Tuesday April 27, 2021

USCIS Policy Alert: Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility

by Rabindra Singh

Going back to the pre-Trump era, today, USCIS issued a Policy alert instructing officers to give deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts unless there was a material error, material change, or new material facts.

With this update, USCIS is reverting in substance to prior long-standing guidance issued in 2004, which directed officers to generally defer to prior determinations of eligibility when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts as the initial petition or application. In 2017, USCIS rescinded the 2004 guidance.

Policy Highlights 

  • Clarifies that USCIS gives deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts unless there was a material error, material change in circumstances or in eligibility, or new material information that adversely impacts the petitioner’s, applicant’s, or beneficiary’s eligibility. 
  • Affirms that USCIS considers, but does not defer to, previous eligibility determinations on petitions or applications made by other U.S. government agencies; that officers make determinations on the evidence of record in the petition or application under adjudication. 

HSD Immigration continues to closely monitor and report on important USCIS Policy updates and alerts. If you need additional information, please contact our office.

Related Posts