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USCIS Updates Policy Manual on Immigrant Visa Petitions

Family immigration petitions can be complex due to a variety of factors such as legal requirements, documentation, and the various steps involved in the process. Understanding the intricacies of filing a petition for immigration will help to make sure the process is smooth and as fast as possible. 

Understanding the New Updates

USCIS has made updates to the process of filing family-based immigrant visa petitions including Form I-130, petition for alien relative, and in some situations, Form I-360. These updates are in regard to how USCIS corrects approval notice errors and handles requests for consular processing or adjustment of status on the beneficiary’s behalf. This updated guidance promotes more efficient processing as now the beneficiary’s preference is much clearer. 

For petitioners submitting form I-130 (or I-360 in limited situations) USCIS now requires the petitioner to indicate the beneficiary’s current address, as well as a specification of whether the beneficiary is seeking consular processing with the National Visa Center, or adjustment of status in the U.S. Adjustment of Status refers to beneficiaries who are residing in the U.S., while consular processing refers to those who are outside of the U.S. 

Before issuing this update, USCIS typically retained approved petitions that did not clearly specify whether the beneficiary preferred adjustment of status or consular processing. With this update, there is more clarity on the procedures for family-based immigration petitions, aiming to promote more efficient processing when the beneficiary’s preference for consular processing or adjustment of status is unclear, has changed, or requires correction.

Why This is Important

By revealing the most recent location of the beneficiary and specification of what the beneficiary is seeking, either consular processing or status adjustment, USCIS is able to provide more accurate and efficient guidance on family-based immigration. This updated guidance offers general instructions on how USCIS determines whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition, including relevant notices. 

If there is no clear indication of rather the beneficiary is seeking consular processing or an adjustment of status processing, USCIS will use its discretion based on evidence stated in the petition, such as the beneficiary’s most recent location and their address on the petition. For this reason, it is important for petitioners to disclose if they are pursuing adjusted status processing, or consular processing. 

Conclusion

Since laws and regulations regarding immigration policies are always subject to change, staying updated with current laws and guidelines is essential but can be challenging at times. By staying informed and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smoother transition into your new place of residence. The staff at Berardi Immigration Law is here to help you navigate these challenges, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!