USCIS Extends Deadline for Late Filings of H-2B Visa Stay Extensions and Status Changes

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an extension of deadlines for late filings for H-2B visa status changes and stay extensions. The policy manual has been updated, aligning with the commitments outlined in the H-2B Worker Protection Task Force report. This revision ensures that workers applying for subsequent visas or changes in immigration status will not face adverse consequences for staying beyond the specified admission period due to unforeseen circumstances.

USCIS Policy Manual Updated for H-2B Visa Stay Extensions and Change of Status

USCIS has modified its Policy Manual, allowing for the discretionary excusal of a nonimmigrant’s failure to file a timely request for a change of status or extension of stay under specific conditions. As defined by USCIS, extraordinary circumstances include difficulties obtaining a certified labor condition application or temporary labor certification due to government funding issues. Delays caused by work disruptions, such as strikes or labor disputes, are also considered extraordinary.

Aligning with Worker Protection Commitments: USCIS Addresses H-2B Visa Extensions

The recent USCIS policy update reflects the promises made in the H-2B Worker Protection Task Force report. Workers seeking subsequent visas or changes in immigration status will not be penalized for exceeding the specified admission period mentioned in their Form I-94 due to labor disputes at their workplace.

USCIS Clarifies Role in Non-Immigrant Status Changes and Extensions

While USCIS doesn’t directly grant visas, it evaluates requests for changes in status and stays extensions. Non-immigrants or their petitioners, under certain conditions, can seek an extension of their admission period. USCIS may also consider requests for a change in non-immigrant classification if specific criteria are met.

Excusing Late Filings: USCIS Outlines Criteria for H-2B Visa Extensions

USCIS may excuse the failure to file for an extension of stay or change of status under certain circumstances. The agency requires that the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances, the duration was appropriate given the circumstances, the individual has not violated their non-immigrant status, and they are not subject to deportation or removal proceedings in the case of extensions of stay.


Source: YAXIS