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Monday, August 30 2021
Advocates frustrated with administration as green cards poised to expire

The clock is running out on more than 100,000 employment-based green cards that the Biden administration could — but likely won't — issue before the end of the fiscal year.

The green cards, or permanent residency permits, are available for the administration to dole out to eligible immigrants but will expire on Sept. 30.

President Biden's pro-immigrant rhetoric has contrasted with former President Trump's restrictionist stance. But thus far, the administration has shown no signs that it will expend political capital to assign the expiring green cards, frustrating immigration advocates.

"It's a question of willingness. Are you going to be willing to take the risk on someone trying to stop you in court or not? And obviously they're not willing to risk litigation on behalf of this population," said David Bier, an immigration researcher at the Cato Institute.

Nearly 90 percent of the immigrants who would be eligible for the expiring tranche of green cards are Indian nationals currently on temporary work visas. They face decades-long wait times to receive permanent residency.

Those wait times are essentially baked into the immigration system, as country caps established in statute have combined with high demand for green cards from Indian nationals, many of whom are already in the United States under work visas such as the H-1B.

Advocates are growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of adjudication and want United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — the agency that grants visas, permanent residency permits and naturalizations — to fast-track applications, making use of green cards that were left unclaimed because of the pandemic and Trump administration policies.

"There's two reasons there's far more green cards available this year for employment-based immigrants than in prior years, because so few family-based green cards were used last year, and any unused family-based green cards get added to the employment-based limit for the following year," said Bier.

"The second reason is that the government did almost nothing to increase the speed of adjudications in order to meet the increased demand," he added.

More on this article can be found here:

Posted by: RAFAEL BERNAL AT 12:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 17 2021
August 2021 Update for K-1, IR-1, CR1, and similar Immediate Relative Consular Cases

The National Visa Center (NVC) is currently issuing notices for all cases still on hold with the NVC prior to forwarding to the appropriate US Embassy or Consulate for visa stamping appointments. While this is normal for most immediate relatives consular cases, K-1 cases are now being included in these email updates. 

The updates do not provide a timeline, but do indicate that cases are ready to be forwarded automatically when the time comes. This effort is to calm fears of petitioners and beneficiaries that are swamping the NVC and Embassies with calls and emails about their cases that are on hold due to backlogs in normal processing from the Covid 19 pandemic and continuing issues from Covid Variants. 

Good News: Immediate relative petitions and K-1 petitions are being given higher priority, and in some cases additional consular posts are taking on new case types that they've not traditionally done. For example, the US Embassy in Mexico City is now handling K-1 visa cases even though these cases in the past were exclusively done through the US Consulate in Juarez Mexico. 

Bad News: Though the NVC and embassy/consular posts are improving their communication, it is still impossible to tell how long a wait will be for a visa stamping interview at a particular post. Hopefully time will be saved and more resources spent on conducting visa stamping interviews where petitioners and beneficiaries follow the advice issued in the NVC emails and refrain from contacting the NVC or embassy locations where notice has already been issued that their case is documantarily qualified. 

Posted by: Christopher M. Pogue, Esq AT 08:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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