US increases scrutiny for non-immigrant extension applications

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is instructing officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to extension applications as they do for initial applications for certain non-immigrant visa categories.US increases scrutiny for non-immigrant extension applications

Previously USCIS officers were only able to re-adjudicate an individual’s extension application if there had been a significant change in circumstances, where new information was provided that could affect the individual’s eligibility, or where an error had been made. The policy around this has now been rescinded, allowing USCIS officers to re-adjudicate the individual’s eligibility for the non-immigrant category, even if there has been no change in circumstances.

This policy reversal affects individuals applying for extensions of H-1B, L-1 and other non-immigrant categories.

Key Considerations

Employers should be prepared for this change to result in an increase in requests for evidence for H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O, P, TN and other non-immigrant extension applications, as well as longer processing times.

Employers should also be prepared for denials of extension applications due to these being more closely scrutinized.

Source: This update was prepared using information provided by the USCIS

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Roberta Carnaccini, Global Director of Immigration Operations.