Biometric screening for certain immigrants to be rolled back

| May 13, 2021 | immigration law

During the Trump administration, orders were enacted that made it mandatory that spouses of those in the U.S. on a work-visa had to have their fingerprints and photo taken before they could be granted a work permit. This caused significant delays in the processing of these types of work permit applications. Now, the Biden administration is looking to roll back this requirement.

The rollback

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stated that starting May 17, biometric screening requirements would be suspended for individuals who have either an H-4 derivative visa or an L-2 derivative visa. This is meant to address the problem that such screenings make it impossible for these spouses to avoid having a significant gap in their resume once the one-year work authorization has passed.

The class action lawsuit

A class action lawsuit on this topic has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. According to the complaint, while the Department of Homeland Security, while staffing at agency field offices saw an staffing uptick of almost 30% from the years of 2016 to 2020, DHS deprioritized applications for work authorization visas. This caused extensive delays in the approval of these visas, leading to job loss. A motion has been filed for a preliminary injunction that would make it mandatory for the USCIS to immediately process the plaintiffs’ applications.

Learn more about immigration law

It remains to be seen how the rollback of the restrictions on obtaining work visas will help. It also remains to be seen whether the class action lawsuit on this topic will be successful. Californians who are interested in learning more about immigration law are invited to explore our firm’s website for further information.