Immigration Update

Immigration News and Analysis
for Clients and Friends of Borene Law Firm

U.S. State Department Waives In-person Interview Requirement for Certain Temporary Visa Applicants, including Temporary Workers in the H-1 Professional Category, the L-1 Category (Executive, Manager or "Specialized Knowledge" Employee of a Multinational Company) the O, P and Q Categories and for Certain Students and Exchange Visitors in the F, J and M Categories

On December 23, 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that effective through December 31, 2022, U.S. consular officers are authorized to waive the otherwise mandatory in-person interview requirement for certain temporary work visa applicants who have had a petition approved by USCIS. Eligible applicants need to meet certain conditions, including that they are applying in their country of nationality or residence. Categories of applicants who can benefit include: H-1 Temporary Professional Workers, H-3 Trainees, H-4 Dependents, L-1 Intracompany Transferees, certain O Extraordinary Ability applicants, certain P Performing Artists, Q Cultural Exchange Visitors, F Academic Students, J Exchange Visitors, M Vocational Students, H-2 short-term temporary workers and certain other categories. The waiver of the in-person interview requirement can save many months of delay waiting to get an interview appointment.

Now is the Time to Identify Key Employees for H-1B Work Visa Sponsorship for 2022

• The H-1B work visa is the most commonly used work visa for newly hired professionals (Bachelor's degree and above).

• Only 85,000 new cap-subject H-1B work visas are available for all of Fiscal Year 2022.

• In 2021, more than 300,000 H-1 lottery registrations were submitted to USCIS

Interested employers should start now preparing new H-1B 2022 Lottery Registration applications for foreign workers, including computer/IT professionals, engineers, doctors, scientists, researchers, professors, managers and many other professionals. We recommend starting preparation of the lottery registration application well in advance to meet the registration deadline and to avoid disappointment.

After the 2022 H-1B quota is reached, there will be no new cap-subject H-1B work sponsorships available until October 1, 2023. If you have questions about the H-1B visa category or wish to obtain assistance with applying for any new H-1B work visas, please email us or call us no later than February 28, 2021 at 612.321.0082.

Read from Borene Law Firm, FAQ's about H-1 Work Visas

Worldwide Visa Interview Backlogs Continue as U.S. Consulates Struggle to Cope With Pandemic-related Staffing Restrictions -- Delays for Appointments Range From Months to More Than One Year

Despite recent steps by the State Department to address the problem, most U.S. consulates have very limited appointment availability. For example, the recent wait time for a temporary visa appointment in London, Paris or Mexico City was about two months.

In Toronto, the wait is more than a year and in India, only emergency appointments are available.

Many highly-experienced U.S. immigration lawyers are strongly discouraging legal temporary workers currently in the U.S. in H-1, L-1 or other categories from leaving the U.S. at all due to the high risk of not being able to get a visa renewal appointment and return to the U.S. within a reasonable period of time.

Scott Borene named 2022
Lawyer of the Year
in Immigration Law, Minneapolis by

Tip of the Month

Good News for Many U.S. Citizens Returning to the U.S. With a Recently Expired Passport

On December 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended permission until March 31, 2022, for certain U.S. citizens with recently expired passports to return to the U.S. using their expired passport. (Note: the U.S. passport must have expired on or after January 12, 2020, and certain other conditions apply.)


For the latest Official Processing Times from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for Visa Petitions and Immigration Applications

For the latest information from the U.S. Department of State on Immigrant Visa “Green Card” Quota Backlog (Priority) Dates
Many Afghan Refugees Leave Temporary Housing at U.S. Military Bases for Long-term Settlement in the U.S.

On December 23, 2021, The Hill reported that the DHS has announced that the last remaining Afghan refugees temporarily housed at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, had left for long-term resettlement in the United States. Overall, more than 49,000 Afghan refugees and evacuees have been resettled in the U.S. 25,000 Afghans remain temporarily housed at six other military bases in the U.S. awaiting resettlement.


Borene Law Firm In the News
George Maxwell and Scott Borene were expert speakers at the 2021 Minnesota State Bar Association's International Business Law Institute Program "Doing Business Across Borders", leading the panel on "U.S. and Global Work Visa Options"
Borene Law Firm rated "AV Preeminent" in 2022 - "the highest possible Peer Review Rating in legal ability and ethical standards" for the 28th consecutive year from "the gold standard in attorney ratings" - The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, All Editions, 1994 - present.

Jeanne Kildow was an expert speaker on "Employment-Based Immigration Preference Categories"
at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Annual Conference

George Maxwell was an expert speaker on the topic of "Overcoming COVID-19 Challenges: Creative Solutions for Nonimmigrant Visa Processing and Global Travel" in a program sponsored by the

Scott Borene recognized by other lawyers as 2022 Immigration Lawyer of the Year in Minneapolis as noted by

Copyright Borene Law Firm, P. A., 2021
 Immigration Update is a publication of:
Borene Law Firm
U.S. & Global Immigration
3950 IDS Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
United States of America
Phone: 612.321.0082
The information in this Immigration Update should not be considered specific legal advice; it is intended for informational purposes only. Anyone seeking specific legal advice should contact an appropriately experienced lawyer for a confidential, personalized consultation.