U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plays a significant role in the processing of employment-based visas, and we want to ensure we use as many available visas as possible in fiscal year (FY) 2022, which ends on Sept. 30, 2022.
We urge anyone within the United States who may be eligible for an employment-based adjustment of status to note these important reminders regarding Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record:
- If you are planning to file an adjustment of status application, be sure to include a valid Form I-693.
- If you have a pending Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Application, please do not send an unsolicited Form I-693 to USCIS. We are proactively identifying employment-based adjustment of status applications with available visas that lack a valid Form I-693 and are directly contacting applicants to request that form.
- If you know that your previously filed Form I-485 does not have a valid Form I-693, your underlying petition is approved, and a visa is available to you, it will help USCIS use the available visas and adjudicate your application if you visit a civil surgeon and have a valid Form I-693 on hand when we send the request to you.
- A Form I-693 is valid for two years from the date that the civil surgeon signs the form.
For more information, visit our new Fiscal Year 2022 Employment-Based Adjustment of Status FAQs.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap), including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap. We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
On January 28, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year 2023 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 1 and run through noon Eastern on March 18, 2022. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to complete and submit their registrations using our online H-1B registration system.
Charlie does not expect retrogression in any of the Employment-Based categories in FY2022. If there needs to be a retrogression, he does not expect it to occur until last quarter of the year.
He hopes to resume estimates of coming visa availability in the October or November Visa Bulletin.
USCIS issued good news on Medical Exam validity today (8/12/2021)
USCIS is on track to approve more employment-based adjustment of status applications than it has since FY 2005. We have prioritized employment-based adjustment of status applications during every step of its processing and adjudication during this fiscal year. We continue to make processing and resource allocation decisions to increase the pace of adjudications and limit the potential for employment-based visa numbers to go unused.
If you are applying for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident with USCIS (also known as applying for a Green Card), please file Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Doing so may eliminate the need for us to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) and helps avoid adjudication delays.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related processing delays, USCIS has experienced delays in all aspects of operations. Applicants have also experienced difficulties beyond their control, including delays with completing the immigration medical examination. To address these issues, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period of an otherwise valid Form I-693.
Effective Aug. 12, 2021, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693 from 2 years to now 4 years. For decisions on Form I-485 issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021, the adjudicating officer may accept an otherwise valid Form I-693, if no more than four years have passed since the civil surgeon’s signature. The officer may accept for consideration a Form I-693 for a decision issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021 if:
- The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485;
- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and
- A decision on Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.
You are not required to file the Form I-693 at the same time you file Form I-485, and many applicants bring their completed Form I-693 to their interview. However, some applications may not require an interview. USCIS makes decisions to waive interviews on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, to help save time and avoid adjudication delays, please file Form I-485 and Form I-693 at the same time. It is also important to note that the date of the civil surgeon’s signature on the Form I-693 must be no more than 60 days before the date you file Form I-485 in order to retain its validity, regardless of whether you submit Form I-693 with your Form I-485 or after you file your Form I-485.
USCIS began notifying registrants of cap selection on Saturday, March 27, 2021. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has asked USCIS to confirm if USCIS has completed its first round of notifications. Although USCIS did not confirm either way, USCIS did inform AILA that the agency plans to send out formal communications to inform the public regarding if and when the selection period has closed and that stakeholders should see communications regarding this update from USCIS in the coming days.
USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap) including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap. We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
Registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration (that is, for each beneficiary registered):
- Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.
- Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.
- Denied: Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
- Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or otherwise invalid.
For more information, visit the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.
USCIS just announced that it will delay implementing a wage-based selection process until next year. For the upcoming H-1B cap season, USCIS will apply the current random selection process to any registration period that takes place before Dec. 31, 2021. This is very welcome news.
Forbes has posted a great article explaining the status of Trump’s H-1B rules under the Biden administration.
“During its four years, the Trump administration inflicted most of its immigration damage on businesses and high-skilled foreign nationals through memos, executive orders and proclamations. Near the end, Trump officials published two regulations to restrict H-1B visas and prepared a third rule for publication. Businesses, universities and H-1B professionals now wonder what the start of the Biden administration means for the fate of these three Trump-era H-1B rules.
One indication as to the fate of these rules came on Joe Biden’s first day. A January 20, 2021, memorandum sent by White House Chief of Staff Ronald A. Klain asked executive departments and federal agencies to postpone rules for 60 days that ‘have been published in the Federal Register . . . but not taken effect.’ The memorandum adds: ‘For rules postponed in this manner, during the 60-day period . . . consider opening a 30-day comment period to allow interested parties to provide comments about issues of fact, law, and policy raised by those rules, and consider pending petitions for reconsideration involving such rules. As appropriate and consistent with applicable law, and where necessary to continue to review these questions of fact, law, and policy, consider further delaying, or publishing for notice and comment proposed rules further delaying, such rules beyond the 60-day period.’
For rules not yet published, the memorandum states, ‘With respect to rules that have been sent to the OFR [Office of the Federal Register] but not published in the Federal Register, immediately withdraw them from the OFR for review and approval . . .'”