Immigration Alert – U.S. Immigration Gridlock: The Dark Ages Begin on Oct. 1
August 31, 2017
Who: Employers with Immigrant Workforces (Chinese and Indian Nationals heavily impacted)
What: Projected exponential increase in immigration backlogs due to implementation of “extreme vetting” and pending October 1 change in long-standing USCIS immigration policy
Recommended Action: Proactive assessment of corporate immigration processes and sponsored employees within various stages of the immigration sponsorship life-cycle
U.S. Immigration Gridlock: The Dark Ages Begin on October 1, 2017
With the start of the federal government’s fiscal year 2018 on October 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin phasing in a new policy of requiring in-person interviews for all immigrants applying for Permanent Residence (Green Card) status. Currently, in-person Green Card interviews are not required for Employment-Based immigrants maintaining lawful status including highly educated professionals with bachelors and advanced degrees who have graduated from U.S. academic institutions.
Green Card sponsorship processes are already taking several years from start-to-finish in most categories – and for Chinese and Indian nationals, far in excess of 10 years. These new USCIS in-person interview requirements will tax the current immigration system and USCIS resources to the point of breakdown, making most immigration benefits illusory. Today, even without an in-person Green Card interview requirement, the USCIS does not have resources to keep up with current Green Card applications of law-abiding immigrants and their employers.
Chinese and Indian nationals and their employers – largely in the STEM fields – will bear the brunt of this new USCIS in-person interview requirement, in some cases pushing back the start-to-finish Green Card process for an entire generation, placing law-abiding, taxpaying immigrants and their employers into legal limbo.
By requiring in-person Green Card interviews, wait times will skyrocket and likewise require employers to needlessly expend resources to extend employees’ H-1B and other types of work authorization in an already-broken immigration system. To stay ahead of the curve and gauge options and alternatives, employers should consider an assessment of their internal immigration processes and sponsored employees within various stages of the immigration sponsorship life-cycle. In the meantime, the Dark Ages of immigration overload, lack of resources, and black holes begin on October 1. Contact Michael Kabik, Chair of Shulman Rogers’ Immigration Practice Group, to discuss how we may be able to assist with immigration legal compliance, proactive initiatives and best practices.
The contents of this Immigration Alert are general in nature, for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice.