Immigration agency extends length of certain work permits, announces new mission statement (2023)

Immigration agency extends length of certain work permits, announces new mission statement (1)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced plans to immediately increase the length of validity for certain types of work permits to reduce the times that immigrant workers will have to file applications.

It also unveiled a new mission statement laying out its vision to be more "inclusive and accessible" under the administration of President Joe Biden, after the previous administration's more restrictive approach to immigration.

The federal agency responsible for overseeing the country's legal immigration systemfaces an application backlog of3.8 millionworsened by theCOVID-19 pandemic, according to an internal watchdog report.

That has led to long delays for many of theimmigration petitionsthey process, especially to issuework permits.They account for 1.4 million of the 8 million applications that Citizenship and Immigration Services has pending for visas, permits and green cards for immigrants living the United States.

Applicants face processingdelays

Applications that in the past took weeks, have instead taken the agency months to process. The delays have at times extended beyond the validity of the permits and automatic extensions, forcing thousands of immigrant workersto leave their jobs as they wait for the agency to process applications.

(Video) BREAKING: USCIS Leaked Memo: DO NOT wait for Green Card. Work Authorization↗️Immigrant Visa petition

The agency announced Tuesday it would extend the length of six types of work permits in order to reduce the number of applications that will have to be added to an already lengthy queue.

"The policy updates were not only intended to address processing delays — which are an agency priority — but also afforded USCIS the option to quickly shift adjudication resources when necessary," Ana Santiago, a Citizenship and Immigration Servicesspokesperson, said via email.

Immigrants with temporary status or protectionin the countryneed authorization from the agency to work legally in the U.S. There are nearly 60 categories eligible to file a Form I-765, the application to receive work authorization. The agency is extending the validity of work permits for six of those categories.

  • Refugees.
  • Asylees (granted, not pending status).
  • Individuals granted withholding of deportation or removal.
  • Applicants under the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Individuals paroled into the country for urgent humanitarian reasons.
  • Individuals granted deferred action, but not including DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Previously, applicants under the first four categories were eligible to receive a one-year work permit. But effectiveimmediately, all new and renewal applications will be valid for two years, if approved.

Forthe remaining two categories, approvedwork permits will extend for the duration of their parole or deferred action period, instead of shorter periods of time as was the case before this week.

(Video) Canada New Work Permit : NO IELTS, LMIA & Job Offer ❌ ICE Process 2023 | Canada Immigration

Who will be affected by the changes

The moveis expected to benefit a relatively small pool of applicants. In fiscal year 2021, Citizenship and Immigration Services approved more than 120,000 applications under thesix I-765 categories affected by this week's change. That same year, the agency approved a total of 1.6 million work permits.

"These steps are just the beginning and USCIS will continue to work with urgency to bring down processing times across the board, including for (employment authorization documents)," Santiago added, referring to the formal name for the work permits.

Citizenship and Immigration Services hastaken other steps over the past year to reduce the backlog in work permit applications.Thefive-year strategy is to digitize applications in order to boost efficiency and reduce response times.

The agency has extended automatic extensions for certain permit categories and is reusing fingerprints on some renewals to process the applications more quickly.It moved applications from immigrant healthcareworkers to the front of the queue.

But the new changes the agency announcedwould not impact the largest block of I-765 applications, those for asylum seekers with pending cases, which accounted for nearly 333,000 of permits approved last year. Those are already two years in length, with an automatic six-month extension for unresolved applications to renew the permit.

(Video) How to fill out a work permit application (Form I-765) as an asylum seeker

Long wait time:Thousands of essential immigrant workers languishing amid federal processing backlog

Agency sued for processing delays

The Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project, a nationwide nonprofit, and the American Immigration Council in Washington filed a lawsuitin San Francisco on behalf of five asylum seekers against Citizenship and Immigration Services for the processing delays on work permits.

Immigration agency extends length of certain work permits, announces new mission statement (2)

Theyarguethat the agency is not moving fast enough to process applications, resulting in lossesof employment and other benefits for immigrant workers whose work permits expired or are close to expiring because of the delays.

Dayana Vera de Aponte, an asylum seeker from Venezuela, is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit. She had her I-765 approved in January, nearly 11 months after she first filed the application. Her permit expired before then, forcing her to stop working for two months.

"It's hard:I had to borrow money to pay the most important things. I have a car, I have credit cards I have to pay, other pending accounts, the rent,"she told The Arizona Republic last month.

(Video) WORK PERMIT FOR VISITORS IN CANADA - GOOD NEWS! Policy extended - Visitors convert to Work Permit

The U.S. Justice Department, representing the federal government in court, filed a motion last month to dismiss the lawsuit. That motion is under seal. A hearing is set for March 11.

Agency rebrands mission statement

The agency came under fire from immigration advocatesduring former President Donald Trump's administration. Trump was accused of politicizing the agency and adding requirements that increased the backlog.

In 2018, the agency removed references about a "nation of immigrants" from its mission statement.OnWednesday, the agency's chief unveiled a new mission statement, after consulting with its19,000 employees on the change.

The new mission statement reads: "USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve."

Have any news tips or story ideas about immigration in the Southwest? Reach the reporter at, or follow him on Twitter at @RafaelCarranza.

(Video) Extend Your Open Work Permit in Canada | Step-by-Step Process for filling form IMM5710e | 2023

Support local journalism. Subscribe to today.


1. 2 Big Good News of USCIS : Speed Up Work Permit EAD & New Changes in Green Card & EAD Cards 2023
(US Immigration News)
(euro dreams)
3. USCIS Announces New Processing Time Table! I USCIS Backlog
(Zavala Texas Law)
4. How to Extend ICT Intra Company Transfer Work Permit Step by Step In Canada
5. Updates from INZ: timeline of changes to work visa and other details
6. How to apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit Extension under the new Public Policy from IRCC
(Kumar Vlogs)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated: 04/01/2023

Views: 5515

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.