U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services clarified yesterday that workers would not accumulate overstay for working beyond their status expiration within October 2019.
In response to a question from Saipan Tribune, USCIS noted that a CW worker could continue working throughout October 2019 even with an expired status—if the worker is expecting a Temporary Labor Certification or TLC.
“USCIS would not consider a CW-1 worker to have violated the terms and conditions of authorized stay if the worker continues employment during the month of October consistent with the scope of employment in a pending TLC application for extension, until the employer files a CW-1 petition received before Nov. 1 based on approval of the TLC, or it is apparent that the employer will not be able to comply with the guidance for any reason,” an agency representative told Saipan Tribune.
This means that expired CW-1 visa holders can continue working without accumulating “bad time” while waiting for their TLC applications for fiscal year 2020 and if the worker remains in line with the visa holder’s profession.
The statement also clarified that CW-1 workers with expired status can continue working if the employer files a CW-1 petition before Nov. 1, 2019, based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s approval of a TLC or if the employer would apparently not be able to comply with the new requirement, such as a denial of the TLC from USDOL.
No clarity was provided on the steps that should follow a denied TLC.
On Sept. 25, 2019, USCIS announced that it would still consider CW-1 renewal petitions even after it had already expired only until Nov. 1, 2019. The extension of the deadline, according to the agency, was made by exercising the agency’s discretionary authority to excuse late filings for CW-1 renewal petitions based on “limited circumstances.”
The new deadline of Nov. 1, 2019, would only apply to petitions properly filed with an approved TLC from USDOL, with a starting date on or after Oct. 1, 2019; if USCIS receives the petition no later than 30 days after the date of TLC approval or before Nov. 1, 2019, whichever is earliest; and if the expiration date of the currently approved petition is on or after Sept. 1, 2019.