reentry permit travel permission documents, or certificates of naturalization (i.e., U.S. citizenship certificates) not be delivered by the post office unless they are delivered with a signature confirmation.

Homeland Security Further Extends Special Flexibility for Verifying Forms I-9

Back on March 20, 2020, Epstein Becker Green posted a Special Immigration Alert indicating that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is allowing special flexibility to verify Form I-9 documents without requiring viewing the actual original documents.

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