DHS Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans: On July 11, 2022, USCIS indicated that it would extend TPS benefits for Venezuelans for an additional 18 months. The 18-month extension will be effective from September 10, 2022, through March 10, 2024. Only beneficiaries under the existing designation will be eligible to re-register for benefits. On September 7, 2022, USCIS posted public notice in the Federal Register instructions on how to re-register. Eligible beneficiaries must do so in the 60-day registration period from September 8, 2022 through November 7, 2022.
O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa Update: On July 22, 2022, USCIS updated its guidance for O-1A extraordinary-ability petitions related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This guidance provides further clarification on what evidence can support an O-1A petition in the STEM fields. The update delineated that being named on a competitive government grant for STEM research can be a positive factor toward demonstrating that a beneficiary is at the top of his or her field.
DHS Fails to File Appropriate Paperwork in Thousands of Immigration Court Cases: According to records obtained by Syracuse University, nearly one out of every six new cases DHS initiates in immigration court is now being dismissed because CBP officials are not filing the actual “Notice to Appear” (NTA) with the immigration court. This year so far, over 47,000 cases have been dismissed for this reason. By comparison, in 2013, only 355 cases were dismissed for this reason, roughly 0.2 percent of all court cases completed.
USCIS Extends COVID Flexibilities: On July 25, 2022, USCIS issued a notice indicating it would extend its flexibilities through October 23, 2022, allowing for 60 additional days to respond to Requests for Evidence, Continuances to Request for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, Notices of Intent to Revoke, Notice of Intent to Rescind, Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status, and Motions to Reopen N-400 Pursuant to Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant. USCIS is further evaluating which policies can implemented permanently.
Government Inactions Leads to Record Number Lawsuits: In May of 2022, federal civil courts received over 647 civil actions for mandamus and other immigration delay litigation cases, the highest in recorded history. At this rate, estimates project over 6,276 delay cases for FY 2022, up from 4,347 in FY 2021, also a record high. Although USCIS was not the only government agency listed as a defendant in the lawsuits, it has acknowledged that delays have increased in recent years and has promised to address the backlogs.