EAD Issues -- Change of Status -- H-1/PR
1) Special Student Relief (SSR) applications sent to CSC certified mail receipt requested (receipt shows INS receipt stamp) late summer/early fall with fee waiver affidavit were never "receipted by CSC nor was a card produced. These students re-filed paying the $100 fee and EAD's were received. Is requesting a waiver of the fee dangerous to the successful handling of SSR requests?
Fee waiver requests are handled differently than "routine" filings. The applications are not receipted in by the contractor. The application is routed to the ACD for determination if a waiver is to be given. If a waiver is approved the case is then sent back for data entry; if not it is rejected for proper fee.
2) SSRR requests are to receive priority handling. Is this still the case? Schools have noticed that their requests are taking much longer than the 4-6 weeks that used to be normal. Should some new procedure be followed to make sure they are handled quickly?
A review of the JIT shelf shows cases starting at 2/9/01 which is just slightly beyond 30 days. If you have specific cases that are older, please follow the inquiry guidelines for Division III to inquire about your specific case. (Inquiry guidelines for Division II are (a) first send a fax; (b) if no response in 10 days, send an email to the Division III emailbox; (c) if no response in 5 working days, send fax to ACD and then continue procedure up the line to the Director's office.)
3) OPT/Economic Hardship EAD's are taking more than the designated 90 days. Our experience is more like 140 days. What can you tell us about CSC processing and delays.
This is confusing to us because our JIT report shows these applications well under the required 75 days. As above, if you have specific case concerns, please submit an inquiry.
4) (C) (9) is not listed under 30 nor 90 day processing. What is the processing standard?
( C )(9) EAD's are within 90 days processing.
5) NAFSA is appreciative of CSC finding a solution to the 9 month rule for OPT applicants who are in their first year of study and/or who are in one academic year degree programs. Are there special challenges for CSC with the new agreed procedure (applications submitted 90 days before end of first academic year of study)? Are there ways school officials can help if there are? NAFSA understands that the beginning of the nine month of status is not date of arrival in the U.S. but program begin date as documented in section 5 of the I-20 is this correct? Should advisers document term end date when recommending Pre-completion OPT for those finishing their first academic year?
That is correct. The program start date is as annotated in section 5 of the I-20 unless the students' I-94 shows a later entry date. Then a request for evidence would be in order to establish time in status. It would reduce requests for evidence if the advisors would document the term end date for those pre-completion applicants.
6) What are the most frequent (preventable) problems faced by CSC regarding the adjudication of the EAD request? What recommendations/suggestions would you want to get out to school officers which would help you with these problems?
Common problems are incorrect photographs, no copies of back of I-538, no copy of I-20 page 4, no copy of form I-94 or F-1 visa stamp.
7) How long should DSO's wait for a receipt notice? What would be the proper procedure if no receipt notice is received but where the WAC# may be known because it is documented on the canceled check?
(A) Receipt notices should be received within 7 - 14 days of mailing depending on any front log the contractor may be experiencing.
(B) The student can call the INS Direct line (949/831-8427) to verify the WAC number is valid for the application or petition. There are no duplicate notices given for receipt notices.
8) Does mailing material "registered mail receipt requested" and/or courier slow down the entry of that case into CSC production system because of special handling?
9) What fax# or e-mail address does the DSO use in order to cancel an I-765? It is understood that such a request may be made prior to EAD adjudication. Could you give examples of when to use the fax # and/or when it is best to use the ([email protected]) e-mail address?
As soon as it is known that a request needs to be made to withdraw a request for employment, fax a copy of a signed withdrawal request to the Division III fax or ACD fax number. In order for a withdrawal to be accepted, it must be signed by the applicant. If the case has been pending for a while email and follow up with a fax to be included in the file.
10) NAFSAns have requested that CSC revisit the issue raised and answered at School's Day, Sept. 5 having to do with travel after applying for EAD but before receipt. CSC positioned that an application for OPT EAD would be considered abandoned if the student departs the U.S. before receipt of the EAD card. 8CFR 214.2(f)(13)(ii) was added after IMAC1990 when EAD production was handled by local INS offices. Admission to the U.S. has not been limited for these students.
No feedback has been received regarding this issue.
CHANGE OF STATUS:
11) Self supported student (substantial U.S. bank account documentation) applied for COS from visitors visa to F-1. Recent RFE asks for: "Explanation as to your means of financial support while you remain in the United States and submit a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, completed and signed by the person who will be supporting your, accompanied by evidence (such as bank statements, W-2s, etc.) to establish means of support." The RFE goes on to state in bold lettering, "Do not submit a personal letter of financial support." How does CSC intend for such a student to prove support?
The student must prove that s/he can fully support himself or herself and not only afford the tuition. If the student has provided bank statements and proof that s/he is self-sufficient, this RFE could have been issued in error. If the student is living with someone who is offering room and board and other living expenses, this must be documented by the party(ies) providing the service. If the student is providing all his or her living expenses and schooling expenses, a letter from the student with bank statements or other financial documents will suffice.
12) Some DSO's have incorrectly sent reinstatements to CSC rather than to the local INS office. What does CSC do with these requests? In what time frame are these requests forwarded to the responsible INS Office? Are they ever returned to the School Official? Is it possible that CSC would consider returning such requests to the school official?
CSC will relocate the file to the appropriate district. However, this relocation will not occur until the file reaches an officer's desk. There are no provisions for any front-end adjudications of any files. Therefore, the timeframe will be whatever is on the most recent JIT report. When the school discovers the error, the school should send the student to the district office for reinstatement and contact [email protected] so the file can be pulled and sent to the district. There are no provisions for the file to be sent to the school official. Once it's received at CSC, the government owns it.
13) What should a school do if the I-20ID student copy is not returned after COS is approved by the CSS? The approval notice contains the replacement I-94 but many agencies (DMV, Social Security) want to see the I-20ID student copy before providing service. What method of inquiry would be appropriate/effective? It is understood that the I-20ID copy will not accompany the COS approval notice.
(A) At the front end, the school can ensure that the student includes both copies when submitting the application. If only the School copy is submitted, that copy will be forwarded to South Dakota. The officer will not make a photocopy to return to the student.
(B) If the I-20 is not received within 10 days of receipt of the approval notice, the school should contact [email protected] so the file can be pulled and reviewed for the I-20. The school should include the current student address in the email.
14) Since a change of status is currently taking over 10 months, is CSC still willing to locate (pull) and adjudicate COS files for those who are now applying for OPT? What information should be included with the OPT request to secure this desired result?
Yes. The school should contact [email protected] and list (a) the WAC number, (b) the name, date of birth and current address of the student and (c) the reason for the email (graduation, internship/assistantships, I-765 filed for OPT, etc.)
H-1 and PR:
15) Can CSC clarify its policy as to which applications will be covered under the new "enhanced fee" program and how it will work?
This is still a pending process with nothing definite at this time. However, it appears that the Premium Processing Unit will begin with I-129 H2s, H3s, Ls, Os, Ps, & Qs. Complete information will be forthcoming as soon as plans become definite.
16) At the last liaison meeting (12/5), there was no information to be shared regarding the CSC's interpretation of the I-140 portability provision of the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000"? Any updates now for sharing regarding AOS applicants who benefit from this? Specifically, what procedure(s) should be followed--for example, notify the Service Center handling the AOS? letter only? receipt notices (which ones?) If the AOS applicant moves out of one Service Center's jurisdiction to another Service Center's jurisdiction, notify both Service Centers? letter only to transfer the AOS file? copy of receipt notices (again, which ones?). Anything else?
Per Division IV, nothing has changed since our liaison meeting of 12/5. The information that we shared at that time concerning the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000": we are waiting for Regulations to be published. In the interim we will accept a new I-140 with fee concerning spin-off, mergers or successorship cases or we can hold the original I-140/I-485 in abeyance until new regulations are published. We have been advised that we should have the regulation in April.
17) Persons eligible for the new Section 245(i) are required to prove U.S. physical presence on 12/21/2000. What documentation would CSC deem satisfactory to confirm physical presence?
Per Officer Johnson, evidence necessary to provide proof of presence on Dec 21, 2000, could include mercantile transactions, rent receipts, household bills, etc.
18) An AOS applicant and his spouse received the fingerprint appointment notification on Form I-797C noting the Case Type as "I-765" (and with the I-765 WAC number). Are the fingerprint appointment notices specifying I-765 as the Case Type rather than the I-485 as the Case Type? If the I-485 should have been noted, is a correction necessary? If yes, how? Could it be at the time of the fingerprint appointment at the Application Support Center?
No correction is necessary.
19) The N.S.C. provides a one-week window within which the person is to appear for fingerprinting. If the person can't make the scheduled time, they are told to go any Wednesday. Is it possible that the CSC notice could include this type of language/instruction?
Per Division IV, CSC has no "window". It is time specific. All notices that come out of the CSC provide the option to reschedule by indicating at the bottom of the appointment notice to change their appointment to the next Wednesday or Saturday afternoon.
20) The fax-back LCA system is currently experiencing significant difficulties/delays. If it is necessary to file the H-1B (new or extension) application before receiving the approved LCA what will CSC use as the begin date when finally able to approve the H-1B petition? (New petition: date requested or date of approval if later than requested date? Extension petition: date continuous from expiration or the date of approval if later?). It is understood that CSC will send an RFE requesting the LCA.
For H1bs continuing with the same employer, employment/status can continue as long as the LCA agrees. The LCA is the governing document so its "from" and "to" dates will be honored (as long as they do not go over the 6 year limit).
For H1b EOSs with "new" employers, the beginning date will be the date of the adjudication or later (if the LCA has a future "from" date or the petitioner has requested a future "from" date.)
21) How long is it taking for I-551 issuance after the I-89 and how long on the response to a G-731 inquiry? If no response is received to the G-731 within a reasonable time, what would be appropriate time and method to make an inquiry?
Per Division IV, it is taking between at 9 months for 551 issuance after the I-89 is received. If no response is received on an inquiry please use the CSC guidelines to follow up.
22) Checks made payable to "U.S. Immigration" have not been accepted. What "payable" would be accepted?
There is no logical reason why checks made payable to "U.S. Immigration" have not been accepted. According to the "Fee Acceptance Guidelines" for Labat-Anderson Inc.,
"(Checks or Money Orders) Must Be Made Payable To One of the Following:
. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
. Department of Justice (DOJ)
. California Service Center (CSC)/Western Service Center (WSC)
. Regional Service Center (RSC)
. United States Treasury/Treasurer
. Commissioner/District Director
. Any other reference to the Immigration Service
. Treasurer, Guam"
23) Portability of H-1B: Do we understand correctly that a person with valid H-1B status who wishes to change employers may begin work for the new employer once the new employer's H-1B petition is "receipted" by CSC. If the underlying H-1B status ends and the change of employer petition has not been approved, is the employee able to benefit from the 240 day work eligibility available to a person who is seeking an extension?
(A) Yes, as long as the beneficiary is still in status at time of job change which means a valid LCA on file.
24) I-485 approvals within 3-6 months is wonderful. Can we expect a continuation of this fast processing?
Per Division IV, we will continue to process as timely as we can.
25) Is it sufficient for an EB1-2 outstanding researcher to qualify by proving two of the listed criteria or does meeting the two simply establish a basis from which the person then must still show that they are an outstanding researcher?
From Division I: You have pretty much answered your own question. The statute at 203(b)(1)(B) states "an alien is described in this subparagraph if (i) the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area.
The regulation at 8 C.F.R. 204.5(i)(3) states that the petition must be accompanied by:
(i) Evidence that the professor or researcher is recognized internationally as outstanding in the academic field specified in the petition. Such evidence shall consist of at least two of the following: [goes on to list criteria]
The regulation goes on to mention some criteria such as:
(C) Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the academic field. Such material shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;
(D) Evidence of the alien's participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the same or an allied academic field;
The statute has precedence over the regulation and the requirement that the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding must be established. Criteria mentioned in the regulations such as published material and participation on panels as the judge of others work may or may not demonstrate that the alien is
recognized as an outstanding researcher. For example, there is a big difference between published material where the alien's work is merely cited as a reference versus published material that describes the alien's work as having an international impact in the alien's field to the extent that the alien is acknowledged as being an outstanding researcher. There are numerous researchers who are not outstanding that have their work cited by others in published material. But of those, very few are internationally recognized as outstanding researchers. Hence, merely fulfilling two criteria in the regulations may not suffice.
26) I-612 approval notices are often sent to outdated addresses. Is there a procedure to get the notice sent again, this time to a correct address?
If no change of address is given to INS prior to adjudication, the approval notice will go to the address on the application/petition. If a duplicate approval notice is required, a form I-824 would have to be filed in order to generate a new notice.
27) Recently, INS has been sending the actual green card to our office after adjustment. Is this something new? Is it policy?
INS routinely sends green cards to the place of residence of the resident alien. If our office is mistakenly sending cards to another address, please provide examples, and we can look into the problem.
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