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USCIS Updates Guidance for Family-Based Immigrant Visas

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Effective May 22, 2024, we are updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on family-based immigrant visa petitions (including Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and, in limited situations, family-based Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant), including explaining how we handle correcting approval notice errors, requests for consular processing or adjustment of status on the beneficiary’s behalf, and routing procedures for approved petitions.

If you are a petitioner submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, you must inform USCIS of the beneficiary’s current address and whether the beneficiary wants consular processing with the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) or adjustment of status in the United States, if eligible. Providing this information causes us to keep the approved petition for adjustment of status processing or send it to the NVC for consular processing, as appropriate. If you do not provide accurate information on the petition, it can delay the immigrant visa or adjustment of status process. For example, if we keep a petition because you provided inaccurate information, you must generally file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, with the appropriate fee, to transfer the petition to the NVC.

Before issuing this update, we generally kept approved petitions that did not clearly indicate whether the beneficiary wanted adjustment of status or consular processing. This update clarifies procedures for family-based immigration petitions, to promote more efficient processing where the beneficiary’s preference for consular processing or adjustment of status is unclear or has changed or a correction is needed.

This updated guidance provides that if you do not clearly indicate whether your beneficiary wants consular processing or adjustment of status, we will use discretion to decide whether to send the approved petition to the NVC for consular processing or keep the petition for adjustment of status processing, based on evidence of the beneficiary’s most recent location, including the beneficiary’s address on the petition.

This updated guidance also explains how you can contact us to correct an error or update a pending or approved Form I-130. This includes updating the beneficiary’s location and indicating whether they want consular processing or adjustment of status.

Finally, this updated guidance provides general guidance on how we decide whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition, including relevant notices.

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

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