A rule that would temporarily increase the automatic extension period for employment authorization and documentation for certain renewal applicants has cleared White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review.

Key Points:

  • The text of the rule is not yet available. OMB review is the last step in the rulemaking process before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can publish the rule in the Federal Register.
  • USCIS will post the text for public inspection at least a day before the rule is officially published.
  • The rule is classified as a “major rule.” Such rules generally require a 60-day implementation delay from the date of publication.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and related funding and staffing issues have exacerbated backlogs across visa categories, and USCIS officials have said reducing wait times is one of the agency’s top priorities. This rule is part of a package of initiatives USCIS announced in March to address processing delays. The agency is also working to expand premium processing, hiring more staff and taking steps to improve case processing technology. More information is available here.

BAL Analysis: The temporary rule could help provide much-needed relief to employers and employees affected by USCIS processing delays. However, information about the scope and the effective date will not be available until the text of the rule is published. BAL will provide updates as information becomes available.

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

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