BAL recently submitted a comment in response to the U.S. State Department’s request for ideas on how it can reduce barriers to immigration benefits, specifically in relation to immigrant visas.

The State Department published its Request for Public Input last month as part of its implementation of President Biden’s Feb. 2 Executive Order on legal immigration. In response, BAL made policy recommendations centered on the government’s obligation to administer immigrant visa issuance so that the U.S. meets the levels of immigration set by Congress each fiscal year. These recommendations included urging the State Department to:

  • Allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept more adjustment of status filings.
  • Provide immigrant visa forecasting further in advance.
  • Recapture unused immigrant visa numbers and issue them to applicants.

BAL also urged the Department to ensure that its efforts to reduce barriers in immigrant visa processing and prioritize immigrant visa adjudications do not come at the expense of mission critical business travel for global companies.

BAL Analysis: The State Department has taken steps in recent months to facilitate travel and improve access to consular services, including providing guidance on exemptions to the travel ban and expanding interview waivers. The Request for Public Input was a welcome opportunity for BAL and other stakeholders to present ideas for additional changes to reduce barriers to immigration benefits. The comment period closed Oct. 18. BAL will continue to track the Biden administration’s policies on immigration and will provide updates on important developments as they occur.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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