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Volume 1 - General Policies and Procedures

Resources

Legal Authorities

13 U.S.C. 8 - Authenticated transcripts or copies of certain returns; other data; restriction on use; disposition of fees received

29 U.S.C. 701 - Rehabilitation Act

44 U.S.C. 31 - Federal Records Act of 1950, as amended - Records management by federal agencies

5 U.S.C. 552 - Freedom of Information Act - Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings

5 U.S.C. 552a - Privacy Act of 1974, as amended - Records maintained on individuals

5 U.S.C. 552a(b) - Conditions of disclosure

8 CFR 103.16 - Collection, use and storage of biometric information

8 CFR 103.2 - Submission and adjudication of benefit requests

8 CFR 103.7 - Fees

8 CFR 103.7(c) – Waiver of fees

8 CFR 208.6 - Disclosure to third parties

8 CFR 244.16 - Confidentiality in temporary protected status for nationals of designated states cases

8 CFR 245a.2 - Application for temporary residence

8 CFR 245a.21 - Confidentiality in Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act cases

8 CFR 245a.3 - Application for adjustment from temporary to permanent resident status

8 U.S.C. 1367 - Penalties for disclosure of information

8 U.S.C. 1641 - Restrictions on public assistance

Delegation of Authority 0105.1 - Delegation to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

INA 101(i)(1) - Referral to nongovernmental organization

INA 103, 8 CFR 103 - Powers and duties of the Secretary, the Under Secretary, and the Attorney General

INA 105 - Liaison with internal security officers

INA 210, 8 CFR 210 - Special agricultural workers

INA 244, 8 CFR 244 - Temporary protected status

INA 245A(c)(4) - Limitation on access to information

INA 286(m) - Immigration examinations fee account   

INA 291 - Burden of proof upon alien

INA 335, 8 CFR 335 - Investigation of applicants, examination of applications

Pub. L. 107-296 (PDF) - Homeland Security Act of 2002

Appendices

Dissatisfaction with USCIS: Terms and Definitions

Appendix: Dissatisfaction with USCIS: Terms and Definitions

Dissatisfaction with USCIS: Terms and Definitions

Category and Definition

Examples and Contact Information

Complaint

Any communication received by USCIS expressing dissatisfaction with USCIS. Complaints can be categorized as either “case-specific” or “non-case-specific.”[1]

Case-specific complaints directly relate to cases processed by USCIS.

Non-case-specific complaints refer to any dissatisfaction with USCIS that does not relate to a specific case.

Case-Specific Complaints

  • Cases outside normal processing times (ONPT)

  • Inaccurate or incomplete responses to case-related inquiries

  • Case processing errors

  • Confusion regarding a notice or correspondence sent by USCIS

Non-Case-Specific Complaints

  • Rude treatment by USCIS employees or contractors

  • Facility-related issues

  • Difficulty understanding forms, notices, instructions, or other general information

  • Administration of immigration laws or USCIS policies

Contact Information

USCIS offices, in-person or by mail. See Find a USCIS Office page on the USCIS website.

USCIS Contact Center
Phone: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY: 1-800-767-1833)

Misconduct

Actions of a USCIS employee or contractor that can be considered extreme or outrageous, including, but not limited to, criminal activity.[2]

  • Fraud, corruption, bribery, or embezzlement

  • Perjury or falsification of documents or information

  • Physical assault or inappropriate conduct

  • Unauthorized release of classified information or unauthorized use or misuse of official government systems

  • Misuse of official position for private gain

  • Theft or misuse of government funds, vehicles, badges, credentials, secure forms, sensitive property, or other property

  • Arrest of an employee or contractor by law enforcement personnel

Contact Information

DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG)
Phone: 1-800-323-8603; Fax: 202-254-4297

Mail: DHS, OIG/MAIL STOP 0305
Attn: Office of Investigations – Hotline
245 Murray Lane, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0305

USCIS Office of Security and Integrity (OI)
Fax: 202-233-2453

Mail: Office of Investigations
Attn: Intake MS 2275
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
633 Third Street NW, 3rd Floor, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20529-2275

Footnotes


1. [^] See Volume 1, Public Services, Chapter 9, Feedback, Complaints, and Reporting Misconduct [1 USCIS-PM A.9].

2. [^] See Volume 1, Public Services, Chapter 9, Feedback, Complaints, and Reporting Misconduct [1 USCIS-PM A.9].

Sample Language for Healthcare Certification

Appendix: Sample Language for Healthcare Certification

Healthcare Certification[1]

[Date]

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a licensed [counselor, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant, psychologist, social worker, or therapist], and I have treated or evaluated [patient’s name] in relation to [patient’s name]’s gender identity. In my professional opinion, [patient’s name]’s gender identity is consistent with a designation of [male or female].

Patient’s Information:
Full Name:
Date of Birth:

Healthcare Professional’s Information:
Full Name:
Organization (if any):
Address:
Phone Number:
License Type: [counselor, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant, psychologist, social worker, or therapist]
License Number:
Issuing State, Country, or other Jurisdiction of License:

Sincerely,

[Healthcare Professional’s Signature]

[Healthcare Professional’s Printed Name]

 

Footnote


1. [^] This format and language is one example of an acceptable healthcare certification letter; officers should accept other language and formats as long as they satisfy the requirements set out in Chapter 5, Verification of Identifying Information, Section C, Personal Information, Subsection 2, Gender [1 USCIS-PM E.5(B)(2)].

Updates

POLICY ALERT - Applying Discretion in USCIS Adjudications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is consolidating existing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the discretionary analysis required in the adjudication of certain benefit requests, including certain applications for employment authorization.

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Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy Manual

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

Technical Update - Incorporating Existing Guidance into the Policy Manual

This technical update is part of an initiative to move existing policy guidance from the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) into the Policy Manual. This update does not make major substantive changes but consolidates and incorporates existing AFM guidance into the Policy Manual, streamlining USCIS’ immigration policy while removing obsolete information. This guidance replaces Chapters 1, 3.4, 10.2, 10.3(a), 10.3(c), 10.3(e), 10.3(i), 10.4, 10.22, 11.1(c), 13, 14, 17, 23.8, 31.7, 33.10, 34.5, 35, 41.6, 42, 44, 56.1, 56.3, 56.4, 62, 81, 82, 83.1, 83.2, and 83.3 of the AFM, related appendices, and policy memoranda.

Technical Update - Use of Photographs as Biometrics

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is incorporating general information on USCIS’ use of photographs as biometrics.

POLICY ALERT - Submission of Benefit Requests

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding submission of benefit requests to USCIS.

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POLICY ALERT - Biometrics Services Updates

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address the availability of mobile biometrics services and clarify guidance on the validity period for fingerprint waivers.

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Technical Update - Implementation of Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

This technical update incorporates into Volume 1 the policy guidance that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced October 25, 2019, regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests. USCIS published this guidance with an effective date of December 2, 2019. Note: On December 11, 2019, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in Seattle v. DHS enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from requiring use of the new version of Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. USCIS has noted this in the corresponding Policy Manual guidance and reinstated the prior fee waiver policy guidance at AFM 10.9 and 10.10.

POLICY ALERT - Fees for Submission of Benefit Requests

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding submission and acceptance of fees for immigration benefit requests, with an effective date of December 2, 2019. Note: On December 11, 2019, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in Seattle v. DHS enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from requiring use of the new version of Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. USCIS has noted this in the corresponding Policy Manual guidance and reinstated the prior fee waiver policy guidance at AFM 10.9 and 10.10.

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Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”

This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].

POLICY ALERT - USCIS Public Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding services USCIS provides to the public, including general administration of certain immigration benefits, online tools, and up-to-date information.

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POLICY ALERT - Customer Service

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance on its standards in customer service.

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