Expanding Interviews to Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions
This Policy Memorandum (PM) directs the phased expansion of in-person interviews for refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition), to ultimately include petitioners in addition to beneficiaries, regardless of location. For the reasons and in the manner outlined below, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel shall take all appropriate actions to execute implementation, consistent with the parameters established in this memorandum.
Marriage Involving Minors Update
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) to add Chapter 21.3(a)(2)(D)(iv), Interview Guidelines for Form I-130 Spousal Petitions Involving a Minor, and to update Chapter 21.3(a)(2)(I), Interviewing Petitioner and Spouse, to incorporate additional guidance on the adjudication of Form I-130 spousal petitions involving minor(s).
Marriage Involving Minor(s)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) to revise Chapter 21.3(a)(1)(A), Concurrent Filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485, and add Chapter 21.3(a)(2)(D), Marriage Involving Minor(s). These updates provide guidance for the adjudication of Form I-130 spousal petitions involving minor(s).
Guidance for Processing Reasonable Fear, Credible Fear, Asylum, and Refugee Claims in Accordance with Matter of A-B
This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers for determining whether a petitioner is eligible for asylum or refugee status in light of the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of A-B-. ALERT: On December 19, 2018, in Grace v. Whitaker, No. 18-CV-01853 (EGS), 344 F. Supp. 3d 96 (D.D.C. 2018), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined USCIS from implementing and enforcing certain parts of this PM. A redacted version of the PM reflecting the court’s injunction can be found here.
Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens
This Policy Memorandum (PM) outlines how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Notice to Appear (NTA) and referral policies implement the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) removal priorities, including those identified in Executive Order 13768, and it provides updates to USCIS’ guidelines for referring cases and issuing NTAs. This PM supersedes Policy Memorandum 602-0050, Revised Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Removable Aliens, dated November 7, 2011.
DNA Evidence of Sibling Relationships
This policy memorandum (PM) amends U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) policy on DNA evidence of sibling relationships and revises the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), Chapter 21.9(c).
Matter of S-P-, Inc., Adopted Decision 2018-01
Matter of S-P-, Inc. clarifies that a beneficiary who worked abroad for a qualifying multinational organization for at least one year, but left its employ for a period of more than two years after being admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant, does not satisfy the one-in-three foreign employment requirement for immigrant classification as a multinational manager or executive. To cure the interruption in employment, such a beneficiary would need an additional year of qualifying employment abroad before he or she could once again qualify.
L-1 Qualifying Relationships and Proxy Votes
This policy memorandum (PM) clarifies the 1982 precedent decision, Matter of Hughes, by instructing officers that proxy votes must be irrevocable from the time of filing the L-1 petition through adjudication to establish a qualifying relationship. The petitioner must file an amended petition if any changes of ownership and control of the organization occur after USCIS adjudicates the petition.
Rescission of Matter of Vazquez as an Adopted Decision
This Policy Memorandum rescinds Matter of Vazquez as an Adopted Decision in accordance with the reasoning contained in this memorandum. Matter of Buschini remains overruled and inoperative, as this memorandum supercedes all prior guidance regarding the determination of Cuban citizenship for the purposes of adjustment under Pub. L. 89-732 (November 2, 1966), as amended, the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA).
Criteria for Determining Habitual Residence in the United States for Children from Hague Convention Countries
On January 3, 2014, USCIS published interim guidance entitled “Criteria for Determining Habitual Residence in the United States for Children from Hague Convention Countries.” This guidance established criteria to determine whether the Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (“Hague Adoption Convention”) applies to the adoption in the United States of a child from another Hague Adoption Convention country.
Matter of V-S-G- Inc., Adopted Decision 2017-06
Matter of V-S-G- Inc. clarifies that beneficiaries of valid employment-based immigrant visa petitions who are eligible to change jobs or employers (“port”) and who have properly requested to do so under section 204(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1154(j), are “affected parties” under DHS regulations for purposes of revocation proceedings of their visa petitions and must be afforded an opportunity to participate in those proceedings.
Matter of G- Inc., Adopted Decision 2017-05
Matter of G- Inc. clarifies that, to establish that a beneficiary will be employed in a managerial capacity as a “function manager,” the petitioner must demonstrate that: (1) the function is a clearly defined activity; (2) the function is “essential,” i.e., core to the organization; (3) the beneficiary will primarily manage, as opposed to perform, the function; (4) the beneficiary will act at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and (5) the beneficiary will exercise discretion over the function’s day-to-day operations.
Matter of A-T- Inc, Adopted Decision 2017-04 (AAO May 23, 2017)
Matter of A-T- Inc clarifies that, in order to qualify for an H-1B numerical cap exemption based upon a master’s or higher degree, the conferring institution must have qualified as a “United States institution of higher education” at the time the beneficiary’s degree was earned.
Matter of O-A-, Inc., Adopted Decision 2017-03 (AAO Apr. 17, 2017)
This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of O-A-, Inc. as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this adopted decision establishes policy guidance that applies to and binds all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees. USCIS personnel are directed to follow the reasoning in this decision in similar cases.
Matter of I- Corp., Adopted Decision 2017-02 (AAO Apr. 12, 2017)
Matter of I- Corp. clarifies that USCIS cannot approve a visa petition that is based on an illegal or otherwise invalid employment agreement. To prevent a potential conflict with the Fair Labor Standards Act, USCIS must ensure that a beneficiary will not be paid a wage that is less than the minimum required wage under state or Federal law, whichever is higher, before approving an employment-based visa petition.
The Role and Use of Interpreters in Domestic Field Office Interviews
To advance consistent standards for interpretation in interviews conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), this Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance regarding the role and use of interpreters in certain interviews conducted in USCIS domestic field offices in the absence of agency-provided interpretation
Matter of T-O-S-U-, Adopted Decision 2017-01 PM-602-0140
Matter of T-O-S-U- clarifies that, for purposes of 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(viii)(C) (2016), a “physician of national or international renown” is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is widely acclaimed and highly honored in the field of medicine within one or more countries, so long as the achievements leading to national renown are comparable to that which would result in national renown in the United States. The decision also suggests, but does not mandate, what types of evidence may be persuasive in establishing eligibility for this exemption.
Matter of Z-A-, Inc., Adopted Decision 2016-02 (AAO Apr. 14, 2016)
Matter of Z-A-, Inc. clarifies that, when determining whether the beneficiary of an L-1A nonimmigrant classification will primarily manage an essential function, USCIS officers must weigh all relevant factors including, as pertinent in the instant case, evidence of the beneficiary's role within the wider qualifying international organization.
Matter of H-V-P-, Adopted Decision 2016-01 (AAO Feb. 9, 2016)
Matter of H-V-P- clarifies that, in addition to primary care physicians, medical specialists who agree to practice in any area designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals may be eligible for the physician national interest waiver.
L-1B Adjudications Policy
This policy memorandum provides guidance on the adjudication of the L-1B classification, which permits multinational companies to transfer employees who possess “specialized knowledge” from their foreign operations to their operations in the United States.
Qualifying U.S. Work Experience for Special Immigrant Religious Workers
On April 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Shalom Pentecostal Church v. Acting Secretary DHS, 783 F.3d 156 (3d Cir. 2015), found the regulatory requirements that qualifying work experience gained in the United States must have been acquired in lawful status (herein “lawful status requirements”) in 8 CFR 204.5(m)(4) and (11) to be beyond the Department’s legal authority (ultra vires).
Updated Implementation of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement
The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to update the guidance previously provided to
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel in PM-602-0034:
Implementation of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement, in light
of the recent agreement entered into between USCIS and the plaintiffs in Perez-Olano v. Holder,
No. CV 05-3604 (C.D. Cal.), which took effect on March 27, 2015.
Age-Out Protection for Derivative U Nonimmigrant Status
This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance relating to certain U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions that are being held for final adjudication or have had their prior approvals limited in time due to the derivative aging-out. This PM also authorizes the approval of U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions for the full eligibility period of four years, allowing the U-3 derivative to remain in U nonimmigrant status past his or her 21st birthday, if necessary. This PM updates the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) by adding Chapter 39.1(f)(4)(v-viii); AFM Update AD11-41.
Unlawful Presence Memorandum
This memorandum addresses issues relating to the 3- and 10-year bars to admission under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) and (II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) and the decision to designate as a period of stay authorized by the Attorney General the entire period during which an alien has been granted deferred action by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).