Entries by Jim Arkell

USCIS Waiving 60-day Rule for Medical Exam Filing

USCIS announced on December 9th that they are temporarily waiving the requirement that the I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record be filed within 60 days of being signed by a Civil Surgeon. The policy is effective immediately and is in effect until September 30th, 2022. The waiver applies to all pending cases, regardless […]

Recapturing of Unused Green Cards

It appears that there is a provision in the proposed spending bill presently before Congress which proposes to recapture more than 400,000 unused green cards. It is estimated that there are approximately 224,000 green cards that were allocated during the period from 1992 to 2019 which were never issued. Additionally, in 2020 there were 200,000 […]

I-485 Processing Times

An I-485 lawsuit was recently rejected by U.S. Federal Court. A group of I-485 petitioners recently filed suit against USCIS because of what they felt was an unacceptable delay in the processing of their green cards. The petitioner requested injunctive relief asking the Court to order USCIS to adjudicate their pending I-485 Adjustment of Status […]


The White House just announced that it will lift COVID related travel restrictions effective November. Although a specific date has not been given, it is anticipated that it will be in early November. While this is good news for those who have valid visas, it does not change the waiting times to obtain visas at […]


The CDC recently set forth new “Requirements for Immigrant Medical Examinations: COVID-19 Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons.” Beginning October 1, 2021 persons applying for permanent residence will be required to provide proof that they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus at the time of their medical exam or receive the vaccinations before the medical […]

Pilot NIW Green Card Rumor

There appears to be a rumor that the U.S. government has made it easier for pilots to obtain a green card through the NIW process. As respected leaders in helping pilots obtain green cards, we have been getting several inquiries from pilots and even other immigration attorneys inquiring about how pilots can obtain a green […]

USCIS NIW Processing Times Improving

We are seeing improvement in NIW processing times. NIW cases at the Nebraska Service Center have not been too seriously affected by the pandemic. NIW cases are still being adjudicated at the NSC in approximately 8 months. The Texas Service Center was struggling before the pandemic and became even worse. The NIW processing times posted […]

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. consulates and embassies in many countries around the world are still not operating at full capacity. 33 countries still require that non U.S. citizens or permanent residents obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE) before they can enter the U.S. from the affected countries. Embassy shopping has been pretty much […]

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on Deference to Previous Decisions

USCIS in furtherance of President Biden’s executive order, “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans” has issued a new policy guidance which restored the 2004 guidance giving USCIS officers deference. The 2004 guidance was rescinded in 2017 by the Trump Administration, in their efforts to curtail […]