Information for Afghan Nationals on Parole

Individuals who are outside of the United States may request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for a temporary period, on a case-by-case basis. While parole allows for lawful presence in the United States, the parolee technically remains an applicant for admission. Parole does not confer immigration status and does not provide a path to permanent residency or the ability to obtain lawful immigration status. However, a parolee may be able to obtain lawful status in the United States through other means.

USCIS may exercise discretion to authorize parole on a case-by-case basis for individuals with urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons to come to the United States for a temporary period. To avoid delays, all relevant supporting evidence to show that the beneficiary qualifies for parole and merits a favorable exercise of discretion must be submitted with the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. USCIS provides guidance on documentation to support parole requests on its webpage, Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests.

DOJ Proposed Rulemaking to Improve Asylum Process

In a key step toward implementing the Administration’s blueprint for a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend current regulations to improve the processing of asylum claims. The proposed rule would allow, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to hear and decide applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture (CAT) protection for individuals who receive a positive credible fear determination. These cases are currently assigned to immigration judges within DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Under the proposed process, an individual who establishes a credible fear of removal will be referred to a USCIS asylum officer for a hearing on the protection claims. The asylum officer will be authorized to adjudicate in the first instance requests for asylum, as well as eligibility for statutory withholding of removal or for withholding or deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. In a denied case, the individual may request de novo administrative review by an immigration judge under a streamlined process, with further administrative appeal available through the Board of Immigration Appeals.

USCIS Temporarily Extending Validity Period of Form I-693

Beginning Aug. 12, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, from two years to now four years due to COVID-19-related delays in processing. USCIS may consider a completed Form I-693 as valid if:

VSC New Address

Effective June 14, 2021, the Vermont Service Center will no longer receive any incoming mail at the St. Albans, VT facility, which is being decommissioned. Mail sent to the previous addresses will be forwarded for one year, but any mail sent to the previous addresses after June 2022 may be returned to the sender by the United States Postal Service or the courier service used.

USCIS Expands Partnership with SSA

USCIS announced that applicants filing for lawful permanent resident status are now able to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement card as part of the adjustment of status application process.

Previously, these individuals had to apply for a Social Security number at a Social Security office. USCIS is revising Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to include the additional questions needed to apply for an SSN or a replacement card.

Visa Bulletin 08/21

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and employment-based green cards. Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their relationship to a US immediate relative. Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for August 2021: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2021/visa-bulletin-for-August-2021.html