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Impact of ACICS’ Loss of Accreditation on F-1, H-1B, and I-140 Applicants

In an alert released today, USCIS announced that on August 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. This determination immediately impacts two immigration-related F-1 student programs:  1. English language study programs  2. F-1 visa holders applying for a 24-month science, engineering, technology, or mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) extension.   For the English language study program applicants, USCIS will issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) to any individuals who have filed an I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, on or after August 19, 2022, requesting a...

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USCIS Announces Second Phase of Premium Processing Expansion for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions

USCIS announced late last week that it will begin implementing its second phase of premium processing for certain petitioners who have pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, filed under the E13 multinational executive and manager classification (EB1C) or the E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW).  Beginning August 1, 2022, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:  EB1C multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before July 1, 2021; and NIW petitions received on or before Aug. 1, 2021.  ...

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Validity Periods of Certain EADs Updated to 2-Years

GIP Employer Alert: Validity Periods of Certain EADs Updated to 2-Years  Effective today, USCIS announced in a Policy Alert that it is updating the maximum validity period of EADs granted to certain applicants in the following categories:  Admitted as a refugee (a)(3);   Granted asylum (a)(5);   Granted withholding of deportation or removal (a)(10); and   VAWA self-petitioner (c)(31).   Individuals in the aforementioned categories will now receive initial and renewal EADs granted for a 2-year period (as distinguished from the previous 1-year validity period).   Additionally, USCIS confirmed that it will grant new and renewal EADs up to the end of the parole or deferred action period...

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How Immigration Statutes are Implemented

A great deal of confusion concerns what federal agencies may do. Before an agency may do anything, there must be a Congressional statute authorizing the agency to act. Congress might pass a law that provides: “The status of an alien who was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States or the status of any other alien having an approved petition for classification as a VAWA self-petitioner may be adjusted by the Attorney General, in his discretion and under such regulations as he may prescribe, to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if . . .” [Emphasis...

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