USCIS Announces More Efficient Family-Based Visa Process

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is rolling out new guidelines for family-based immigrant visa petitions to make the process smoother and more efficient.

Key Things to Know

  • Updated Forms: Changes affect Form I-130 (“Petition for Alien Relative”) and in some cases, family-based Form I-360.
  • Fixing Errors: Clearer instructions on how to correct errors.
  • More Efficient: If the applicant’s preference isn’t clear, USCIS will decide if the petition is consular processing or adjustment of status, speeding up the process.
  • Transparency: USCIS has outlined general guidelines on how it decides whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition

Making Family-Based Immigration Easier

USCIS recently updated its policies for family-based immigrant visa petitions. The federal agency said the changes are designed to help reduce delays and make the process clearer for everyone involved.

What’s Changing

When you file Form I-130, you need to provide USCIS with the applicant’s current address and whether they prefer consular processing or adjustment of status (if they qualify). This information helps USCIS determine whether to keep the petition for adjustment of status or send it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for consular processing. In the past, if a petition didn’t clearly state whether the applicant wanted adjustment of status or consular processing, USCIS would typically keep the petition, leading to delays. Typically you would need to file Form I-824 (“Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition”) with a fee to have USCIS transfer your application to the NVC.

Now, USCIS will use the applicant’s last listed address to decide whether the application should go to NVC or stay at USCIS, avoiding delays.

Correcting Errors and Updates

USCIS has also provided clearer instructions on how to correct errors or update information on a pending or approved Form I-130. This includes updating the applicant’s location and whether they want consular processing or adjustment of status.

Decision-Making on Petitions

Lastly, USCIS has outlined general guidelines on how it decides whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition. This includes relevant notices to keep everyone informed.

The agency said the updates aim to make the family-based immigration process clearer and more efficient. Be sure to review these changes carefully and provide accurate information to avoid delays.

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