by Attorney Shardha Kodem
Over the past couple of years, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been racketing it up against dependents of Non-Immigrants and Students.
On February 11, 2019, USCIS announced that it has revised the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status as of February 4, 2019, and that it plans to publish the revised form on the USCIS website on March 11, 2019. Starting on March 11, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539 and will reject any prior edition dates. USCIS also announced that it will be publishing a new I-539A, Supplemental Information for Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status that will replace the prior Supplement A. It is important to note that the revised Form I-539 has a significant requirement that every co-applicant pay a biometrics fee and attend an ASC appointment, regardless of age. We will have to consider the impact especially if there are short term approvals on the petitioning H-1B. This makes ITServe’s case on short term approvals even more critical.
This policy will also impact students looking to extend their F1 status or any change of status application and possibly aggravate the delays already seen in the adjudication of these applications.
OTHER STORIES INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
What does USCIS have against H-1B Spouses?
As you would recall, there is a pending Save Jobs USA case in the US Court of Appeals that is requesting US Court of Appeals to end the issuance of H-4 EADs. While the case is not held in abeyance any longer, the government missed the earlier deadline to file the brief by February 15, 2019 due to the government shutdown. The government has been given an extension until March 18th. So, for all practical purposes, beneficiaries should consider applying for H4- EAD now while the program is available or extending their current benefits. Employers should considering filing H-1B through the upcoming CAP season for these beneficiaries.