Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

In administering U.S. immigration laws, one of USCIS’ primary functions is to adjudicate immigration benefit requests.

Upon proper filing, each benefit request must be thoroughly reviewed to determine jurisdiction, presence of required supporting documentation, existence of related files, and eligibility.

This part provides general guidance on USCIS’ adjudications across the various types of benefit requests that USCIS adjudicates. Variations in requirements and procedures may exist, depending on the benefit type, and are discussed in more detail in the program-specific parts of the Policy Manual.

B. Background [Reserved]

C. Legal Authorities

  • Homeland Security Act of 2002[1] 

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

  • Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended[2] – Records maintained on individuals

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

  • INA 103 – Powers and duties of the Secretary, Under Secretary, and Attorney General

  • 8 CFR 103.2 – Submission and adjudication of benefit requests 

  • INA 291 – Burden of proof upon alien

  • Delegation of Authority 0150.1 – Delegation to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services


[^ 1] See Pub. L. 107–296 (PDF), 116 Stat. 2135 (November 25, 2002).

[^ 2] See Pub. L. 93-579 (PDF), 88 Stat. 1896 (December 31, 1974).

Current as of October 01, 2021