Thursday, April 15, 2021

F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online if they are filing under one of these categories:

  • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
  • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
  • (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students.

OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student's major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or



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Monday, April 12, 2021

USCIS Confirms Elimination of “Blank Space” Criteria

USCIS today confirmed that for all forms it has reverted to the form rejection criteria it applied before October 2019 regarding blank responses.

In 2019, USCIS changed the form rejection criteria for:



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FY 2022 H-1B Cap Season Updates

H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap) including the advanced degree exemption (master's cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap. We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

Registrants' online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration (that is, for each beneficiary registered):

  • Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been comp


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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Updated Guidance on P-1A Internationally Recognized Athletes

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced updated guidance for adjudicating requests for P-1A nonimmigrant classification for internationally recognized athletes.

The guidance clarifies the meaning of the phrase "major United States sports league or team" as used in the regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(p)(4)(ii)(B), and specific to internationally recognized athletes, a category that is distinct from the additional P-1A categories created by the COMPETE Act of 2006. The guidance explains that we interpret the phrase "major United States sports league" to mean one that has a distinguished reputation commensurate with an internationally recognized level of performance, and "major United States sports team" to mean a team that



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Monday, April 5, 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners and requestors who are responding to certain:

  • Requests for Evidence;
  • Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
  • Notices of Intent to Deny;
  • Notices of Intent to Revoke;
  • Notices of Intent to Rescind;
  • Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and
  • Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.

In addition, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion or Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings (Under Section 336 of the INA), if:

  • The form was filed up to 60 calendar days from the issuance of a d


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Thursday, April 1, 2021

DHS Withdraws ‘Affidavit of Support’ Proposed Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the withdrawal of the affidavit of support proposed rule, consistent with DHS's commitment to reduce barriers within the legal immigration system that placed increased burdens on American families wishing to sponsor individuals immigrating to the U.S.

The Oct. 2, 2020, proposed rule would have changed the evidentiary requirements for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents wishing to sponsor an individual immigrating to the U.S. by completing an affidavit of support under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationalit



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