A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Monday, October 23, 2017

I-129 Extensions Subject to Closer Scrutiny

USCIS adjudication officers are requested to review I-129 extension petitions with the same standards used in reviewing new petitions, under an updated policy guidance of the agency.  This applies to common nonimmigrant visa petitions such as H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, etc.  

Extension petitions have been traditionally subject to less scrutiny if there are no material changes in the petitioner, beneficiary, and the terms and location of the underlying employment.  And these petitions generally have shorter processing times.  

The policy will "help advance policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers", according to L. Francis Cissna, who was sworn in as new Director of USCIS on October 8, 2017.

Under the new guidance, adjudication officers must apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and subsequent petitions for extension of status. It is, therefore, very important the employers and employees to provide sufficient and probative evidence to support all their I-129 petitions from now on to avoid denial or delays.  

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