Impact of ACICS Loss of Recognition on Immigration Programs

We want to bring to your attention the recent development regarding the loss of recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). This decision, effective Aug. 19, 2022, has significant implications for certain immigration-related student programs and applicants, particularly those associated with English language study, 24-month STEM OPT extension, H-1B, and I-140 petitions.

CW-1 Status Extension Petition Filing Guide

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced special considerations for certain CW-1 petitions seeking an extension of status for temporary workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). In light of processing delays in the Temporary Labor Certification (TLC) by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), USCIS will accept these petitions as timely filed even if received after the current CW-1 petition validity expires.

Post-Employment Options for Nonimmigrants Part 2:

Workers with an approved employment-based immigrant visa petition (Form I-140) facing specific circumstances may qualify for a Compelling Circumstances Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for up to one year. This provision applies when individuals lack an available immigrant visa in the Department of State's Visa Bulletin and encounter compelling circumstances.

Tips for Smooth Paper Filings

In the era of increasing digitization, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) emphasizes the importance of specific practices when filing paper documents with a USCIS service center to streamline the scanning and processing procedures. To enhance efficiency and avoid potential delays, it is recommended not to hole punch, staple, paper clip, binder clip, or attach documents together in any way.

USCIS clarifies physical presence guidance for asylees and refugees

Effective immediately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a clarification regarding the physical presence requirement for asylees and refugees applying for adjustment of status. According to the updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual, both asylees and refugees must have been physically present in the United States for a period of one year at the time of adjudicating their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Post-Employment Options for Nonimmigrants

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance for nonimmigrant workers facing termination of employment, whether voluntary or involuntary. Individuals in this situation may explore various options to stay in the United States within an authorized stay period, adhering to existing rules and regulations.

USCIS Expands ADIT Mailings:

USCIS has introduced an additional mail delivery process for lawful permanent residents to obtain temporary evidence of their status, eliminating the need for a physical visit to a field office for the Alien Documentation, Identification, and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp, commonly known as an I-551 stamp.