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USCIS Updates Guidance for Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Posted by Paul Saluja | May 23, 2024

At Saluja Law, we are dedicated to keeping you informed about the latest updates in immigration policy that may impact you and your loved ones. On May 22, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its guidance for family-based immigrant visa petitions, including significant changes to the handling of Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and, in some cases, Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant).

Key Updates and What They Mean for You

The updates to the USCIS Policy Manual aim to streamline the processing of family-based immigration petitions. Here's a breakdown of the most important changes:

1. Accurate Information is Crucial

When submitting Form I-130, petitioners must provide the beneficiary's current address and specify whether the beneficiary seeks consular processing with the Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) or adjustment of status within the United States, if eligible.

Why This Matters:

  • Efficient Processing: Providing accurate information ensures that USCIS can correctly process the petition, avoiding unnecessary delays.
  • Avoiding Extra Steps: Inaccurate information may lead to the need to file Form I-824 (Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition), which incurs additional fees and time.

2. Handling of Unclear Petitions

Previously, if a petition did not clearly indicate whether the beneficiary wanted consular processing or adjustment of status, USCIS generally kept the approved petition. Now, USCIS has updated the guidance to clarify procedures for such situations.

New Procedure:

  • USCIS will use discretion to determine whether to send the approved petition to the NVC for consular processing or to keep it for adjustment of status processing. This decision will be based on evidence of the beneficiary's most recent location, including the address provided on the petition.

3. Correcting Errors and Updating Information

The updated guidance also explains how petitioners can contact USCIS to correct errors or update information on a pending or approved Form I-130. This includes updating the beneficiary's location and indicating their preference for consular processing or adjustment of status.

Steps to Take:

  • Contact USCIS: If you need to correct an error or update information, promptly contact USCIS to ensure the petition is processed according to the beneficiary's current circumstances.

4. Approval and Denial Criteria

USCIS has provided general guidance on the criteria they use to decide whether to approve or deny a family-based immigrant petition. This includes details on relevant notices that petitioners and beneficiaries might receive.

How Saluja Law Can Help

Navigating the complexities of immigration law can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. At Saluja Law, we offer expert guidance and personalized support to help you through every step of the immigration process. Here's how we can assist:

  • Accurate Form Preparation: We ensure all necessary forms, including Form I-130, are accurately completed with up-to-date information.
  • Timely Updates: We keep you informed about any changes or updates needed for your petition to avoid delays.
  • Legal Advice: We provide strategic advice on whether consular processing or adjustment of status is the best option for your situation.
  • Error Correction: If errors occur, we efficiently handle communications with USCIS to correct them and update your petition.


The recent updates from USCIS are designed to make the family-based immigration process more efficient, but they also highlight the importance of providing accurate information and staying informed about your petition's status. At Saluja Law, we are committed to helping you understand these changes and navigate your immigration journey smoothly. If you have any questions or need assistance with your family-based immigrant visa petition, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stay informed. Stay prepared. Trust Saluja Law to guide you through your immigration process with expertise and care.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit our website or call us today.

About the Author

Paul Saluja

Paul Saluja is a distinguished legal professional with over two decades of experience serving clients across a spectrum of legal domains. Graduating from West Virginia State University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, he continued his academic journey at Ohio Northern University, gr...

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