This Week in Immigration: USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT, DHS Announces Registration Process for TPS Haiti, USCIS Gains New Director


Welcome back to Visalawyerblog! It is the start of a brand-new week filled with new immigration updates. In this blog post, we share with you the very latest news from USCIS.

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT

We are happy to report that thanks to a new court order issued by the District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, USCIS has extended flexibilities for certain foreign students filing Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization for Optional Practical Training (OPT), who have been negatively impacted by USCIS delays in issuing receipt notices.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for OPT and STEM OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 as filed on the original filing date if the following is true:

  • The original, timely filed application was received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through Oct. 31, 2021, inclusive; and
  • USCIS subsequently rejected it.

To take advantage of this flexibility, refiled applications must be received by November 30, 3021, for USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date.

Additionally, for applications received through October 31, 2021, applicants can file Form I-765 up to 120 days before the program end date.

Why have these flexibilities been extended?

USCIS has been experiencing delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students. These delays are a result of COVID-19 restrictions, a dramatic increase in filings of certain benefit requests, postal service volume and delays, and other external factors. To provide some relief, USCIS is extending the above-mentioned flexibilities to assist certain applicants for OPT impacted by the delays.

DHS Announces Registration Process for TPS Haiti

Tomorrow USCIS will be publishing a notice in the Federal Register including instructions on how to register for Temporary Protected Status under the designation of Haiti.

The 18-month designation of Haiti for TPS will be effective on August 3, 2021, and will remain in effect for 18 months, through February 3, 2023. The registration period for eligible individuals to submit TPS applications begins August 3, 2021 and will remain in effect through February 3, 2023.

This designation allows eligible Haitian nationals (and individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) who have continuously resided in the United States since July 29, 2021, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since August 3, 2021, to apply for Temporary Protected Status.

For more information please visit the TPS Haiti USCIS webpage.

Need help filing? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-569-1768 or call 619-819-9204.

USCIS Gains New Director

We are happy to inform our readers that on Friday, July 30, 2021, the United States Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee, Ur Mendoza Jaddou, to lead the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mendoza, born in Chula Vista, California, becomes the first Senate-confirmed woman, and the first person of Arab and Mexican descent to head the agency since its inception.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of the Department of Homeland Security welcomed Jaddou’s appointment adding, “It is my honor to congratulate Ur Mendoza Jaddou on her confirmation as Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Ur has two decades of experience in immigration law, policy, and administration.  She will administer our Nation’s immigration system fairly and justly.  As the daughter of hard-working immigrants, Ur understands how immigrant families enrich our country and the challenges they face.  I want to thank the United States Senate for confirming Ur.  I look forward to working closely with her to rebuild and restore trust in our immigration system.”

As the daughter of Mexican and Iraqi immigrants, Jaddou understands the harsh realities facing vulnerable groups of immigrants including refugees and asylees. Jaddou brings two decades of experience working in immigration policy, including as Chief Immigration Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, and she served as a top Obama administration lawyer from 2014 to 2017.

We are pleased with this appointment and are confident that DHS and USCIS will create a new path forward that will respect the dignity of immigrants and their families.

Helpful Links

Questions? If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-569-1768 or call 619-819-9204.


Need more immigration updates? We have created a new facebook group to address the impact of the new executive order and other changing developments related to COVID-19. Follow us there.

For other COVID 19 related immigration updates please visit our Immigration and COVID-19 Resource Center here.