Mackall, Crounse & Moore, PLC has joined Dewitt Ross & Stevens S.C.

The newly formed DeWitt Mackall Crounse & Moore S.C. will provide clients with enhanced legal services
and efficiencies as well as access to more than 100 attorneys practicing in nearly 30 areas of
law in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Dismiss this message


News & Education

Back to Immigration Articles

Filter by:

New USCIS Policy Requires Employers to Submit Additional Documents for Employees’ Work Visa Extensions and Renewals

The Trump administration has announced a significant change in how USCIS processes petitions for visa renewals/extensions. As explained in more detail below, USCIS now requires additional documents in work visa renewal cases, which is expected to add considerable delays to case processing.

What is the change in policy?
In a Policy Memorandum dated October 23, 2017, USCIS announced that it will treat all petitions for extension with the same scrutiny as they would an initial petition. Previously, individuals who already proved they were eligible for an immigration benefit before were presumed to maintain basic eligibility at the time they would petition for renewal or extension, unless there was a change in the facts of the case. Therefore, immigration law and immigration regulations do not require applicants for renewal/extension to re-submit the same evidence that USCIS already has from the prior application, to the extent the applicant is seeking the same type of benefit. Moreover, a prior Policy Memorandum, dated April 23, 2004, advised that USCIS officers may rely on prior approvals when deciding on a petition for extension, in order to streamline the process and make it more efficient.

The new Policy Memorandum does not change the law or regulations. Indeed, the new Policy Memorandum recognizes that the regulations do not require applicants or their employers to re-submit initial evidence at the time of a petition for renewal/extension when there are no changes in the facts of the case. However, the Policy Memorandum states that USCIS has authority to request additional evidence, including evidence that USCIS already has from the initial filing.

What type of applications are impacted?
The new policy will directly impact all visa petitions for extension. In reality though, the most common types of cases where this policy applies are petitions for extension or H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, and TN visas, among others.

How will this change processing of I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Workers?
Based on this new Policy Memorandum, applicants and employers should expect an increase in Requests for Evidence (RFE) that, in turn, will lead to processing delays. Requests for premium processing will not eliminate the issuance of the RFEs, as premium processing only requires USCIS to act on the petition within a certain amount of time, not to issue a final decision. Failure to properly and timely respond to these RFEs will lead to petition denials, even if USCIS is already in possession of the requested information from and earlier petition.

How can employers and employees avoid processing delays and RFEs?
In light of this new Policy Memorandum, employers are advised to treat all renewal petitions as initial filings and include all statutorily required evidence for both the job and the employee, even if they believe USCIS already has that information from earlier petitions. Eligibility should not be merely implied. Employers should review the statutory requirements closely and ensure they submit supporting evidence for each and every required element.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of this new Policy Memorandum and we will provide updates as needed. In the meantime, if you have any questions about employment-based immigration matters or other immigration-related issues, do not hesitate to contact Raluca (Luca) Vais-Ottosen at (608) 252-9291 or

About the Author

Raluca Vais-Ottosen has assisted numerous clients with Immigration matters ranging from family-based and individual Immigration applications, to employment related visas and I-9 employment eligibility verification issues. In addition to her Immigration practice, she also has an extensive background in Employment Law. She assists companies in a number of areas, including but not limited to claims of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation, termination and constructive discharge, workplace investigations by State and Federal agencies, as well as Employment Litigation.

Contact Luca by email or by phone at (608) 252-9291.

Our Locations

Greater Milwaukee - Get Directions

Green Bay - Get Directions

Madison - Get Directions

Minneapolis -Get Directions



Get to know us

DeWitt LLP is one of the ten largest law firms based in Wisconsin, with an additional presence in Minnesota. It has more than 130 attorneys practicing in Madison, Greater Milwaukee, Green Bay and Minneapolis in over 30 legal practice areas, and has the experience to service clients of all scopes and sizes.


We are an active and proud member of Lexwork International, an association of mid-sized independent law firms in major cities located throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia and an active member of SCG Legal, an association of more than 140 independent law firms serving businesses in all 50 state capitals and major commercial centers around the world.


Super Lawyers 2021
Best Lawyers 2013 – 2021
Compass Award 2012
Top 100 Lawyers: National Trial Lawyers Association


While we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you (an “engagement letter”). You will not be a client of the firm until you receive such an engagement letter.

The best way for you to initiate a possible representation is to call DeWitt LLP at 608-255-8891. We will make every effort to put you in touch with a lawyer suited to handle your matter. When you receive an engagement letter from one of our lawyers, you will be our client and we may exchange information freely.

Please click the “OK” button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.