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Director's Message on Signature Authority

We previously engaged with you about a contemplated policy memorandum that addressed the issue whether a designated representative should be authorized to sign a petition on the petitioner’s behalf.  The policy memorandum envisioned eliminating the designated representative’s authority to sign.  After considering your input and the issue further, we have decided not to implement the signature policy memorandum at this time. 

We intend to study more fully the issues concerning signature authority and to engage with you again on this subject in the context of our more expansive Policy Review initiative.  We will study further any benefits we would achieve should we eliminate the designated representative’s authority to sign, including any benefits to our ever-vigilant and increasing efforts to combat fraud.  We will also study further the consequences for our customers and, if any policy change on this subject is warranted, whether we need to effect such change through regulation.

In order to ensure consistency in our practices while our review of and engagement with you on these issues is underway, we will promptly publish interim guidance addressing a designated attorney’s or accredited representative’s permission to sign certain petitions on the petitioner’s behalf and, separately, on a minor’s behalf (including a minor in the custody of the state), and when use of a signature stamp is permitted.

We greatly value the opportunity to engage with you.  Thank you for your input.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/26/2010