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Immigration News Bulletin April 2023

FY 2024 H-1B Cap Initial Registration Period Opens on March 1

As we all know the initial registration period for the H-1B visa for the fiscal year 2024 H-1B cap will run through noon Eastern on March 17, 2023. Anyone who has submitted a registration for the FY 2024 H-1B Cap will be assigned a confirmation number. The number is solely to track registrants and cannot be used to track Case Status Online. USCIS will notify account holders of selected registrants by March 31. If enough registrants are received by USCIS, the selection will be random and the selected registrants will be notified through the myUSCIS accounts. However, if there aren’t enough registrants then all the registrants that properly submitted the initial registration properly will be selected.

USCIS Redesigns Green Card and Employment Authorization Document

USCIS has announced on January 30, 2023 that there will be new designs for both the Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documents to improve security. The new redesigned cards will be issued starting on Jan. 30, 2023. The new Permanent Resident Card and Employment Authorization Documents designs will contain state-of-the-art technology designed to safeguard national security and improve service for customers. The issuance of the newly designed cards does not mean that cards that have been previously issued are invalid. All previously issued cards will remain valid until their expiration dates. Some of the newly issued Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documents may still display the old design because USCIS plans to continue using the existing cardstock until the supplies are depleted. 

Some older Permanent Resident Cards do not have an expiration date and will remain valid, however USCIS encourages the holders of those cards to apply for a replacement card to prevent fraud or tampering if the card gets lost or stolen

USCIS Updates Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Age Calculation for Certain Adjustment of Status Applicants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued new guidance in Policy Manual under the Child Status Protection Act to update when an immigrant visa number “becomes available”. Congress had enacted the CSPA to protect certain noncitizen children from losing their eligibility to obtain lawful permanent resident status based on an approved visa petition. The new policy change is effective immediately and applies to all pending applications. 

“Under this new guidance, USCIS will now use the Dates for Filing chart to calculate these noncitizens’ ages for CSPA purposes, which provides these noncitizens with more certainty about their eligibility to adjust status.” In some cases, Noncitizens may be able to file a motion to reopen previously denied adjustment of status applications by filing Form I-290B. This policy, however, will not prevent all children from aging out before a visa becomes available, nor will it prevent the loss of nonimmigrant status that was derived from the parents.

USCIS Issues Clarifying Guidance for Individuals Authorized to Work Under Special Student Relief Provisions

New clarifying policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual is being issued by USCIS. Their purpose is to clarify the validity period of employment authorization for F-1 nonimmigrant students. The update seeks to clarify that in cases of severe economic hardship USCIS may grant off-campus SSR employment authorization. The authorization may not extend past the student’s academic program end date. Under the new update, emergent circumstances are events of severe economic hardship including, but are not limited to, natural disasters, financial crises, and military conflicts.

USCIS Announces Premium Processing; New Online-Filing Procedures for Certain F-1 Students Seeking OPT or STEM OPT Extensions

There was a new announcement on March 6, 2023 by USCIS regarding an expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training extensions. Form I-907, is also available online to F-1 students but USCIS continues to accept the latest paper version of this form by mail. To file online, applicants must first create a USCIS online account.

The Contributor of these articles is, Madhurima Boyapati Paturi. She is current Immigration/Legal Chair for ATA.

Disclaimer: The information provided here in is for public service and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. This information is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice .Please consult an attorney about your particular factual and legal circumstances.