\ slb \ SERVICE LAW BOOKS MENU \ Operating Instructions \ OI 103 Powers and duties of service officers; availability of service records. \ OI 103.2 Formal Applications and Petitions
Previous Document Next Document
OI 103.2 Formal Applications and Petitions
Blue Page 103.2
Foreign Language Interpretation and Translations.
Quality interpretation of interviews of applicants for immigration benefits is essential for the proper adjudication of their applications. Likewise full understanding of questions from Service officers and responses from aliens is required to establish the basis for removal of an alien or other adverse action. Applicants should be encouraged to provide interpreters of their own choosing and interviews should be rescheduled to accommodate this support. Lists of volunteer interpreters or voluntary agencie
s which may assist persons in obtaining interpreters should be maintained in each district and sector.
Service personnel should secure the assistance of qualifies Service interpreters (including other officers, full-time or contract interpreters), whenever they experience difficulties in conducting an interview of an alien who lacks competency in English. Service officers should not presume their own capacity in a foreign language, if the alien appears not to comprehend questions or his/her answers cannot be clearly understood. Even if the alien has brought an interpreter, a Service interpreter should be u
sed if it appears that there may be any future conflict over what a person has said or a question to which he/she has failed to respond. If a formal statement is taken which forms the basis of adverse action by the Service, a Service interpreter should be used.
Assistance should be sought first from lists of volunteer or contract interpreters in the immediate area. Whenever possible the interpreter should be physically present. However, the unavailability of an interpreter locally or the need to complete the interview promptly may require the use of an interpreter via telephone.
Current regional lists of interpreters are to be maintained in each district and sector and all personnel shall be advised how to access these lists. The Central Office Communications Center (FTS 633-2618 or 202-633-2618) has current lists from all regions and should be contacted for assistance. (Added TM 11/86)
Translations shall be requested only when needed. Translation requests shall be on Form G-46 in duplicate. A copy of the request will be returned with the translation.
Any foreign language document introduced in a proceeding before a special inquiry officer must be accompanied by an English translation. In other proceedings when a translation is missing the adjudicator may insist on its production by the person offering it or may ask the Service to provide a translation. a summary may be accepted in any proceeding at discretion as a substitute for a translation, provided that both the private party and the Government agree for the record that it is correct and sufficien
t for the purpose of the proceeding. Even a summary may be waived, except in a proceeding before a special inquiry officer, if the document is easily readable in the original language and consists merely of official verification of uncontroverted facts stated in the application or petition. No informality or other exception to the instructions printed on Service forms shall be allowed in cases handled by naturalization examiners.
Documents written in any foreign language or dialect will be translated by the New York office. It is important that the requesting office address and the telephone number of a contact person be included with the translation request in the event there are any questions. The requests should be forwarded to the New York District Office, Interpretation Unit, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10007.
Unless specifically requested to do so, Service translators shall not make word-for-word translations; a certification that a translation shows the material facts will suffice.
Oaths administered by officers of the United States armed forces.
An oath may properly be administered in accordance with Article 136 of the Uniform Code on Military Justice (10 U.S.C., Supp. V, Sec. 936) Which contains the following provision:
ART. 136. Authority to administer oaths and to act as notary. (a) The following persons on active duty may administer oaths * * * and have the general powers of a notary public and of a consul of the United States, in the performance of all notarial acts to be executed by members of any of the armed forces, wherever they may be, by persons serving with, employed by, or accompanying the armed forces outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, and by
other persons subject to this chapter outside of the United States:
(1) All judge advocates of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
(2) All law specialists.
(3) All summary courts-martial.
(4) All adjutants, assistant adjutants, acting adjutants, and personnel adjutants.
(5) All commanding officers of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
(6) All staff judge advocates and legal officers, and acting or assistant staff judge advocates and legal officers.
(7) All other persons designated by regulations of the armed forces or by statute.
Signatures on Service-issued documents.
The Commissioner's rubber-stamp facsimile signature shall be placed on granted certificates of citizenship
8 CFR 341
, certificates of naturalization or repatriation
8 CFR 343
, new naturalization and citizenship papers
8 CFR 343a
, and special certificates of naturalization
8 CFR 343b
Other Service-issued documents requiring signatures shall bear the signature or rubber-stamp facsimile signature of the issuing officer.
Signature required of persons of Chinese race.
Every person of the Chinese race, regardless of whether he is a Chinese national or not, whose name has been anglicized from the Chinese, who makes any application to the Service or is the subject of investigation by the Service, shall be requested to include the proper Chinese characters of his name in addition to his usual anglicized signature. The Chinese characters submitted shall be checked against those in his passport. If the characters do not coincide, the person shall be requested to explain
the dissimilarity and to submit another specimen of his name in characters matching the name as written in his passport. The proper Chinese characters and the signature shall be placed on any application and on For G-138, Signature Specimen Form, in triplicate. If a person of the Chinese race is unable to sign the Chinese characters denoting his name and qualified personnel of the Service are not available to do so in his behalf, he shall be requested to have the proper Chinese characters of his name furn
ished by another person who is competent to write Chinese, provided that the circumstances allow this course of action to be pursued.
Form I-72 or N-14, as appropriate, shall be used when necessary to return a deficient application or petition to an applicant or petitioner.
Inspection of classified, confidentially-furnished, or other information.
When a denial decision may be based on classified derogatory information, consideration shall be given to requesting the original classifying authority to review the information to advise whether it may be declassified. When the file contains unclassified confidentially-furnished information which would be important to the decision if it were useable, consideration shall be given to requesting the individual or agency which provided that information to advise whether the information must still be regar
ded as confidentially furnished; if such individual or agency insists that the information be so regarded, the information shall not be included in the record of proceeding and shall not be used as a basis for denial in the exercise of discretion. Classified information may be used as a basis for denial in the exercise of discretion only when specifically authorized by law or regulation (for example, see
8 CFR 103.2(b)(2)
and 242.17. When the use of classified information is so authorized, such information shall not be made available for inspection by the applicant, petitioner, or his representative; such information shall maintained separately from the rest of the record of proceeding, in accordance with AM 2710.02 et seq. Under no circumstances shall classified or confidentially-furnished information be shown to an applicant or petitioner, or to his representative. (Revised)
Unless information or evidence is classified, an applicant or petitioner must be advised, before a decision is rendered, of any derogatory information or evidence of which he is unaware and which is being considered as a basis for denial; and he must be given an opportunity to rebut such information or evidence and present evidence in his own behalf before the decision is made. When it is not feasible for the applicant or petitioner to come to a Service Office to inspect derogatory information or evide
nce on the basis of which an adverse decision is contemplated, he shall be advised of the nature of such evidence, and shall similarly be afforded an opportunity to rebut and present evidence in his own behalf. (Revised)
Blue Page 103.2(g)
Affidavits of support.
Form I-134 may be used to support a Service application if an affidavit of support would be helpful in resolving any public charge aspect of the case. Relatives and sponsors of visa applicants abroad who inquire at a Service office concerning the submission of affidavits of support in behalf of such applicants shall not be referred to anyone outside the Service; instead, Forms I-134 shall be furnished them. They shall be advised, however, that the Forms I-134 are furnished solely as a guide as to item
s generally required in affidavits of support (see notes to 22 CFR 41.91(a)(15) and 42.91(a)(15) in Volume 9--Visas, Foreign Affairs Manual). Forms I-134 are to be made available only for use in individual cases and are not to be distributed outside the Service.
To provide uniformity in citing authorities, the forms of citation and abbreviations set forth in the booklet "A Uniform System of Citation" shall be followed.
When citing federal court, Board of Immigration Appeals, or Regional Commissioner precedent decisions, the headnotes shall not be cited as legal authority. The headnotes have no legal effect, but are merely editorial and research aids. (Revised)
Evidence of lawful permanent admission.
If, as provided in
8 CFR 103.2(b)(1)
, evidence other than an immigrant visa or a Service manifest or other arrival record was relied upon to establish an applicant's or petitioner's claim of being a lawful permanent resident alien, the relating file shall be checked when it is received to verify the alien's admission or adjustment or that the alien's claim is not refuted by the contents of the file.
When an applicant or petitioner claims to have acquired lawful permanent resident status but (1) the relating file cannot be obtained or does not contain his immigrant visa or other verification of admission or adjustment as a permanent resident, (2) admission for permanent residence cannot be verified under the procedure specified in AM 2770, and (3) the alien is unable to submit any of the other documents characterized in
8 CFR 103.2(b)(1)
as "official records", an attempt shall be made to ascertain whether a relating Form G-361 Index Card exists bearing an immigrant visa symbol which indicates subject was admitted or adjusted as claimed. To determine whether such a Form G-361 exists, Form G-180 shall be prepared and sent, via the index unit of the local files control office, to the Central Office to request a search of the index records and the furnishing of a copy of "G-361 bearing immigrant visa symbol" to the requesting office. If a se
arch of the local files control office index reveals the existence of such a Form G-361, a copy thereof shall be prepared and sent to the requesting office or unit, together with the Form G-180; otherwise the local index unit will transmit the Form G-180 to the Central Office.
An interview of an applicant or beneficiary shall not be conducted unless required by statute, a specific regulation, or operation instruction or unless a material question of fact cannot be resolved without interview.
Blue Page 103.2(m)
Service personnel are to furnish copies of the pamphlet called "Your Appeal or Motion under the Immigration and Nationality and Related Laws" (Form M-188) in the following instances:
With every unfavorable decision in an application, petition, exclusion, deportation, or other proceeding.
Upon request, for information purposes. (TM 6/90)
Automatic termination of action on Examinations applications or petitions.
Except as specified in
, whenever the Service determines that additional information, documents or other evidence, or that the applicant's or petitioner's appearance for interview is necessary for an adjudication of an application or petition in the Examinations activity, and request therefor, mailed to the applicant or petitioner at the address last furnished by him, is returned to the Service by the postal authorities as undeliverable, the application or petition shall be deemed to have been abandoned and action thereon shall b
e terminated automatically if there is no other apparent means of communicating with him. A request for interview mailed to the applicant or petitioner shall contain the notation "Your application or petition will be deemed abandoned and action thereon will be terminated if you fail to respond to this request." If the applicant or petitioner fails to appear or otherwise respond within 10 working days after the call-in date, the application or petition shall be deemed abandoned and action thereon shall be
terminated automatically. (TM 6/90)
When an application or Petition is referred to the Investigations after exhausting all possible leads that there are no apparent means of communicating with the applicant or petitioner, the automatic termination shall be considered on the basis of the investigative report in the file and the record so noted by the adjudicator as provided below.
In any case which is automatically terminated for either of the reasons described above, an 8" x 10 1/2" sheet of bond paper shall be attached to the top of the record proceedings endorsed "Action of Form I-(No.) automatically terminated pursuant to OI 102.2(o)." The endorsement shall be dated and the actual or facsimile signature of the official who would sign a denial order shall be affixed. The case shall be counted statistically as "1completed" and "denied". The application or petition shall be h
oused in the same manner as a denied application (e.g., if it is an I-539 application, it shall be filed in the nonimmigrant alpha file; if it is an I-130 petition, it shall be filed in an existing or newly created "A" file, since procedures call for creation of an "A" file where none exists when a petition is denied.
Such termination shall be without prejudice to renewal of the application or petition upon written request of the applicant or petitioner. If the case is subsequently renewed upon the written request of the applicant or petitioner, it shall be counted statistically as "received".
Chronological processing of applications and petitions.
To deal fairly and equitably with applicants and petitioners, it is Service policy that cases be processed in chronological order by date of receipt. For purposes of this paragraph, any adjudications-related petition or application for which a fee has been accepted and which is returned to the petitioner or qapplicant, transferred to another office or referred to Investigations, shall, upon resubmission by the petitioner or applicant, receipt by Examinations from another office or return to Examination
s from Investigations, be accorded the chronological position held when the fee was accepted.
An exception may be permitted only by a district director, service center director, deputy district director, deputy service center director, officer in charge, an official acting in such capacity, an assistant service center director for adjudications or an assistant district director for examinations upon showing of emergent circumstances. When an exception is authorized, it shall be noted in the record and initialed by the authorizing official. (TM 7/91)
To the extent practicable and feasible, local interested organizations should be kept informed periodically of the normal processing time of various applications and petitions so that the public may be guided accordingly. When a processing schedule is prepared for distribution, a copy shall be provided to the Commissioner, Attention: Director, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs.
Cases to be referred for investigation prior to adjudication.
Prior to forwarding any application/petition to Investigations, the applicant, petitioner, and/or beneficiary will first be interviewed by an Examinations officer. A written record of the interview in the form of an affidavit or a sworn question and answer statement will be made for the record. If after the interview, the officer feels that a final decision cannot be made, the complete record will be referred to a supervisor with the officer's recommendation specifying the grounds for referral for inv
estigation and the reasons therefor. The supervisor will review the record and determine whether or not the application/petition will be referred to Investigations and will note and initial the record accordingly.
Review of cases in which a decision is deferred.
Where an adjudicating officer defers the final decision in a case, the supervisor in charge of the adjudicating unit will review the cases on a spot-check or percentage basis to insure that the decisions are deferred for valid reasons. Cases found to have been deferred for other than valid reasons shall be expeditiously processed to completion.