USCIS Updates Guidance for Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Effective May 22, 2024, USCIS has updated its guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding family-based immigrant visa petitions. This update affects Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and in limited situations, family-based Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. The revisions include new procedures for correcting approval notice errors, processing requests for consular processing or adjustment of status on behalf of beneficiaries, and routing procedures for approved petitions. These changes aim to streamline and clarify the process for both petitioners and beneficiaries.

For petitioners submitting Form I-130, it is crucial to inform USCIS of the beneficiary’s current address and their preference for consular processing with the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) or adjustment of status in the United States, if eligible. Accurate information ensures that USCIS can appropriately route the approved petition. Failure to provide precise details may delay the immigrant visa or adjustment of status process. In cases where the petition lacks clear information, petitioners may need to file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, and pay the associated fee to transfer the petition to the NVC.

Previously, USCIS would retain approved petitions that did not explicitly state the beneficiary’s preference for consular processing or adjustment of status. The updated guidance clarifies the procedures for such situations, aiming to enhance the efficiency of processing family-based immigration petitions. Now, if a petition lacks clear information on the beneficiary’s preferred processing method, USCIS will exercise discretion to determine whether to send the petition to the NVC or keep it for adjustment of status based on the beneficiary’s most recent location, as indicated by the address on the petition.

Approved green card application


Additionally, the updated guidance provides instructions on how petitioners can correct errors or update pending or approved Form I-130 petitions. This includes updating the beneficiary’s location and indicating their preference for consular processing or adjustment of status. Ensuring that this information is current and accurate helps prevent delays and facilitates smoother processing of the petition.

Finally, the guidance outlines the criteria and considerations USCIS uses to approve or deny family-based immigrant petitions, including issuing relevant notices. This comprehensive update is part of USCIS’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency and clarity of the immigration process, ensuring that petitioners and beneficiaries are well-informed and can navigate the system with greater ease.

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