TN Processing Changes in Mexico
The United States embassy and Consulates in Mexico have resumed limited processing of nonimmigrant visas and have reported changed to nonimmigrant visa processing at specific posts.
- TN appointments are now only available in Mexico City, Ciudad Juarez, and Guadalajara
- Previously scheduled TN appointments in Tijuana will be honored.
- Expedited appointments cannot be accommodated
- Applicants in Mexico should expect a longer than normal wait time.
- Applicants applying in the same visa class and whose previous visa expired within the last 48 months may be eligible for the interview waiver program
- The Department of State has extended the validity of visa payments until September 30, 2023 to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment.
USCIS Agrees to Restore Path to Permanent Residency for TPS Beneficiaries
The Settlement between Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and USCIS and DHS will pave a way for TPS Beneficiaries to obtain Permanent Residency. This settlement came about from a case challenging a Trump-era USCIS policy change that ended the USCIS practice that previously allowed TPS beneficiaries a path to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident. This stipulation was filed on March 21, 2022.
From March 21, 2022, through at least January 19, 2025, unless an individual is an enforcement priority under DHS’ guidelines, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (“OPLA”) will generally exercise its prosecutorial discretion by agreeing to join a motion to reopen and moving to dismiss the removal proceedings of an individual who meets the criteria outlined below.
- Individual must possess Temporary Protected Status,
- has a removal, deportation, or exclusion order issued by the EOIR or INS,
- has traveled on advance parole since the order was issued; AND
- Is otherwise eligible to file an application for adjustment of status, including but not limited to those with a pending or approved I-130 petition who meet the “inspected and admitted or paroled” requirement of section 245(a) of the INA.
- OPLA will consider a request for a joint motion to reopen and motion to dismiss so long as request is submitted to OPLA during the Relevant period.
- Within 30 days USCIS & OPLA will publish notice about this process with instructions on how to submit motion to reopen and motion to dismiss.
- Use the existing OPLA prosecutorial discretion process to submit requests for joint motions to reopen and motions to dismiss.
- OPLA will aim to process these requests within 90 days but no longer than 120 days from the time the request is submitted.
- Should an individual’s order be terminated, an individual who has already applied to adjust status with USCIS and been denied solely for lack of jurisdiction, or denied solely for lack of jurisdiction and inadmissibility, may either file a new Form I-485 or move to reopen their denied application with USCIS, if timely.
- USCIS, within 60 days, will establish a process for allowing individual whose motions are untimely, to file an untimely motion to open.
USCIS Announces New Actions to Reduce Backlogs, Expand Premium Processing, and Provide Relief to Work Permit Holders
USCIS announced a trio of efforts to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the overall legal immigration system. USCIS will set new agency-wide backlog reduction goals, expand premium processing to additional form types, and work to improve timely access to employment authorization documents.
Expanding Premium Processing
Premium processing is an expedited adjudication service now available only to petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and to certain employment-based immigrant visa petitioners filing a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. Premium processing will now be available to:
- Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Additional Classifications under Form I-140
- EB-1 immigrant classification as a multinational executive or manager
- EB-2 immigrant classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver.
USCIS will implement this change in this fiscal year 2022. USCIS will begin implementation of this process by first expanding premium processing eligibility to Form I-140 filers requesting EB-1 or EB-2 immigrant classification.
Reducing Processing Backlogs
To reduce the agency’s pending caseload, USCIS is establishing new internal cycle time goals this month. These goals are internal metrics that guide the backlog reduction efforts of the USCIS workforce and affect how long it takes the agency to process cases. As cycle times improve, processing times will follow, and applicants and petitioners will receive decisions on their cases more quickly. USCIS has stated that it will increase capacity, improve technology, and expand staffing to achieve these new goals by the end of FY 2023.
The agency’s publicly posted processing times show the average amount of time it took USCIS to process a particular form – from when the agency received the application until a decision was made on the case. Internally, USCIS monitors the number of pending cases in the agency’s workload through a metric called “cycle times.” A cycle time measures how many months’ worth of pending cases for a particular form are awaiting a decision. As an internal management metric, cycle times are generally comparable to the agency’s publicly posted median processing times. Cycle times are what the operational divisions of USCIS use to gauge how much progress the agency is, or is not, making on reducing the backlog and overall case processing times.