USCIS has issued updated policy guidance this week which directs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when adjudicating both initial petitions and extension requests. The updated policy guidance applies to virtually all nonimmigrant classifications filed using Form I-129.
Previously, officers were to give deference when a petition had been approved and an extension petition was filed so long as there was no evidence of material error, a substantial change in circumstances, or new material information which impacted the petitioner’s or applicant’s eligibility. Under the new guidance, USCIS officers are to determine whether an initial petition or extension petition is approvable based on the merits of each case. Although officers may reach the same conclusion and approve an extension petition, they are not required to do so.
The updated policy can be found in the USCIS Memoranda dated October 23, 2017 at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2017/2017-10-23Rescission-of-Deference-PM6020151.pdf
Petitioners and beneficiaries should take the time now to review cases well in advance of the time for renewal based on this new policy with the BMK team.
To speak to a New York immigration lawyer at BMKLLP please fill out the form on this page or contact us toll-free via phone at (888) 506-1291.