Policy Memoranda

This page provides access to various policy and procedural memoranda which gives guidance to USCIS adjudicators in their work of processing applications and petitions for immigration benefits while still protecting national security.

ATTENTION: Policy memos that have been partially or fully superseded by the USCIS Policy Manual have been stamped and republished. If you have bookmarked affected memo PDF files, you will now see the updated stamped version of the memo indicating that you should visit www.uscis.gov/policy-manual for current policy.

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Rescission of Guidance Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in the Adjudication of Petitions for Extension of Nonimmigrant Status (PDF, 104 KB)
This policy memorandum (PM) supersedes and rescinds the April 23, 2004 memorandum titled “The Significance of a Prior CIS Approval of a Nonimmigrant Petition in the Context of a Subsequent Determination Regarding Eligibility for Extension of Petition Validity” and section VII of the August 17, 2015 policy memorandum titled “L-1B Adjudications Policy.”
Revised Guidance for Processing Cases Subject to Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds and Rescission of the Prior Hold Policy for Such Cases PM-602-0150 (PDF, 289 KB)
This policy memorandum (PM) revises the agency hold policy for association or activity involving the terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG).
Definition of “Affiliate” or “Subsidiary” for Purposes of Determining the H-1B ACWIA Fee PM-602-0147 (PDF, 87 KB)
The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) establishes a fee that certain petitioners must pay when filing an H-1B petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Matter of A-T- Inc, Adopted Decision 2017-04 (AAO May 23, 2017) (PDF, 111 KB)
Matter of A-T- Inc clarifies that, in order to qualify for an H-1B numerical cap exemption based upon a master’s or higher degree, the conferring institution must have qualified as a “United States institution of higher education” at the time the beneficiary’s degree was earned.
Matter of O-A-, Inc., Adopted Decision 2017-03 (AAO Apr. 17, 2017) (PDF, 95 KB)
This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of O-A-, Inc. as an Adopted Decision. Accordingly, this adopted decision establishes policy guidance that applies to and binds all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees. USCIS personnel are directed to follow the reasoning in this decision in similar cases.
Matter of I- Corp., Adopted Decision 2017-02 (AAO Apr. 12, 2017) (PDF, 114 KB)
Matter of I- Corp. clarifies that USCIS cannot approve a visa petition that is based on an illegal or otherwise invalid employment agreement. To prevent a potential conflict with the Fair Labor Standards Act, USCIS must ensure that a beneficiary will not be paid a wage that is less than the minimum required wage under state or Federal law, whichever is higher, before approving an employment-based visa petition.
Rescission of the December 22, 2000: Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions (PDF, 140 KB)
This policy memorandum (PM) supersedes and rescinds the December 22, 2000 memorandum titled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions” issued to Nebraska Service Center (NSC) employees by Terry Way.
Revision of Adjudicator’s Field Manual Subchapter 10.22 - Change of Gender Designation on Documents Issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (PDF, 95 KB)
This policy memorandum and accompanying revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual update USCIS policy regarding procedures and requirements to change the gender designation on a USCIS-issued document.
The Role and Use of Interpreters in Domestic Field Office Interviews (PDF, 498 KB)
To advance consistent standards for interpretation in interviews conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), this Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance regarding the role and use of interpreters in certain interviews conducted in USCIS domestic field offices in the absence of agency-provided interpretation
Matter of T-O-S-U-, Adopted Decision 2017-01 PM-602-0140 (PDF, 139 KB)
Matter of T-O-S-U- clarifies that, for purposes of 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(viii)(C) (2016), a “physician of national or international renown” is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is widely acclaimed and highly honored in the field of medicine within one or more countries, so long as the achievements leading to national renown are comparable to that which would result in national renown in the United States. The decision also suggests, but does not mandate, what types of evidence may be persuasive in establishing eligibility for this exemption.