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Immigration Predictions - 2022

Posted on: 01/10/2022
President Joe Biden took office last year with high expectations and major challenges to be addressed. The White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced several new policies to ease burdens and bottlenecks on the immigration system throughout 2021, overturning some of the more vicious and restrictive immigration policies introduced by previous administrations. We hope to see more improvements before 2022, but expect some challenges. 
USCIS and DOS delays to be expected
  USCIS balances have surged over the past two years, reaching more than 8 million pending cases by the end of fiscal 2021. With the closure of US embassies and consulates around the world in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the issuance of permanent residency cards by the US State Department has resulted in a staggering balance of over 9 million copies. Fiscal year 2021. Applicants lined up. About 7.5 million people are waiting for green cards for family reasons and 1.6 million people are waiting for green cards to get a job. 
 Some experts specifically view the USCIS's backlog as a "resource matter" that may require additional financial assistance from Congress. This is because USCIS is funded almost entirely by fees it receives from applicants. The  Administration is implementing a number of initiatives to address bottlenecks and delays, such as reusing biometrics for some applicants from March 2020, and restoring policies that the Trump administration has canceled to allow USCIS to rely on previous decisions for renewal requests and status renewals. I've taken some steps. . As well as expanding staff and overtime at Lockbox facilities. In the summer of 2021, the State Department also began hiring new employees. Increasing staffing and training should allow these and other improvements to continue, reducing turnaround times and increasing flexibility. However, 8 million USCIS pending cases and 9 million DOS pending cases are resource intensive, even as staff numbers increase. And given that the number of applications received by agencies increases each year, it seems reasonable to expect this trend to continue into 2022. Not liquidated in 2022 Immigration reform.
 On December 16, the senator announced that immigration advocates' Plan C (parole and work permits for illegal immigrants permanently living in the United States starting in 2011) could be included in the Better Recovery Act, which Democrats are trying to repeal. Certain immigration proposals passed in House of Representatives bills, such as the Reacquisition of Permanent Resident Provisions or provisions that allow applicants to pay additional fees to expedite cases, have not yet been submitted to Congress.
 Some Democrats and immigration advocates have urged MPs to be ignored or replaced, but several senators have said they oppose the choice. Since lawmakers haven't issued a "Plan D", immigration reform is now better delayed and potentially dead in the Senate with the Reconstruction Act. 
 However, some supporters still believe that comprehensive immigration reform may not be possible, but there are certain policies that are popular with the public and can act individually. Bills to protect dreamers, key workers, and temporary protective status holders are widespread, and House Democrats will be pressured to keep their campaign immigration promises in their constituencies. 
  H1B Visa Improvements
The Biden administration said it plans to further improve the H1B visa program, which will allow US employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers for hard-to-fill jobs. The program is heavily biased towards the STEM profession where software developers make up the largest portion of the pie. The 
  H1B program has been heavily criticized by supporters and opponents of immigration, some claiming to artificially lower wages for American workers, and others claiming that it can exploit foreign workers by unscrupulous workers. Given the manpower shortage, especially the long-standing need for additional staff in STEM fields, the Biden administration is seeking to rethink programs to address these diverse challenges. 
 Some of the proposed changes this year include:  
Changing the definition of a relationship between an employer and an employee 
H1B worker wage increase 
Establishing rules for visiting employers 
Congressional Inaction on Immigration Administrative Actions 
 Given the partisan stalemate in Congress, it is unlikely that serious immigration legislation will be enacted in 2022. This could take the form of presidential proclamations and directives, or it could take the broader use of departmental rulemaking, as it did in previous administrations, such as the 2019 State Fee Rules or the 2020 Fee Rules. While 72% of Americans support Dreamer's citizenship path, the Dreams and Promise Act is essentially dead in the Senate. Following this deadlock and the decision of a Texas federal judge, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a proposed rule to codify the DACA program. Upon notice and comments, these rules will be finalized to become part of the CFR governing immigration law, together with the Immigration and Citizenship Act (INA). 
  Fee Increases
 The Department of State has proposed a significant increase in fees for most nonimmigrant visas in 2022. Visitor visas (B1/B2) and student visas (F, M, J) are highly likely to increase by more than 50% from $160 to $245.

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