As per a News Alert dated May 1, USCIS has extended the flexibilities announced earlier on March 30 for assisting applicants and petitioners that were responding to requests by USCIS.
This includes all those petitioners and applicants that are responding to certain –
- Requests for Evidence [RFE]
- Notices of Intent to Deny [NOID]
- Notices of Intent to Revoke
- Continuations to Request Evidence [N-14]
- Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to terminate regional investment centres; and
- Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
As this includes those responding to Requests for Evidence [RFE] and Notices of Intent to Deny [NOID], the announcement comes as a relief for H-1B workers and Green Card holders.
The announcement will bring hope to H-1B workers as well as Green card holders in the US that were unable to respond to requests by USCIS in a timely manner due to COVID-19 special measures.
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa allowing US companies to hire foreign workers in speciality occupations requiring technical or theoretical expertise. US Green Card, on the other hand, officially known as the Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US that bears proof that the card holder has been awarded the privilege of residing permanently in the US.
The US can issue a total of 65,000 H-1B work visas in a year. Additional 20,000 H-1B visas can be granted to those high skilled workers that have obtained their masters or higher degree from an American educational institution.
Under the present law, the US can issue a total of 1,40,000 employment-based green cards in a year. Per country cap of 7% is applicable, that is, no country will receive more than 7% of the total number of Green Cards to be issued in a year.
The flexibility will be applicable if the date of issuance on the notice/request/decision is “between March 1 and July 1, 2020, inclusive”.
As per USCIS, several measures such as these have been adopted for the protection of the workforce and the community as well as for minimizing the immigration consequences for all those seeking immigration benefits in the current duration.
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