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USCIS Updates Policy for Family-Based Immigrant Visa Petitions

By Casey May 28, 2024 (Updated May 28, 2024) 2 min. read

USCIS has updated its guidance in the Policy Manual regarding family-based immigrant visa petitions, effective May 22, 2024. These updates affect forms such as Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and, in limited cases, Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant). The changes aim to streamline the processing of these petitions, particularly when there’s uncertainty about the beneficiary’s preference for consular processing or adjustment of status.

Key Changes in New Family-Based Immigration Policy

Importance of Providing Accurate Information for Petitioners

One of the key changes emphasizes the need for petitioners to provide accurate information regarding the beneficiary’s current address and their preference for consular processing (through the National Visa Center) or adjustment of status in the United States. Providing incorrect or incomplete information can lead to delays in processing and may require additional steps, such as filing Form I-824, to correct the record.

Clarification on Handling Petitions with Unclear Processing Preferences

In the past, if it wasn’t clear whether the immigrant wanted to change their status within the US or go through processing at a US embassy or consulate in their home country, the immigration office (USCIS) would hold onto their approved paperwork.

Now, the rules have changed. If the immigrant’s preference isn’t clear, USCIS will decide what to do based on where the immigrant lives, as listed on their application. This should make the process faster and prevent delays caused by confusion about where to send the paperwork.

Options for Correcting Errors and Updating Information

The updated guidance also outlines how petitioners can contact USCIS to correct errors or update information on pending or approved Form I-130 petitions. This includes updating the beneficiary’s address and indicating their preferred processing method. These options allow for greater flexibility and accuracy in the petition process.

Additional Guidance on Approval and Denial Decisions

In addition to the procedural changes, the updated guidance provides more general information on how USCIS makes decisions on family-based immigrant petitions. This includes details on relevant notices and factors considered in the approval or denial process, offering petitioners greater transparency and understanding of the procedures involved.

Are You Interested in Family-Based Immigration?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

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