Embassy Priorities

U.S. embassies and consulates are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications based on the category of immigrant visa as they resume and expand processing. The following lists the main categories of immigrant visas in priority order:

  • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)
  • Tier Two:  Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
  • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

Many embassies and consulates continue to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas. This prioritization plan instructs posts to maximize their limited resources to accommodate as many immediate relative and fiancé(e) cases as possible with a goal of, at a minimum, preventing the backlog from growing in these categories and hopefully reducing it. However, the prioritization plan also instructs posts to schedule and adjudicate some cases in Tier Three and Tier Four each month. The Department recognizes that visa applicants, particularly those in Tiers Three and Four, will face continued delays.

TPS for Burma

The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN)designating Burma for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective May 25, 2021, through Nov. 25, 2022. The designation of Burma for TPS allows an estimated 1,600 Burmese nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Burma) who have been continuously residing in the United States since March 11, 2021, and continuously physically present in the United States since May 25, 2021, to file initial applications to obtain TPS. Applicants must also meet additional TPS eligibility requirements.

Individuals applying for TPS under the designation of Burma must submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the 180-day initial registration period that runs from May 25, 2021, through Nov. 22, 2021. Applicants may also be eligible to apply for TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization.

Visa Priority

U.S. embassies and consulates are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications based on the category of immigrant visa as they resume and expand processing:

  • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)
  • Tier Two:  Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
  • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

Many embassies and consulates continue to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas. This prioritization plan instructs posts to maximize their limited resources to accommodate as many immediate relative and fiancé(e) cases as possible with a goal of, at a minimum, preventing the backlog from growing in these categories and hopefully reducing it. However, the prioritization plan also instructs posts to schedule and adjudicate some cases in Tier Three and Tier Four each month. The Department recognizes that visa applicants, particularly those in Tiers Three and Four, will face continued delays.

Review Services Offered

Are you looking for cost-effective attorney support without actually hiring for the entire processing of immigration filings? Based on feedback from the community and satisfied clients, we are pleased to offer the following services:

1. Review of adjustment of status application $500: includes full review of application with two 30-minute video calls to discuss edits and additions. Also includes one 30-minute follow-up session with Attorney during adjudication of case for questions/concerns.

2. Interview Preparation $500: includes basic review of application with two 45-minute video calls. The first call is to discuss what to expect at interview. The second call is a mock-style interview where individuals are separated and asked questions as will be done at interview. This includes a preparation guide as well to use while preparing. Also includes call on day of interview to discuss last minute questions or concerns.

Biometrics Scheduling by Phone

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that applicants, petitioners, requestors and beneficiaries may now call the USCIS Contact Center (800-375-5283) to reschedule their biometric services appointments scheduled at a USCIS Application Support Center. Previously, applicants had to submit requests in writing to reschedule their biometrics appointments.

Applicants must establish good cause for rescheduling and must call before the date and time of their original appointment to reschedule. If an applicant fails to call before the scheduled appointment or fails to establish good cause, USCIS may consider the application, petition, or request abandoned and, as a result, it may be denied.

DHS Withdrawing Proposed Biometric Rule

The Department of Homeland Security has withdrawn a proposed rule that would have expanded department authorities and requirements for collecting biometrics by removing age restrictions; requiring submission of biometrics for every applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or other individual filing for or associated with any immigration or naturalization benefit or request unless DHS waives or exempts the biometrics requirement; codifying the authority to use DNA test results; and authorizing the use of additional types of biometric modalities.

DHS announced its decision to withdraw the proposed rule, originally published on Sept. 11, 2020, in a Federal Register notice. The withdrawal is consistent with the Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, and additional administration priorities to reduce barriers and undue burdens in the immigration system.

Consular Processing Tiers of Priority

U.S. embassies and consulates are using a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications based on the category of immigrant visa as they resume and expand processing. The following lists the main categories of immigrant visas in priority order:

  • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. government)
  • Tier Two:  Immediate relative visas; fiancé(e) visas; and returning resident visas
  • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. government abroad
  • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

Many embassies and consulates continue to have a significant backlog of all categories of immigrant visas. This prioritization plan instructs posts to maximize their limited resources to accommodate as many immediate relative and fiancé(e) cases as possible with a goal of, at a minimum, preventing the backlog from growing in these categories and hopefully reducing it. However, the prioritization plan also instructs posts to schedule and adjudicate some cases in Tier Three and Tier Four each month. The Department recognizes that visa applicants, particularly those in Tiers Three and Four, will face continued delays.

Travel Ban India

The U.S. is suspending almost all travel from India beginning May 4 during a devastating Covid-19 surge. Those who fall under the exemptions will still be allowed to travel to the U.S. after the restrictions go into effect. The travel ban won’t apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents and their spouses.