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Immigration Law

USCIS Policy Alert: General Adjudications

USCIS, Nov. 23, 2021

"USCIS provides general guidance on adjudications across the various types of benefit requests that USCIS adjudicates. In general, this update does not make major substantive changes, but consolidates and incorporates existing Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) guidance on general adjudications topics into the Policy Manual, streamlines USCIS’ immigration policy, and removes obsolete information. This guidance, contained in Volume 1 of the Policy Manual, updates and replaces Adjudicator’s Field Manual Chapters 10.3(b), 10.3(d), 10.3(g)-(h), 10.6, 10.7(b), 10.11, 10.14, 10.16, 11.1(a)-(b), 11.1(d)-(n), and 11.3, and related guidance in Chapter 21.2(c)(6)(B), as well as the AFM’s related appendices and related policy memoranda. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance on the topic. Policy Highlights • Incorporates existing guidance regarding types of evidence, to include primary and secondary evidence, documentary and testimonial evidence, and original documents and document translations. • Incorporates existing guidance regarding adjudicative decisions including approvals and denials. • Incorporates existing guidance regarding post-decision actions on approved applications or petitions. • Explains how officers should handle cases involving unreliable evidence, including consulting the U.S. Department of State’s Reciprocity Table, providing information on DNA collection options, and referring certain cases for in-person interviews. • Clarifies that when a petitioner, beneficiary, or authorized representative requests a copy of a signed sworn statement taken during an interview, officers provide a copy of the statement to the affiant, without fee, at the conclusion of the interview where the statement was taken. Citation Volume 1: General Policies and Procedures, Part E, Adjudications, Chapter 1, Purpose and Background [1 USCIS-PM E.1]; Chapter 6, Evidence [1 USCIS-PM E.6]; Chapter 9, Rendering a Decision [1 USCIS-PM E.9]; Chapter 10, Post-Decision Actions [1 USCIS-PM E.10]."