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AAO Non-Precedent Decisions

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) generally issues non-precedent decisions. These apply existing law and policy to the facts of a given case. A non-precedent decision is binding on the parties involved in the case, but does not create or modify agency guidance or practice. We do not announce new constructions of law nor establish agency policy through non-precedent decisions. As a result, non-precedent decisions do not provide a basis for applying new or alternative interpretations of law or policy.

Enter search term(s) to perform a full text search of AAO non-precedent decisions.


Using the AAO Non-Precedent Decision Repository

You can search most non-precedent decisions dating back to 2005 in our repository using the search bar above. If you are searching for an AAO decision issued before 2005 or if you are unable to locate an AAO decision in the repository, please contact the USCIS Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIA) Office.

USCIS redacts personally identifiable information and other sensitive material from non-precedent decisions before the decisions are made public. The first page of the scanned decisions contains a notation (for example, "(b)(6)") to indicate the applicable FOIA exception under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6).

See the Accessibility section for more information on accessing decisions housed in our repository.

AAO Non-Precedent Decision Search Tips

Text Search:

You can search by entering free text in the search bar. Some potential parameters you can use include searching by:

  • Form number (Example: Form I-129 or Form I-600A)
  • Subject matter (Example: Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status or Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur)
  • Law or regulation (Example: Sec. 101(a)(15)(L) of the INA or 8 C.F.R. § 204.3)
  • Any combination of free text which may appear in an AAO non-precedent decision (Example: Motion to Reopen or H-1B)

If you are looking for a specific case, search with the unique case identification number (Example: 93808).

Refine Your Search by Time and Date:

Decisions are typically posted within a month of the decision being rendered. You can refine your text search by:

  • Specifying time and date limits - you can search for cases posted within the last hour, day, week, month, or year. You can also search by a custom date range.
  • Sorting your text search by “best match” or “most recent.”

Need more help searching for a decision? Use these search tips.


The decisions in this collection are published in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader 8 or higher to view them.  The PDFs from this section of our website may not be fully accessible under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. You may request fully accessible decisions by emailing with the subject line “Administrative Decisions.”  In your email, indicate the date, title, citation string (if any), and code letter of the individual decision and the file name of the PDF.

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