This report covers new policy guidance from USCIS instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial nonimmigrant petitions and extension requests for nonimmigrant visa categories.
Under updated policy guidance issued on October 23, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial nonimmigrant petitions and extension requests for nonimmigrant visa categories.1
Previously USCIS officers would give deference to prior determinations of eligibility when deciding whether to grant an extension of stay as long as the key elements remained the same, and no material error or fraud was found in the prior determination. The updated policy guidance rescinds this policy.
According to the USCIS Policy Memorandum of October 23, 2017, the prior guidance had the effect of:
Additionally, the Memorandum notes that the updated policy is “more consistent with the agency’s current priorities and also advances policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers” as described in the President’s April 2017 Executive Order to “Buy American and Hire American.”2
If you have any questions about how this policy revision may affect your company or employees, please contact a qualified immigration attorney.
KPMG Law LLP’s immigration practice will continue to provide updates about this topical issue as developments arise.
2 White House Press Release on “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (April 18, 2017).
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Canada.
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