U.S. Unveils New System For Immigrant Visa Applicants Worldwide

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BEGINNING June 4, 2012, individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a United States (U.S.) Consular Officer, will be able to mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility.

This change, according to a statement made available to The Guardian by the USCIS from Washington yesterday, “affects where individuals abroad who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant K or V visa, must send their waiver applications.”

It added: “Due to the high number of recently filed I-129 petitions with USCIS, customers may experience a longer than usual period of time to receive a receipt notice from USCIS.

“Usually, customers can expect to receive their receipts notice within 30 days of delivery confirmation.  However, due to an unexpectedly high volume of I-129 petitions, it may be an additional two to four weeks before customers receive a receipt notice.

“Customers who do not receive notification of receipt of an I-129 petition within 60 days of their delivery confirmation date may contact the appropriate service centre via the email addresses listed on our Contact Us Web page.”

USCIS apologised for any inconvenience and said that it was a temporary situation.

Currently, applicants experience processing times from one month to more than a year depending on their filing location.

The centralisation will provide customers with faster and more efficient application processing and consistent adjudication. It is part of a broader agency effort to transition to domestic filing and adjudication. It does not reflect a change in policy or the standards by which the applications are adjudicated. Individuals filing waiver applications with a USCIS Lockbox will now be able to track the status of their case online.

The change affects filings for:

Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal

Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212).

Applicants who mail their waiver request forms should use the address provided in the revised form instructions on the USCIS website.

Applicants who wish to receive an email or text message when USCIS has received their waiver request may attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, to their application.

During a limited six-month transition period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will have the option to either mail their waiver applications to the USCIS Lockbox in the United States or file in-person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez.

“USCIS is aware of the pending caseload for applicants in Ciudad Juarez and is taking proactive steps to work through these cases.

“USCIS will significantly increase the number of officers assigned to adjudicate the residual cases filed before June 4, and those filed during the interim six-month transition period. USCIS has already begun to test this process and has transferred applications from Ciudad Juarez to other USCIS offices in the United States.

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