U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes decisions on benefit and service requests that not only affect foreign nationals and their future, but also the well-being of U.S. citizens, families, organizations, businesses, industries, localities, states, the nation, and international communities. Accordingly, USCIS strives to secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to customers, promoting awareness and understanding of citizenship rights and responsibilities, and making adjudication decisions in a consistent and accurate manner that furthers the goals and integrity of our nation’s immigration system. Our policies drive our benefit and services decisions and ensure that our guidance to USCIS officers who make those decisions reflects our agency’s mission, and strategic vision. These policies also greatly affect our interaction with USCIS’s diverse customer and stakeholder community.
USCIS has undertaken a comprehensive review of our adjudication and customer service policies to improve quality, transparency, and efficiency. As a result of this extensive and ongoing review, USCIS has created the USCIS Policy Manual, which is the agency’s centralized online repository for USCIS’s immigration policies. The USCIS Policy Manual will ultimately replace the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), the USCIS Immigration Policy Memoranda site, and other policy repositories. The manual is structured to house several volumes pertaining to different areas of immigration benefits administered by the agency such as citizenship and naturalization, adjustment of status, admissibility, protection and parole, nonimmigrants, refugees, asylees, immigrants, waivers, and travel and employment.
The USCIS Policy Manual is organized into different volumes, parts, and chapters that present policies in a logical and sequential manner. The USCIS Policy Manual provides several user-friendly features and enhancements. These features include up-to-the-minute comprehensive policy updates, an expanded table of contents, and links to related Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and public use forms. The manual is also equipped with a keyword search function, which will make locating policy and related information faster, easier, and less time consuming. Citations of statutes, regulations, case law, authoritative sources, and other explanatory references appear in footnotes rather than the body of the text. Tables and charts supplement and simplify policy information to facilitate understanding of complex topics and instructions.
The USCIS Policy Manual provides transparency to our customers, including outlining policies that are easy to understand, while also furthering consistency, quality, and efficiency in our adjudications and customer service. The USCIS Policy Manual contains the official policies of USCIS and must be followed by all USCIS officers in the performance of their duties. The Policy Manual does not create any substantive or procedural right or benefit that is legally enforceable by any party against the United States or its agencies or officers or any other person.