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AILA Doc. No. 20081035 | Dated April 1, 2021
On April 1, 2021, USCIS confirmed that it “has reverted to the form rejection criteria it applied before October 2019 regarding blank responses” and is no longer rejecting Forms I-918 solely on the basis that they allegedly contain blank answer fields.
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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