Change of status applications, including F-1, H-4, L-2, etc.

Premium processing for change of status applications is finally being made available to students, marking a significant development. Previously, transitioning from say a B-1/B-2 to F-1 status could take more than 18 months, leaving individuals unable to commence their studies and stuck in a state of uncertainty. Moreover, due to the prolonged processing time, USCIS...

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One of the biggest issues faced by spouses of H-1 and L-1 holders in the last few years was that USCIS stopped processing their applications even when filed with the principal application.  This resulted in much uncertainty and due to delays in processing cases many spouses were forced to stop working. Prior to the Trump...

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When USCIS announced that H-4 holders would qualify for an automatic extension of their EAD, this was praised as a move in the right direction.  However, the caveat to this rule is that to qualify for an automatic extension an individual needs to have a valid I-94. The automatic extension was initially 180 days, but...

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On August 19, 2022, the Department of Labor stated it would no longer recognize the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges (ACICS) as an accrediting agency.  This announcement affects English language study programs and F-1 students applying for STEM OPT extensions. SEVP will notify students if their school is affected by the above and strongly encourage...

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Rather than adjudicate cases faster USCIS is extending certain employment authorizations up to 540 days.  This is a clear sign that faster adjudication times are still a distant promise and further evidence that USCIS continues to be incompetent.  I remember the days when USCIS had a 90- day turn around policy for issuing EAD cards. ...

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has now agreed to a settlement after the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Partners, filed a Federal Lawsuit claiming, that the prohibition on qualifying H-4 and L-2 applicants benefits from the 180-day extension, was unlawful. For details of our original article please click the following link: https://patel-law-group.local/aila-files-lawsuit-claiming-h-4-and-l-2-ead-should-qualify-for-180-day-automatic-extension/ The...

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USCIS processing times continue to increase for the majority of applications and have only been made worst by the ongoing pandemic, resulting in the agency being heavily understaffed.  This is especially true for H-4 and L-2 EAD applicants.  Because of the long processing times and the fact that these categories of work authorization are not...

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Having previously written two articles on Day 1 CPT (Curricular Practical Training) I keep being asked whether I would recommend Day 1 CPT and what are the potential consequences of taking it. If you haven’t read my previous articles, please find the links below: https://patel-law-group.local/why-day-1-cpt-is-not-a-good-idea-and-can-cause-more-problems-than-it-solves/ https://patel-law-group.local/day-1-cpt-revisited/ Please note that the first article was written during...

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