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Weekly Immigration News Recap (March 20-26)

Weekly Immigration News Recap (March 20-26)

Green Card Backlog Decreases By 6,000 Cases in March

The Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) saw a decrease in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog from 408,456 pending cases last month to 388,908 cases in March, a 4.8% decrease. The number of green card applicants whose cases were documentarily complete and ready to be scheduled for an interview decreased slightly this month, from 444,828 to 439,131 (a decrease of only about 6,000 cases). However, the number of people scheduled for green card interviews saw a significant jump, with the NVC scheduling 50,223 interviews in March, compared to 36,372 interviews in February.

Source: Boundless

USCIS Updates Policy on Time Frames for Paper-Based Filings and Responses Ending on Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal Holidays

USCIS has updated its policy manual to address cases when the last day to submit a benefit request or response to a USCIS action falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal holiday. In these cases, paper-based submissions will be considered timely if received by the end of the next business day. This update applies to all paper-based filings and responses received on or after March 29, 2023, and does not affect electronic filings or responses. USCIS is open to comments and feedback on this update.

Source: USCIS

Update to Filing Location for U Nonimmigrant-Based Form I-485

The filing location for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, for U nonimmigrants has been changed to the Nebraska Service Center. Applications must be postmarked on or before April 12, 2023, and any applications sent to the Vermont Service Center after that date will be rejected and returned. The updated address has been posted on the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-485 page.

Source: USCIS

USCIS Form and Policy Updates for Applying for Naturalization Based on Military Service

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated their policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding Form N-426, which is used to apply for naturalization based on military service. Applicants currently serving in the U.S. armed forces must file Form N-426 with their naturalization application. Former service members are no longer required to file Form N-426, but must submit a photocopy of their discharge document for all periods of service. This updated policy guidance is effective immediately and applies to all pending and future applications.

Source: USCIS

USCIS Announces End of COVID-Related Flexibilities

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain COVID-related flexibilities will end on March 23, 2023. Applicants and petitioners must respond to notices or requests dated after March 23 by the deadlines listed in the notice or request. Certain case-by-case flexibilities may still be available in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance. The flexibilities regarding reproduced signatures first announced on March 20, 2020 became policy as announced on July 25, 2022.

Source: USCIS

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