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