USCIS Updates Guidance on Expedite Requests

Posted by Berd & Klauss, PLLC on March 8th, 2022

The USCIS Policy Manual is the centralized online repository of the immigration policies of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It will ultimately replace the other policy repositories, including the Immigration Policy Memoranda site and the AFM (Adjudicator’s Field Manual). On January 25, 2022, the Policy Manual was updated to reflect the latest guidance on how the USCIS will determine a case’s eligibility for expedited treatment.

The new guidance on expedite requests became effective immediately and is currently the standard. Here’s what you need to know about the updates:

  • The USCIS has clarified the circumstances and criteria under which it generally considers expediting requests from nonprofit organizations as determined by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).
  • Additional examples are provided on how the USCIS may consider expedite requests made by local, state, or federal agencies, including employment and labor agencies.
  • The USCIS added examples to illustrate further how its expediting criteria relate to urgent humanitarian reasons and emergencies.
  • The USCIS also explained that some circumstances may delay or affect its ability to expedite a petition or an application.

Reasons for updating the guidance

The USCIS gets a lot of petitions and applications, and because of lockdowns and closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the backlog for processing immigration applications has ballooned. These delays have interrupted the operations of many companies eager to retain or hire foreign employees, as well as individuals eager to work. By updating its Policy Manual, the USCIS has clarified various circumstances and criteria, for requesting expedited treatment.

What employers and employees should know

Employers need to keep themselves up-to-date with the USCIS Policy Manual to  identify aspects that can be relevant to their needs. The USCIS will still consider expediting requests on a case-by-case basis, carefully weighing its merit and urgency.

Employers must show all relevant evidence to support their expedite requests. Employees must also provide evidence to show that there’s a delay in the adjudication of pending immigration matters and that this delay could lead to job loss and severe financial loss.

If you need clarifications about expedite requests, don’t hesitate to reach out to an immigration firm in New York. The best immigration lawyer in Queens can also help you deal with issues related to the matter.

About the Author:

This content is written by Patrick Klauss, Esq, who is an immigration lawyer and a partner at Berd&Klauss, PLLC. The firm specializes in immigration & immigration-related issues and handles everything from immigrant visas to deportation and waivers.

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Berd & Klauss, PLLC
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