The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services made several updates to its policy manual. This notably includes clarifying the circumstances and criteria for expedited processing regarding Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). There are also updates to requests for evidence (RFE) and notice for intent to deny (NOID). The agency also increased the valid period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents from one year to two years in cases where there are pending adjustments to status applications.
The USCIS regards expedited processing as a special situation service for applicants who desperately need a decision on their request — an example would be those noncitizens who have a final order for removal.
“These policy measures are consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities to eliminate unnecessary barriers to our nation’s legal immigration system and reduce burdens on noncitizens who may be eligible for immigration benefits,” said Acting USCIS Director Tracy Renaud. “USCIS is committed to promoting policies and procedures that ensure we operate in a fair, efficient, and humane manner that reflects America’s heritage as a land of opportunity for those who seek it.”
RFE and NOIDs is a return to an Obama administration 2013 memo. It eliminates a 2018 memo from the Trump administration that permitted agency officers to deny immigration benefit requests instead of first issuing a NOID or RFE. This change enables applicants to correct innocent mistakes and omissions, improving the applicants’ chances for eligibility.
The administration made these changes to address the ongoing delays in completing the 370,000 adjustment-related employment authorization in the 2020 fiscal year.