Updates in USCIS filing processes and legislations. The Law Office of Ify Ononogbu aims to keep everyone up to date with the latest insights in immigration news and updates for the United States.
Here is what’s happening in immigration in March 2022
Visa Bulletin for March 2022
The U.S Department of State releases monthly updates to priority dates indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center. View the latest green card waiting lists as of March 2022.
March 7th, 2022
The latest Bulletin from the U.S Department of State has been released for March 2022. The Bulletin shows that there are no big changes for Family-based applicants aside from small delays for Mexican citizens. Family-based applicants — except those in the F-2A category — must use the “Dates for Filing” (available on the State Department’s website), whereas F-2A must use the “Final Action Dates.” Employment-based visa applicants must use the Dates for Filing, as must applicants filing from outside the United States.
Ukrainians have been granted Temporary Protected Status in the U.S. On Thursday, March 3rd, 2022, the White House announced temporary protected status from deportation for Ukrainians amid the invasion from Russia. This status would be valid for 18 months and Ukrainians would have needed to be in the United States since March 1, 2022, to qualify.
USCIS has expanded credit card payments for filing fees to almost all forms, except Form I-129 for H1-B and H-2A petitions. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services announced they will evaluate the results at the end of the pilot program and take the necessary next steps.
Green card sponsor income requirements have been updated for 2022, rising from $21,770 to $22,887 for a family of 2. Income requirements change depending on the number of family members, and sponsors who reside in Alaska and Hawaii.
USCIS has announced deferred action for special immigrant juveniles (SIJ). These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and will be granted if the SIJ warrants a favorable exercise of discretion. USCIS will automatically conduct deferred action determinations for individuals with SIJ classification who cannot apply for LPR status because a visa number is not available.
March 14th, 2022
Data released by the Immigration and Customs enforcement shows a large reduction in arrests amongst immigrants. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations made over 100,00 annual arrests Under the Trump administration, which have reduced to around 74,000 in the fiscal year 2021.
USCIS backlogs continue to increase as work permits average wait time is now 8 – 12 months, compared to 3 months in 2020. This backlog is causing a risk for individuals depending on work permits to lose their jobs even as the U.S. experiences labor shortages.
A growing number of Russians and Ukrainians are traveling to Mexico, and crossing the border into the United States to claim asylum. More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia has invaded.
March 21st, 2022
Green card interview backlogs increased in March to 436,700 from 436,666 in February. The number of scheduled interviews increased by 18% however, still needs to increase more to reduce the backlog.
The Department of State (DHS) has announced the designation of Afghanistan for temporary protected status for 18 months. To be eligible, individuals will need to be residing in the United States as of March 15th, 2022.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that domestic offices are to reopen. Non-emergency public services, including asylum and green card interviews, and naturalization ceremonies will resume on June 4th.
March 28th, 2022
The Biden administration has formally ended the Trump-era expedited removal policy. The policy allowed Immigration and Customs (ICE) officers to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants anywhere in the country who were unable to prove that they had been in the U.S. continuously for two or more years, without a hearing in front of an immigration judge.
A new report by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonpartisan data gathering and analysis organization at Syracuse University, showed that 40% of new Immigration Court cases are for children under 4.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) is issuing a rule to improve and expedite the processing of asylum claims made by noncitizens subject to expedited removal, ensuring that those who are eligible for asylum are granted relief quickly, and those who are not are promptly removed.
Get in touch today with your immigration and family law needs. Virtual and in-person consultations are available in Dallas, Texas with Attorney Ify.
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