USCIS Published the Final Rule Withdrawing H-1B Wage Based Selection Rule

On December 21, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule withdrawing the Modification of Registration Requirements for Petitioners Seeking to File Cap-Subject Base H-1B Petition final rule, also known as the H-1B Selection Final Rule, issued January 8, 2021. The H-1B Selection Final Rule planned to shift the H-1B cap selection process from the current random lottery selection to a wage-based selection procedure. Currently, the H-1B cap selection process will remain under the current random lottery selection for FY 2023.

USCIS Granted Extension to Respond to RFE and Other Filings until March 26, 2022

In its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS extended its 60-day deadline extension policy for responses to various agency requests dated between March 1, 2020 and March 26, 2022, inclusive. The accommodation will continue to be available to those 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.

In addition, USCIS has extended the grace period to respond to Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, and Form N-336, Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings, from 60 days to 90 days if the decisions were made between November 1, 2021 and March 26, 2022, inclusive.

USCIS Issued Guidance on Biometrics Appointment Notices for Electronically Filed Form I-539

On January 3, 2022, USCIS issued guidance stating that it will not mail paper biometrics appointment notices for Form I-539 filed online. The biometrics notice will appear in the applicant’s USCIS online account under “Documents” once the appointment is scheduled. The applicant is required to print the copy of the appointment notice to present at their appointment.

President Revoked Proclamation Suspending Entry of Certain People Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Omicron Variant

On December 28, 2021, President Biden revoked Presidential Proclamation 10315, which had suspended entry of certain individuals physically present in countries where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 had been detected. Accordingly, the Department of State issued guidance rescinding the travel restrictions on Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, which took effect on December 31, 2021, at 12:01 am (ET). Vaccine and pre-testing requirements as determined by the CDC remain in effect.