Field Operations Directorate


Michael Valverde is the acting associate director of the Field Operations Directorate.

What We Do

The Field Operations Directorate:

  • Ensures the integrity of the immigration system by making decisions on immigration benefit applications, petitions and requests, including naturalization and citizenship applications, through written correspondence and in-person interviews with applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries;
  • Conducts site visits to verify compliance with terms of admission and detect and disrupt fraud;
  • Participates collaboratively with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
  • Conducts background security checks for pending applications and petitions;
  • Conducts more than 10,000 naturalization ceremonies per year nationwide; and
  • Provides in-person information and documentary services for applicants.


The Field Operations Directorate includes:

  • 88 field offices that deliver immigration benefit services directly to applicants and petitioners in communities across the United States and its territories.
  • The National Benefits Center (NBC), which performs centralized front-end processing of applications and petitions that require field office interviews (primarily family-based I-485s and N-400s). In addition, the NBC adjudicates some form types to completion including I‑765s, I-131s, immigration benefits associated with the LIFE Act, legalization-related applications, and international adoption cases.
  • The Immigrant Investor Program, which adjudicates applications and petitions seeking benefits under the fifth preference employment category, or EB-5. Congress created the EB‑5 category in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
  • A headquarters office, four regional offices and 16 district offices that provide oversight, direction and support to the field offices, field support offices and the NBC.
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