United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has begun using email to send receipt and approval notices to H-2A petitioners. In addition, USCIS is now using pre-paid overnight mailers provided by H-2A petitioners to send any requests for evidence (RFE) issued in a case.
While the state workforce agencies and the U.S. Department of Labor have long used email to correspond with H-2A applicants, USCIS has been the last agency in the H-2A process to embrace the modern era. The use of paper mail has been a constant cause of delay and source of consternation among H-2A users due to the highly time-sensitive nature of the H-2A petition process. For this reason, Western Growers staff and voluntary leadership, and industry allies, have met with USCIS leadership in Washington D.C. on several occasions to persuade the agency to embrace email notifications.
USCIS said that in addition to sending notifications of receipt and approval by email, H-2A petitioners will be able to submit two pre-paid mailers to expedite delivery of both the final decision notice and any RFE issued for the petition. In the past, USCIS Service centers have used pre-paid mailers only for final decision notices.
In addition, USCIS will continue to send receipt and approval notices by postal mail and update the Case Status Online portal.
Western Growers applauds USCIS for making this simple change which will save precious time in the compress H-2A approval process and make a real difference to all H-2A users.