USCIS recent policy update announced in  June 2021 aims to make the process more flexible and accessible, looking at the challenges people faced during the phase of the pandemic. Alejandro N Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, explained the new policy change as a new way to make the application process fast and ensure better accessibility to the legal system around immigration.

What Are The Broader Aspects Of The New Update?

Keeping in view the broader objective of the update of reducing hindrances and making the system more accessible for the immigrant population, the policy changes cover four vital aspects:

1. Faster processing of applications falling under specific categories

2. EADs or Employment authorization documents

3. RFEs ( Requests for Evidence ) & NOID ( Notice of Intent to deny )

4. Lockbox filling

Decoding The Update:

Expedited processing: The new update broaden the definition of exceptional cases against which one can request expedited processing.

The cases as per update are :

A. Severe financial loss to a company or person provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:

  1. Timely file the benefit request or
  2. Timely respond to any request for additional evidence;

B. Emergencies and humanitarian reasons or crisis

C. Nonprofit organization (as designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)) whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States;

D. Cases that interest U.S. government (such as urgent cases for federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense, DHS, or other public safety or national security interests, U.S. Department of Labor); or

Employment authorization documents: The changes around EAD in update focusses on efficient use of scarce resources amongst different priority areas and reduces the requests for employment authorization to the USCIS. The new update extends the period of the status of both renewal and initial application from one to two. This change would reduce the delay of ongoing processing, which further curbs the authorization process and piles up the cases on the post.

Request for Evidence and Notices of Intent to deny: People often make unintentional mistakes and blunders in their applications. And the older memo of June 2018 gave USCIS officers rights to deny immigration benefits without requesting an RFE or NOID. The updated policy mandates USCIS to issue RFE or NOID in cases like this, giving the beneficiary a chance to correct the error and reapply for benefits.

Lock Box Filing:  A lockbox facilitates the acceptance of stipulated fees by the USCIS. The filling facility is currently present in 3 locations: Chicago, IL; Phoenix, AZ; and Lewisville, TX. The recent announcement will provide relief to the applicants who have submitted their requests to the USCIS lockbox and not the field office or centres.

How to apply for benefits under Lockbox fillings?

Law Offices of Prashanthi think the new changes are welcome steps taken by USCIS. The flexibilities offered under the lockbox fillings would be applicable during the period between July 10 2021, and August 9 2021.

Let’s take a look at how you can use them in your favour-

1. If one had submitted a benefit request with the filing lockbox box, but the fee expired due to the utter delay in processing, the person can file an additional request with a new fee. This period for this should be between October 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021.

2. Those people who have grown to be adults during the delay in accepting and processing their benefit request will be allowed another chance to file it. The condition being that USCIS receives that the delay is the reason for the person being ineligible. This flexibility does not apply to Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, Form N-600K.

These announcements are crucial for the immigrant as they now have certain autonomy and benefits to reap. Want to know how to take the opportunity in hand? Reach us at or check for further details on

Published On: July 11th, 2021 / Categories: Immigration Rule Changes /

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