On June 9, 2021, USCIS issued three policy alerts announcing updated guidance to the USCIS Policy Manual. All three updates are intended to streamline processing, reduce backlogs, and increase fairness in adjudications.
- Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny: Rescinds a Trump-era policy allowing adjudicators to deny an application for insuﬃcient evidence. Under this policy change, adjudicators will return to the prior policy of issuing “Requests for Evidence” (RFE) or “Notices of Intent to Deny” (NOID), allowing applicants to correct the ﬁling. The updated policy explains that an adjudicator should issue an RFE or NOID if there is a possibility that the application could be granted with additional evidence, but also clariﬁes that the adjudicators should not issue unnecessary RFEs and NOIDs.
- Employment Authorization for Certain Adjustment Applicants: Extends the validity for initial and renewal Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for adjustment of status applicants from one year to two years. The policy manual acknowledges that median processing times for some adjustment applications are close to or exceeds a year. As a result, some applicants with pending adjustment applications have lost work authorization. Under the new policy, green card applicants facing long delays in processing will have an additional year of work authorization during their processing period. This policy change is eﬀective immediately.
- USCIS Expedite Criteria and Circumstances: Clariﬁes the criteria and circumstances under which USCIS will consider expedite requests and restores the ability of non-proﬁt organizations to request discretionary expedite services. The policy manual guidance now clariﬁes that severe ﬁnancial loss to a company can qualify as a reason for expedited processing.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue to send updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.