The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided informal information about the inordinate number of Adjustment of Application (AOS) filings that it received in July 2007 and August 2007 while employmentbased immigrant visas were available in all employment-based immigrant visa categories. The USCIS informally stated that during this period it received over 320,000 AOS applications, more than 400,000 applications for Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) documents, and approximately 40,000 Form I-140 Immigrant Petitions for Alien Workers. The USCIS stated that due to this inordinate number of filings, it has a significant receipting front log at its Nebraska and Texas Service Centers. The USCIS also informally stated that it is exploring combining EAD and AP documents which are currently two separate documents into one document which would be valid for more than one year. The USCIS is also exploring allowing E and O nonimmigrants to travel internationally during the pendency of their AOS applications without an AP document using their valid visas, similar to H and L nonimmigrants. The USCIS also stated that it received more than 500,000 naturalization applications in the month of July prior to its fee increase. The USCIS stated that it normally receives approximately 70,000 naturalization applications per month.
Finally, planning for fiscal year 2009’s H-1B quota which opens on April 1, 2008, the USCIS is exploring significantly modifying the filing procedures so that the USCIS is not inundated with H-1B filings on April 1, 2008. One of the ideas which is currently being considered by the USCIS is holding a lottery prior to April 1st so that only H- 1B petitions which are selected through the lottery would be physically filed with the USCIS. However, it is assumed that the USCIS would have to release a regulation to change the H-1B processing procedure. Therefore, it is uncertain whether the USCIS will be able to significantly change the processing procedure in time for the fiscal year 2009 H-1B quota subject filings.
Additional information about the AOS receipting front log or changes to the H-1B filing procedures will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.