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AILA Doc. No. 20081035 | Dated August 10, 2020
On June 30, 2020, with no advance notice, USCIS updated its Form I-918 webpage to include the following alert:
ALERT: We may reject your Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status; Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for a Qualifying Family Member of a U Nonimmigrant; and Form I-918 Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification; if you leave a field blank, unless the field is optional. Optional fields include the safe mailing address as well as fields you should only complete if you answered yes to a previous question. You must provide a response to all other questions, even if the response is “none,” “unknown” or “n/a.” We will reject a Form I-918 or a Form I-918A that has, for example, an empty field for middle name, for current immigration status or for information pertaining to a spouse or child.
This alert updates and extends a December 2019 alert that purportedly empowers USCIS to reject a Form I-918 or Form I-918, Supplement A that contains any blank spaces. Under the new alert, USCIS may also reject a Form I-918, Supplement B – which is completed by a law enforcement agency, rather than the petitioner – containing any blank spaces. Because the Form I-918, Supplement B is considered “required initial evidence” for the Form I-918, if USCIS rejects a Form I-918, Supplement B pursuant to the alert, it presumably will also reject the corresponding Form I-918.
The new alert, like the prior alert, states that petitioners and certifying agencies can leave “optional fields” blank and notes that “[o]ptional fields include the safe mailing address as well as fields you should only complete if you answered yes to a previous question.” Because the Form I-918; Form I-918, Supplement A; Form I-918, Supplement B; and their corresponding Instructions do not always clearly indicate which fields are “optional,” practitioners are advised to complete all fields in the Form I-918 and Form I-918, Supplement A out of an abundance of caution and to urge certifying agencies to do the same with respect to the Form I-918, Supplement B.
Practitioners are also strongly advised to notify certifying agencies of this update, and to include a courtesy copy of a completed Form I-918, Supplement B when requesting certification. Where practitioners have already received a Form I-918, Supplement B that contains blank spaces, practitioners should consider seeking an updated Form I-918, Supplement B with all fields completed or, in the alternative, requesting and documenting the certifying agency’s permission to amend the Form I-918, Supplement B so that “None” or “N/A” is written in all blank fields. To facilitate such requests, we have attached an Informational Advisory to be shared with certifying agencies.
*Special thanks to Kursten Phelps, Cynthia Lucas, and Kyle Dandelet for their assistance with these practice resources.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20081035.
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