The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its policy manual regarding services to the public, including general administration of certain immigration benefits, online tools and providing up-to-date information.
Notable updates include revisions to “case specific information,” “expedited treatment” and “service request procedures.” The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued a 13-page response to the USCIS policy manual update.
In matters involving “case specific information,” the AILA takes issue with some field offices requiring mobile devices to be shut off. These mobile devices often allow access to case specific information. See excerpt from the AILA regarding this matter below.
“USCIS might consider a general policy requiring that all electronic devices be switched to “silent” or “vibrate” when inside a facility and further establish criteria for permissible use of such devices during interviews and appointments, such as accessing case specific information, conducting case related research, and responding to an urgent or emergency situation.” Sec. h paragraph 3.
USCIS currently has vague guidelines regarding “expedited treatment” matters. Section g. of AILA’s response would like USCIS to provide more specifics on scenarios where expedite requests will be granted. Not only would this provide clarity to applicants, but it would also cut down on requests, which in turn would save USCIS a lot of manpower in sifting through inordinate amounts of non-qualifying expedite requests.
In regard to matters involving “service request procedures,” the AILA document provides requests to improve and expedite services provided by USCIS.
Graham Adair will continue to provide updates if and when additional changes are made.