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USCIS Updates Guidance for Family-Based Immigrant Visas: What You Need to Know

On May 22, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its guidance on family-based immigrant visa petitions, impacting the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and, in certain cases, the family-based Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. This updated guidance is crucial for petitioners and beneficiaries navigating the family-based immigration process. As an immigration firm dedicated to assisting U.S. immigrants, we aim to provide clarity on these changes and ensure you understand how they may affect your immigration journey.

Key Changes in USCIS Guidance for Family-Based Immigrant Visas

1. Handling Approval Notice Errors: USCIS now provides clear instructions on correcting errors in approval notices. This ensures that any mistakes in the beneficiary’s information or processing preference can be addressed promptly, avoiding unnecessary delays in your immigration process.

2. Consular Processing vs. Adjustment of Status: If you are submitting Form I-130, it is vital to inform USCIS of the beneficiary’s current address and whether they prefer consular processing with the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) or adjustment of status in the United States, if eligible. Failure to provide accurate information can lead to delays. In cases where inaccurate information is provided, you may need to file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, with the appropriate fee, to correct the processing pathway.

3. Updated Routing Procedures: Previously, if a petition did not clearly indicate the beneficiary’s preference for consular processing or adjustment of status, USCIS typically kept the approved petition. The updated guidance clarifies the procedures, allowing USCIS to use discretion in determining whether to send the petition to the NVC for consular processing or retain it for adjustment of status processing, based on the beneficiary’s most recent location.

Importance of Providing Accurate Information

To avoid delays, it is crucial to provide accurate information on the beneficiary’s address and their preferred processing method. Accurate information ensures that USCIS can process the petition efficiently, either retaining it for adjustment of status or sending it to the NVC for consular processing as appropriate.

How to Correct Errors or Update Information

The updated guidance explains how petitioners can contact USCIS to correct errors or update pending or approved Form I-130 petitions. This includes updating the beneficiary’s location and indicating their processing preference. Promptly updating this information can prevent delays and ensure your petition is processed correctly.

Decision-Making Criteria for Family-Based Immigrant Petitions

The updated guidance also outlines how USCIS decides whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition. This includes the relevant notices you may receive during the process. Understanding these criteria can help you prepare a strong petition and anticipate any potential issues that may arise.

How Our Immigration Firm Can Help

Navigating the complexities of family-based immigrant visa petitions can be challenging. Our immigration firm specializes in assisting U.S. immigrants with their visa applications, ensuring that all forms are accurately completed and submitted. We provide comprehensive support, including:

  • Consultation: We offer personalized consultations to understand your unique situation and provide tailored advice.
  • Form Preparation: Our experts assist in accurately preparing and submitting Form I-130 and other relevant documents.
  • Error Correction: If there are errors in your approval notice or if you need to update information, we guide you through the correction process.
  • Processing Preference: We help you decide whether consular processing or adjustment of status is the best option for your beneficiary and ensure this preference is clearly indicated in your petition.

Contact Us Today

If you need assistance with your family-based immigrant visa petition or have questions about the recent USCIS guidance updates, contact our experienced immigration firm. We are here to help you navigate the immigration process smoothly and successfully.

Stay informed and ensure your immigration journey is on the right track with our expert guidance and support.

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The content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon any information presented on this blog without seeking professional legal counsel. The opinions expressed at or through this blog are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney. Please consult with an attorney regarding your specific legal situation.

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