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Chapter 7. Resources

7.1       USCIS Website

For more information about U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), please visit

(a)      Legal Resources

The USCIS website contains a Legal Resources webpage which provides information on the laws, regulations, and interpretations controlling immigration and the work of the immigration-related components of the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies.

The Legal Resources webpage includes links to several legal, policy, and procedural resources, including:

  • The Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act);[147]
  • USCIS regulations published in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (8 C.F.R.);
  • Regulations of other agencies that play a role in enforcing immigration law, including the Department of Labor (20 C.F.R.) and the Department of State (22 C.F.R.);
  • USCIS Federal Register publications, including notices, proposed, interim and final rules;
  • Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) precedent and non-precedent decisions;
  • The USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM);
  • The USCIS Policy Manual; and
  • USCIS Policy Memoranda.
Adopted decisions are available at the Adopted AAO Decisions web page.

(b)      Forms

USCIS forms and instructions are available to read, print, and download at

7.2      Federal Court Decisions

For information on the federal court system and where to find federal court decisions, see the Law Library of Congress webpage.

For information on the role of federal court decisions on the adjudication of immigration applications and petitions, see Chapter 14.5 of the AFM.  A public version of the AFM is available at

7.3      Guidelines for Briefs, Citations, and Evidence

 (a)       Briefs

The AAO does not have specific procedural rules for the format of supporting briefs.  Briefs should clearly and concisely explain any legal arguments, relevant facts and procedural history, and cite to the proper legal authorities fully, fairly, and accurately.

The AAO encourages limiting briefs to no more than 25 pages.

 (b)      Citations

The AAO encourages, but does not require, appellants to follow the guidelines of The Bluebook legal citation style guide.[148]

 (c)      Evidence

The AAO recommends the following when submitting evidence in support of an appeal, motion, or certification:

  • Include an index for the submitted evidence with a short explanation of the relevance of each document;
  • Number each page;
  • Insert file tabs or colored paper between exhibits; and
  • Do not resubmit evidence that is already in the record of proceedings.  The AAO reviews all previously submitted evidence in the relevant record.  Resubmitting the same evidence may slow down appellate review.  Instead, the brief should reference the existing evidence.


[147] [^] The Act is also contained in Title 8 of the United States Code (8 U.S.C.), titled “Aliens and Nationality.”  Although it is correct to refer to a specific section by either its citation to the Act or its U.S.C. citation, the citation to the Act is more commonly used.

[148] [^] The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal, and is published and distributed by the Harvard Law Review Association.  See for more information about The Bluebook.