USCIS Issues Guidance on Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in Requests for Extensions of Petition Validity

USCIS issued guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the issue of deference to prior determinations of eligibility by an officer when adjudicating a request for an extension of petition validity. This guidance generally restores USCIS’s 2004 deference policy, with updates, and is effective April 27, 2021. Comments are due May 27, 2021.

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.

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Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21042733.

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