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Policy update announced for family petitions, Form I-130

The USCIS added a new update to the policy manual that applies to I-130 immigration visa petitions for family members.  The new policy memo can be found here.

The USCIS previously stated that approved petitions that were not clear whether the beneficiary desired adjustment of status or consular processing were withheld. The update contains instructions for when and how a correction can be made to Form I-130. On the other hand, USCIS will decide to send any approved petition to the NATIONAL VISA CENTER (NVC) for consular processing, based on evidence of the beneficiary's most recent location.

The agency clarifies that if the petition is withheld due to inaccurate information, the beneficiary must submit Form I-824 to allow advancement to the NVC. Previously, the NVC accepted emails (public inquiry forms) to accept any changes or corrections, but now the I-824 and the filing fee that goes along with it, have to be submitted.

Below, we put some aspects to highlight about these policies:

·         If the petitioner does not clearly indicate the beneficiary's intent in conducting consular processing or adjustment of status, USCIS will decide whether the petition is forwarded or withheld, based on evidence of the most recent location shared.

·         Information is provided on how a petitioner can notify of any changes or updates to the Form I-130 petition.

·         General guidance is provided on how USCIS approves or denies family-based petitions.

This can be concluded within the relevant notices during these processes. Understanding these updates allows both the petitioner and beneficiary to prepare any future petition and anticipate potential situations that may arise during the process.

It is important to work with attorneys experienced in the immigration field who can advise you on all the latest policy changes.

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