With immigration laws, sometimes change is the only constant. There is a lot going on for 2023 and keeping up with the changes might not be easy. At the end of December 2022, Congress passed the FY (fiscal year) 2023 Omnibus Spending Bill to fund immigration operations. It reauthorized E-Verify and some other immigration programs up through September 30, 2023. President Biden is expected to sign this bill. Here are just some of the additional changes to be coming down the road.
Buses Will Continue to Come In
Southern states have been airing grievances about the increased numbers of migrants crossing the southern border. As a result, buses filled with migrants will continue to come into the country, heading further north. If the number of injuries, fatalities, and health issues increases, this issue will most likely escalate.
The Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing
The availability of premium processing for H-2B supplemental cap petitions has been temporarily suspended but is scheduled to resume on January 3, 2023. After that date, petitioners who file H-2B supplemental cap petitions can apply to upgrade by filing Form I-907. Premium processing remains in effect for the other kinds of H-2B petitions.
A Centralized Filing Location
Petitioners who request additional H-2B workers need to file at the California Service Center in Laguna Niguel, CA. This allows better management of the extra workload. Petitions that are filed under the supplemental allocations (in this rule) at other locations will be rejected. This change is separate from petitions filed under permanent H-2B regulations.
Reauthorized Immigration Programs
The E-Verify program referred to earlier applies to foreign medical graduates who work in underserved areas and special immigrant non-minister religious workers. This was reauthorized until the end of FY 2023. The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was also reauthorized.
A Trial for an Updated Naturalization Test
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be conducting a trial for updates to the existing naturalization test. If the updates are approved, the new test may have a civics component and an English-speaking component.
In 2023, new EB-5 investors who invest in infrastructure, high unemployment, and rural projects will receive preferred treatment over backlogged EB-5 investors. There is a lot of paperwork involved here, so it is a good idea to get started early.
Improved Processing Times
The USCIS hopes to reduce processing times for immigration applications, with hopes of decreasing the backlog of immigrant cases. Improved technology and expanded staff will be implemented for increased capacity. The agency also claims that there will be premium processing for immigrant work Form I-140 petitions and Form I-765 employment authorization applications. There may be a permanent biometrics exemption for those who apply for a change of nonimmigrant status.
The Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Can Help You Navigate Through Constantly Changing Immigration Laws
Immigration laws are complex and can be confusing, and once you understand how they work things can change. Our experienced, compassionate Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. understand our client’s needs and work to solve their legal problems. For a confidential consultation, call our Philadelphia offices at 215-925-4435 or complete our online form. We serve clients nationwide.