1. USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS is extending the flexibility it announced on March 30, 2020, to help applicants, petitioners, and requestors who are responding to the following:
- 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.
If the issuance date specified on the request, notification, or judgment is between March 1, 2020, and March 26, 2022, inclusive, this flexibility applies to the papers listed above. USCIS will evaluate a response to the following requests and notices received within 60 calendar days of the response due date specified in the request or notice.
2. DOS Proposed Rule to Raise Several Consular Service Fees
The Departament of State (DOS) has Proposed to increase Visa Fees for Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) Application and Border Crossing Card Processing Fees, please see summary of the proposal below:
NIV fee from $160 to $245 per application (Consular Fee DS-160 application).
Includes the following applications: business and tourist travel (B1/B2); students and exchange visitors (F, M, and J); crew and transit visas (C and D); representatives of foreign media (I), and other country-specific visa classes, as well as BCCs for applicants age 15 or older who are citizens of and resident in Mexico.
NIVs related to employment in the United States from $190 to $310 (Consular Fee DS-160 application).
Includes the following applications: temporary workers and trainees (H); intracompany transferees (L); aliens of extraordinary ability (O); athletes, artists, and entertainers (P); international cultural exchange participants (Q); and religious workers (R).
3. President Revokes Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain People Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Omicron Variant
As we informed on December 3, 2021, the White House issued a proclamation on November 26, 21 restricting and limiting entrance for certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in countries where the COVID-19 Omicron variant had been identified. (86 FR 68385, 12/1/21)
• Republic of Botswana
• Kingdom of Eswatini
• Kingdom of Lesotho
• Republic of Malawi
• Republic of Mozambique
• Republic of Namibia
• Republic of South Africa
• Republic of Zimbabwe
President Biden rescinded Presidential Proclamation 10315, which had barred these individuals from entering nations where the Omicron version of COVID-19 had been found, on December 28, 2021. Following that, the Department of State published guidelines on the revocation of travel restrictions for Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, which took effect from 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2021. (ET). Vaccination regulations will continue to be enforced.
Written by Louanni Ribeiro, Senior Immigration Attorney at Drummond Advisors, and Matheus Etrusco, Paralegal da Drummond Advisors