Volume 3 - Humanitarian Protection and Parole
8 CFR 204.2 - Petitions for relatives, widows and widowers, and abused spouses and children
8 CFR 212.19 - Parole for entrepreneurs
8 CFR 274a - Control of employment of aliens
8 CFR 274a.12 - Classes of aliens authorized to accept employment
8 U.S.C. 1367 - Penalties for disclosure of information
82 FR 5238 (PDF) - International Entrepreneur Rule
86 FR 50839 (PDF) - International Entrepreneur Program: Automatic Increase of Investment and Revenue Amount Requirements
INA 101(a)(15)(U) - Definition of U nonimmigrant classification
INA 101(a)(51) - Definition of VAWA self-petitioner
INA 212(a) - Excludable aliens; classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission
INA 212(a)(4)(E)(ii) - Exemption from public charge ground of inadmissibility
INA 212(d)(14), 8 CFR 212.17 - Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility for U nonimmigrants
INA 212(d)(3) - Nonimmigrant waiver of inadmissibility
INA 212(d)(5), 8 CFR 212.5 - Parole of aliens into the United States
INA 214(p), 8 CFR 214.14 - Admission of nonimmigrants; requirements applicable to section 1101(a)(15)(U) visas
INA 237(d) - Administrative stay of final order of removal
INA 248(b) - Change of nonimmigrant classification
INA 274A - Unlawful employment of aliens
A noncitizen granted U-1 nonimmigrant status as a principal petitioner is employment authorized incident to status. USCIS automatically issues an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to principal petitioners upon the approval of the U nonimmigrant status petition.
The statute only allows 10,000 U nonimmigrant visas to be issued every fiscal year. If the number of approvable petitions exceeds 10,000, USCIS places the approvable petitions on a waiting list. Once they are on the waiting list, USCIS grants deferred action or, in limited circumstances, parole to U-1 principal petitioners and qualifying family members and, as a matter of discretion, may authorize employment for such petitioners and qualifying family members. USCIS generally provides such employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(14). Under the existing regulatory structure, noncitizens with pending petitions are currently unable to apply for employment authorization before waiting list placement.
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA 2008), signed into law on December 23, 2008, amended Section 214(p)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to provide DHS with discretion to grant employment authorization to a noncitizen who has a pending, bona fide petition for U nonimmigrant status. Though permitted by statute, DHS had not previously implemented a process for providing such employment authorization, separate from the existing regulatory waiting list, before June 14, 2021.
The permissive language of INA 214(p)(6) does not require the agency to create a separate employment authorization process. However, because of drastic increases in the volume of U nonimmigrant petitions and a growing backlog, USCIS decided to exercise its discretion to conduct bona fide determinations (BFD) and provide EADs and deferred action to noncitizens with pending, bona fide petitions who meet certain discretionary standards, beginning on June 14, 2021.
INA 103(a) grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to enforce the immigration laws and provides general authority for deferred action. The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified that decisions made to either initiate or terminate enforcement proceedings are under the purview of the Executive Branch, and therefore fall within DHS’s authority. The Executive Branch has exercised its discretion to grant deferred action, and the federal courts have consistently recognized the existence of this authority, since the mid-1970s.
While USCIS has approved the statutory maximum of petitions each year since Fiscal Year 2010, the increasing number of petitions and complexity of the adjudication resulted in increased processing times. USCIS attempted to keep up with this increase by shifting resources as well as hiring and training new officers; yet, despite these attempts, the burden quickly outpaced resources given competing demands and priorities across the agency.
Consequently, the number of remaining pending petitions after the annual cap was reached grew dramatically. Though the waiting list was initially conceived to address the gap between petitions filed and available visas, USCIS’ ability to adjudicate pending petitions for placement on the waiting list has been and continues to be outmatched by the steady number of new filings.
To illustrate, in 2009, USCIS received 6,850 principal petitions; in 2020, 22,358 principal petitions were filed. From 2015-2018, over 30,000 principal petitions were filed annually. The pending backlog, and the corresponding delay in adjudication time, is due to the increase in U visa filings overall, the complexity of the adjudication, the statutory cap mandated by Congress, and the agency’s priorities and limited resources.
As of June 14, 2021, USCIS is unable to adjudicate the tens of thousands of petitions for the waiting list, as well as completing full adjudication for the 10,000 principal visas available under the statutory cap, in a single fiscal year without incurring a negative impact in other humanitarian programs and fee-based applications or petitions.
Taking into consideration the overall filings increase and the numerous adjudications USCIS is responsible for, USCIS must allocate resources among the competing adjudicative priorities and balance the number of resources that can be assigned to the U visa program.
Additionally, as of June 14, 2021, USCIS is facing substantial litigation fueled by the years-long wait times for petitioners to be placed on the waiting list and obtain U nonimmigrant status due to the number of new petitions filed each year exceeding the statutory cap. Case review has revealed that most U nonimmigrant petitioners do not have lawful immigration status and are not otherwise authorized to work, so they may be vulnerable during the lengthy adjudication period.
USCIS recognizes concerns regarding such vulnerability raised by stakeholders and believes implementing the statute’s authorization to provide EADs to those with pending, bona fide petitions better aligns the U program with its dual purpose as envisioned by Congress: stabilizing victims of crime and serving as a tool for law enforcement.
In addition, the BFD process enables USCIS to review petitions more efficiently, and provide the benefits of employment authorization and deferred action to more petitioners in a shorter time period than the waiting list process alone, which requires a full adjudicative review of eligibility for nonimmigrant status. USCIS notes that from FY 2009 through FY 2020, over 75 percent of fully adjudicated Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918) have been approved.
Therefore, under this policy, USCIS deems a petition “bona fide” when USCIS determines that the Form I-918 is complete and properly filed and has received the result of the petitioner’s biometrics. Because INA 214(p)(6) gives the Secretary of Homeland Security, and USCIS as the Secretary's designee, discretion to issue employment authorization to pending, bona fide principal petitioners and qualifying family members, USCIS also considers whether the principal petitioners or qualifying family members appear to pose a risk to national security or public safety, and otherwise merit a favorable exercise of discretion.
The EAD and deferred action that USCIS issues for these cases is valid for 4 years, subject to termination if USCIS determines a national security or public safety concern has arisen, or a determination that the BFD EAD is no longer warranted, or that the prior BFD EAD and deferred action was issued in error.
USCIS issues BFD EADs under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(14) because recipients of BFD EADs also receive deferred action. Furthermore, there is currently no other EAD category specifically designated for principal petitioners and qualifying family members with pending, bona fide petitions. INA 214(p)(6) provides the statutory foundation for the implementation of the BFD process, and explicitly speaks to the granting of employment authorization. As such, petitioners granted BFD EADs receive employment authorization documents under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(14).
B. Administrative Procedure Act Considerations
The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) excepts interpretive rules; general statements of policy; and rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice from notice and comment requirements.
On June 14, 2021, USCIS updated the Policy Manual to notify the public of its interpretation of “bona fide application” at INA 214(p)(6), its exercise of discretion under that provision, and explain its policy for issuing such EADs and granting deferred action. USCIS’ interpretation is reasonable because “bona fide” generally means “made in good faith; without fraud or deceit.”
In this context, USCIS interprets the bona fide standard as being met once the entire petition (including the required certification on Form I-918, Supplement B) is properly filed and biometrics are submitted and received. The completion of the Supplement B by a law enforcement official or judge provides an appropriate assurance of the bona fide nature of the petition in this context.
Likewise, because INA 214(p)(6) gives USCIS discretionary authority to issue such employment authorization, it is reasonable, in the exercise of such discretion, to assess security checks to determine whether petitioners may pose a threat to national security or public safety before according benefits under this section.
The Policy Manual guidance explains and provides clarification to officers but does not add to the substantive regulations, create legally binding rights or obligations, or change the substantive standards by which USCIS evaluates applications for immigration benefit requests.
1. Unfair Surprise and Reliance Interests
An agency changing its interpretation of a regulation should consider, among other factors, whether the interpretative change creates unfair surprise. USCIS is issuing this guidance to clarify what the law and regulations permit or require. USCIS is not restricting the program for pending petitioners; rather, USCIS is using its statutory authority to provide an additional pathway to employment authorization and deferred action. Pending petitioners will not be treated in a disparate or unfair manner, as the evaluation for an EAD is based on the initial evidence petitioners must submit when filing a Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918).
This process does not create an undue burden on pending or future petitioners, as it does not change any evidentiary requirement. Rather, it utilizes the filing system already in place to issue benefits to Form I-918 petitioners and mitigate any vulnerabilities they may face due to the lengthy adjudicatory wait times.
Additionally, those who are not granted BFD EADs and deferred action under the first phase of review proceed to the full waiting list adjudication, thereby receiving the same adjudicative review they would have had before this policy implementation. Consequently, the new policy only has an adverse impact on overseas derivatives where the principal petitioner resides in the U.S.
USCIS notes that overseas principal petitioners and qualifying family members would not benefit from this EAD and deferred action process because they are not physically located in the United States. Neither deferred action nor employment authorization are accorded to noncitizens outside the United States.
USCIS considered the potential impact to such petitioners and determined that offering employment authorization and deferred action to the majority of petitioners (as a majority of Form I-918 petitioners are physically located in the United States), coupled with the statutory authority to provide employment to pending, bona fide petitioners, provides numerous benefits.
Additionally, USCIS does not anticipate that overseas principal petitioners and qualifying family members would be harmed by this process, since the agency continues to conduct full waiting list adjudications for overseas principal petitioners and qualifying family members, as the agency has previously done. Consequently, this policy has no adverse impact upon overseas principal petitioners and qualifying family members.
USCIS notes that there will be adverse impacts to overseas qualifying family members where the principal petitioner is in the United States; if the principal petitioner receives the BFD EAD and deferred action, there is not a sufficient basis to conduct a waiting list adjudication for the qualifying family member.
However, USCIS believes the overall benefits of this policy change outweigh the adverse impacts. The BFD process only provides a basic review of the principal petition for U nonimmigrant status, and does not require the petitioner to establish eligibility for U nonimmigrant status but for visa availability in a given fiscal year under the statutory cap.
USCIS cannot provide different levels of adjudication to a principal petitioner and the petitioner's qualifying family members. Advancing qualifying family members to an adjudicative phase beyond that of the principal petitioner would conflict with the INA’s requirement that the qualifying family members be “accompanying or following to join” the principal petitioner, and in addition would be confusing and difficult to administer.
USCIS also considered providing petitioners in the United States who have overseas beneficiaries the option of forgoing the BFD process for a waiting list adjudication; however, this would create multiple adjudicatory tracks and result in operational inefficiencies that this policy change was meant to eliminate.
USCIS recognizes that 8 CFR 214.14(d)(2) states, “After U-1 nonimmigrant status has been issued to qualifying petitioners on the waiting list, any remaining U-1 nonimmigrant numbers for that fiscal year will be issued to new qualifying petitioners in the order that the petitions were properly filed.” Historically, USCIS has interpreted and applied this provision to mean that it will grant visas to those on the waiting list, based on the date the petition was filed, before granting visas to those not on the waiting list. Yet the regulation also clearly states “the oldest petitions receiving the highest priority” for such cap numbers.
Under this policy, as part of the first phase of review, USCIS issues EADs and deferred action to noncitizens in the United States with a bona fide petition, instead of placing them in the queue for a waiting list adjudication. Those who do not receive an EAD under the first phase proceed to the full waiting list adjudication.
That is, if their petitions are approvable, they are placed on the waiting list to receive an EAD and deferred action. As these two tracks receive the same benefits (EAD and deferred action), the most equitable path is to continue to issue visas based on the date a petition is filed, regardless of whether a petitioner is placed on the waiting list or not. USCIS believes this approach best implements the regulatory provision and statute, and provides the greatest benefit to all petitioners, without adversely impacting any petitioner.
USCIS considered the alternative of continuing to adjudicate petitions on the waiting list first, before those with BFD EADs, but believes that would be inequitable and in conflict with the regulatory language directing that the oldest petitions receive the highest priority. Most of those with BFD EADs will never be placed on the waiting list.
To make them wait behind all petitioners on the current waiting list regardless of filing date, and to prioritize those placed on the waiting list in the future, would effectively penalize those who were able to receive BFD EADs because they had properly filed a complete Form I-918 that did not raise any public safety or national security risks. Accordingly, USCIS will adjudicate petitions for U nonimmigrant status in date-filed order, drawing from both BFD EAD recipients and petitioners on the waiting list.
2. Criminal History Check for Bona Fide Determination Employment Authorization Documents
Before June 14, 2021, USCIS officers considered criminal history background checks when adjudicating a Form I-918 petition: first, for waiting list placement and second, for the final adjudication when a visa has become available.
USCIS continues to evaluate whether a principal petitioner or a qualifying family member may maintain a BFD EAD and grant of deferred action throughout the 4-year validity period until final adjudication for U nonimmigrant status; however, as of June 14, 2021, USCIS will review and update background and security checks at regular intervals during the validity period of a principal petitioner or qualifying family member’s BFD EAD and deferred action. USCIS also retains discretion to update background and security checks at any time when case-specific circumstances warrant.
By reviewing updated background and security checks at regular intervals during the validity period, USCIS will ensure the petitioner continues to pose no risk to public safety and national security. USCIS does not believe this review would adversely impact any petitioner’s reliance interests or raise retroactivity concerns, as the checks are already run regularly.
Additionally, implementing these checks allows USCIS to maintain a balance between providing employment authorization to eligible immigrant victims of crime and ensuring the security of the United States. Finally, any public safety and national security issues raised anew after a BFD EAD and deferred action have been granted will be fully evaluated during the waiting list adjudication, under the same adjudicative review as would have occurred before this policy implementation.
USCIS began implementing this policy on June 14, 2021. This policy applies to all Form I-918 petitions pending on June 14, 2021, as well as Form I-918 petitions filed on or after that date. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance.
[^ 1] See 8 CFR 214.14(c)(7). See Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918).
[^ 2] See INA 214(p)(2).
[^ 3] See 8 CFR 214.14(d)(2).
[^ 4] See Section 201(c) of Pub. L. 110-457 (PDF), 122 Stat. 5044, 5053 (December 23, 2008) (amending INA 214(p)(6)).
[^ 5] See Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985) (holding that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce. . . is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion” and noting that enforcement decisions involve a “complicated balancing of a number of factors which are peculiarly within [the agency’s expertise, including] whether agency resources are best spent on this violation or another, whether the agency is likely to succeed if it acts, whether the particular enforcement action requested best fits the agency’s overall policies, and, indeed, whether the agency has enough resources to undertake the action at all. An agency generally cannot act against each technical violation of the statute it is charged with enforcing.”).
[^ 6] See, for example, Soon Bok Yoon v. INS, 538 F.2d 1211, 1213 (5th Cir. 1976); Vergel v. INS, 536 F.2d 755, 757-58 (8th Cir. 1976); and Nicholas v. INS, 590 F.2d 802, 806-08 (9th Cir. 1979), superseded by rule on other grounds, as stated in Romeiro de Silva v. Smith, 773 F.2d 1021, 1024 (9th Cir. 1985).
[^ 7] See Number of Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Statistics by Fiscal Year, Quarter, and Case Status (Fiscal Years 2009-2020) (PDF, 112.43 KB).
[^ 8] See Section 1502 and 1513(a)(2) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-386 (PDF), 114 Stat. 1464, 1518 (October 28, 2000) (“[P]roviding battered immigrant women and children who were experiencing domestic violence at home with protection against deportation allows them to obtain protection orders against their abusers and frees them to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors in criminal cases brought against their abusers and the abusers of their children . . . .”).
[^ 9] See Number of Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status By Fiscal Year, Quarter, and Case Status (Fiscal Years 2009-2020) (PDF, 112.43 KB).
[^ 10] This includes all required initial evidence, except the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (Form I-192). One of the main purposes for issuing employment authorization to those with pending, bona fide petitions is to provide EADs to good faith petitioners who are vulnerable due to lengthy wait times. Requiring and adjudicating the Form I-192 for purposes of the EAD would delay the EAD adjudication and undermine the efficiency goals of this change. Instead of adjudicating the Form I-192 at this stage, USCIS relies on criminal history checks.
[^ 11] See INA 212(a)(3).
[^ 12] See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A).
[^ 13] See Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).
[^ 14] USCIS considered different potential definitions of “bona fide” and ultimately determined that this definition was best suited to this context. USCIS specifically considered the criteria for the “bona fide determination” at 8 CFR 214.11(e), regarding noncitizen victims of severe forms of trafficking, but ultimately decided not to adopt those criteria because of the differences between the U and T visa requirements, such as the law enforcement certification requirement for U nonimmigrant petitioners. See INA 214(p)(1); 8 CFR 214.14(c)(2)(i). The completion of the Supplement B by a law enforcement official or judge provides an appropriate assurance of the bona fide nature of the petition in this context. Additionally, the T regulation requires consideration of waivers of inadmissibility, for which an RFE is often required. This would significantly delay the U BFD adjudication, contrary to Congress’ likely intent in authorizing the issuance of this interim benefit. It would also undermine the procedural efficiencies this policy was intended to create in comparison with the waiting list process.
[^ 15] See Long Island Care at Home Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 170-71 (2007). See Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 567 U.S. 142 (2012).
This appendix provides a general overview of the most common business forms or structures of petitioning employers, agents, or sponsors filing an Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-140) or Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129). These forms or structures are also relevant to the new commercial enterprises underlying an Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) or Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor (Form I-526E).
This appendix includes information on how different types of businesses are formed, their fundamental characteristics, the various tax forms that each business organization files with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and basic tax terms. Generally, each business form or structure discussed in this appendix should have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), sometimes also called a Federal Tax Identification Number, or IRS Tax Number. An EIN is used to identify a business entity for IRS purposes.
State law generally governs the formation, operation, and dissolution of business entities. As each state has its own rules for business entities, an officer should refer to the relevant state statute or state authority’s website (such as the California Secretary of State’s Business Programs Division) if there is a specific question about a particular business entity.
A. Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a for-profit business owned by one person (or a married couple, in some cases). A sole proprietorship is “a business in which one person owns all the assets, owes all the liabilities, and operates in his or her personal capacity.” Owners may operate on their own or may employ other people. The sole proprietorship is the simplest business form under which a person can operate a business. It is not a separate legal entity from its owner; for example, the owner remains responsible for the business debts.
A sole proprietorship can operate under the name of its owner or it can elect to do business under a fictitious name. The fictitious name is simply a trade name and does not create a legal entity separate from the sole proprietor owner.
Income from the business is included on the owner’s personal income tax return, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (IRS Form 1040). The profits and losses of the business are recorded and attached to the Form 1040 on Profit or Loss From Business (Schedule C); Supplemental Income or Loss (Schedule E); or Profit or Loss From Farming (Schedule F).
The owner’s adjusted gross income on Form 1040 is used as net income for ability to pay purposes; however, there are no tax forms that list the business’s current assets and liabilities. When determining a petitioner’s ability to pay the proffered wage, USCIS also considers a sole proprietor’s liquefiable personal assets as well as household expenses and other personal liabilities (such as rent, car payments, and child care expenses).
A partnership is the relationship between two or more persons or entities who join to carry on a trade or business. Each person or entity contributes to the partnership something of value (for example, money, property, labor, or skill) and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.
A partnership is created automatically when two or more persons or entities engage in a business enterprise for profit whether or not the persons or entities intend to form a partnership. Partners seeking increased accountability, however, may opt to have their arrangement memorialized in a partnership agreement. The following subsections provide an overview of the most common forms of partnerships. The type of partnership is identified at Schedule B, Line 1 of U.S. Return of Partnership Income (IRS Form 1065).
1. General Partnership
A general partnership is the simplest form of partnership, and as such, general partnerships are simply called partnerships. In a general partnership, all partners or owners may equally share responsibilities and liabilities.
A general partnership has the following characteristics:
- A general partnership is created through an express or implied agreement;
- A general partnership has two or more partners; and
- The owners or partners, which may be other types of entities (such as a corporation or limited liability company), are all liable for all legal actions and debts the company faces.
2. Limited Partnership
A limited partnership is very similar to a general partnership, except that the partnership is partially owned by one or more limited partners and is managed exclusively by its general partner(s).
A limited partnership must have at least one general partner. The general partner, often another type of entity (typically a corporation or limited liability company), has management powers, the right to use partnership property, and is personally liable for the debts of the partnership.
Conversely, limited partners do not participate in the management of the business and are generally liable for the partnership’s debts only to the extent of their contributed investment. Limited partnerships permit a person to invest in a partnership while limiting their liability and involvement in its management. In general, a formal written agreement is required to create a limited partnership.
3. Limited Liability Partnership
In a limited liability partnership (LLP), all partners have limited liability similar to that of limited partners in a limited partnership, but without the limitations on control over the company. Some states limit usage of LLPs to certain professions (for example, lawyers).
4. Limited Liability Limited Partnership
A limited liability limited partnership (LLLP) is a modification of the limited partnership. Similar to a limited partnership, the LLLP consists of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners.
In general, the key features of an LLLP are:
The general partners manage the business operations of the LLLP, while the limited partners typically only maintain a passive financial interest;
It is designed to offer limited liability to all partners in the partnership; and
The partners decide the structure of the organization and the distribution of profits and losses. States usually recommend the partners establish a formal, written partnership agreement.
Not every state allows the formation of or recognizes LLLPs.
The IRS generally considers partnerships to be pass-through tax entities, which means that the partnership itself does not pay income taxes and all of the profits and losses of the partnership pass through the business to the partners, who pay taxes on their share of the profits (or deduct their share of the losses) on their individual income tax returns. Each partner may share in the profits and losses of the partnership equally, or in proportion to their respective contributions to the partnership or as otherwise set out in a written partnership agreement.
Even though the partnership itself does not pay income taxes, it must file U.S. Return of Partnership Income (IRS Form 1065). This form is an informational return the IRS reviews to determine whether the partners are reporting their income correctly. Net income or loss (notated on tax forms as ordinary business income (loss)) is found on IRS Form 1065 or Schedule K and net current assets are calculated from information on Schedule L.
A corporation is a created by filing articles of incorporation with a state. In the eyes of the law, a corporation is a distinct body separate from its owners and management. Accordingly, a corporation is entitled to all legal rights afforded to individual persons, such as the ability to bring and defend lawsuits or to buy and sell property. The corporation’s most notable feature is that, subject to narrow exceptions, it protects its owners (shareholders) from personal liability for its debts and obligations. A corporation also has directors and officers who run the business.
A corporation has perpetual life. When a shareholder dies or otherwise elects to leave a corporation, the shareholder can transfer their stock to others. Corporate shareholders own the corporation, the board of directors manages the corporation through their direction and control of its officers, and, in almost all cases, the officers oversee the day-to-day operations of the corporation. The shareholders elect the directors, who in turn appoint the corporate officers. Often, particularly in smaller corporations, the same person might serve multiple roles within a corporation: shareholder, director, and officer.
A corporation’s shareholders, directors, and officers must observe particular formalities in a corporation’s operation and administration. For example, corporations must, on at least an annual basis, make decisions regarding a corporation’s management by formal vote and must record those votes in the corporate minutes. Meetings of shareholders and directors must be properly noticed and must meet quorum requirements. Finally, corporations must meet annual reporting requirements in their state of incorporation and in states where they do significant business.
1. Subchapter C Corporations
Corporations that have not elected to be taxed as a subchapter S corporation are by default taxed as a C corporation under Subchapter C of Chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) where the general tax rules affecting corporations and their shareholders are located.
A C corporation files U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return (IRS Form 1120). C corporations (and other entities electing to be taxed as C corporations) are the only type of businesses that must pay income taxes on profits. The subsections below discuss how other corporations file and pay their taxes.
Generally, a C corporation’s taxable profits consist of money kept in the company to cover expenses or expansion (called retained earnings) and profits that are distributed to the owners (shareholders) as dividends. These dividends are taxed twice, as the shareholders also pay taxes on these amounts. Net income (taxable income before net operating loss deduction and special deductions) appears on the IRS Form 1120 or 1120-A, while net current assets are calculated from information on Schedule L of IRS Form 1120 or 1120-A.
To reduce taxable profits, a C corporation can deduct many of its business expenses that the C corporation spends in the legitimate pursuit of profit.
2. Subchapter S Corporations
The subchapter S corporation is a variation of the standard subchapter C corporation. The rules for subchapter S corporations are found in the IRC and provide many of the benefits of partnership taxation while at the same time giving the owners limited liability protection from creditors.
An S corporation has the same corporate structure as a standard C corporation. It is a legal entity, chartered under state law, separate from its shareholders and officers, and there is generally limited liability for corporate shareholders. The difference is that the S corporation files an election on Election by a Small Business Corporation (IRS Form 2553), to be treated differently for federal tax purposes.
As with partnerships, the income, deductions, and tax credits of an S corporation flow through to shareholders annually, regardless of whether distributions (dividends) are made. Therefore, income is taxed solely at the shareholder level and not at the corporate level. To qualify for S corporation status, the corporation must meet certain requirements.
An S corporation files U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation (IRS Form 1120-S). The corporate income flows through and is reported on the shareholders’ individual tax returns. The corporation completes and files a Shareholder’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. (Schedule K-1) with IRS Form 1120-S for each shareholder. The Schedule K-1 tells shareholders their allocable share of corporate income and deductions.
Shareholders must pay tax on their share of corporate income, regardless of whether it is actually distributed. Net income or loss, notated on tax forms as ordinary business income (loss), appears on the IRS Form 1120-S or its Schedule K, while net current assets are calculated from information on Schedule L.
3. Personal Service Corporation
A personal service corporation is a corporation where the employee-owners are engaged in the performance of personal services. The IRC defines personal services as services performed in the fields of health, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, and consulting.
To qualify as a personal service corporation, substantially all the corporation’s activities must involve the performance of personal services, and a percentage of the corporation’s stock must be owned by employees performing the personal services.
A personal service corporation pays tax on its profits as a corporate entity. However, a personal service corporation is not allowed to use the graduated tax rates for other C corporations. Instead, it is subject to a flat tax based on the highest corporate tax rate. Because of the high tax rate, personal service corporations generally distribute their profits as wages to the employee-shareholders. In turn, the employee-shareholders pay personal taxes on their wages.
The personal service corporation files its taxes on IRS Form 1120. This form contains a box for the business to indicate that it is a personal service corporation. Net income or loss is notated on IRS Form 1120 or 1120-A as taxable income before net operating loss deduction and special deductions, while net current assets are calculated from information on IRS Form 1120 Schedule L.
D. Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company (LLC) is a hybrid entity, combining some of the most advantageous features of partnerships and corporations. LLCs were created to provide business owners with the liability protection that corporations enjoy without the double taxation. Under the default tax standard, earnings and losses of an LLC pass through to the owners and are included on their personal tax returns.
LLCs are similar to S corporations, except that LLCs are not limited in the number of owners or types of members. LLCs may be either member-managed (managed by each of its members) or manager-managed (managed by specified managers who may or may not be members of the LLC). The LLC’s operating agreement may distinguish between members and managing members. Generally, if such a distinction is made, managing members of the LLC are allowed a full participatory role in the business’s operation. However, depending on the operating agreement, even regular members may have a role in the business’s operation.
To set up an LLC, organizers file articles of organization with the secretary of state in the state where the LLC is formed. Some states also require the filing of an operating agreement, which is similar to a partnership agreement. LLCs do not necessarily have perpetual life and can be set up to dissolve after a set period of time, such as a specific number of years, upon the occurrence of a triggering event, such as the death or withdrawal of a member, or as otherwise provided in the operating agreement.
The IRS does not recognize an LLC as a classification for federal tax purposes and by default treats multi-member LLCs as a partnership and single-member LLCs as a disregarded entity (similar to a sole proprietorship) for tax purposes. As with other entities, however, an LLC may file an election to be taxed differently (such as a corporation).
For federal income tax purposes, LLCs with two or more members are treated by default as partnerships (a pass-through entity) and must file the IRS Form 1065, discussed above under Section B, Partnership. Each partner receives a Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. (Schedule K-1) for their share of income or losses to be reported on that partner’s individual tax return.
If there is only one member in the LLC, it is treated as a disregarded entity (similar to a sole proprietorship) for tax purposes, and the owner reports the LLC’s income on the owner’s personal individual tax return on Schedules C, E, or F to the IRS Form 1040, discussed above under Section A, Sole Proprietorship.
As an option, LLCs may also elect to be taxed like a corporation by filing Entity Classification Election (IRS Form 8832). They can be treated as a regular C corporation (taxation of the entity’s income before any dividends or distributions to the members and then taxation of the dividends or distributions once received as income by the members), or as an S corporation. These corporations file IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S, discussed above under Section C, Corporation.
E. Non-Profit Organization
A non-profit organization (NPO) is an entity that serves some public purpose and therefore enjoys special treatment under the law, including often having tax-exempt status and the protection of directors, officers, and members from personal liability. Typically, NPOs are engaged in charitable, educational, religious, or artistic activities of public or private interest. Unlike a for-profit business entity, an NPO does not distribute profits to its owners. Instead, any profits must ultimately go back into the organization.
In general, an NPO is formed and governed under state statutes the same as other entity types, and often takes the form of nonprofit corporations or LLCs. Whether incorporated or unincorporated, an NPO must keep records, prepare minutes of meetings, and have a separate bank account.
The board of directors typically makes collaborative decisions regarding the operation of the NPO. The board defines the mission and the policies of the NPO, creates budgets and oversees finances, and hires an executive director. If the NPO has an executive director, the director carries out the daily functions of the NPO under the management of the board. The executive director’s job is also to advise and report information to the board about activities and programs, and to monitor finances.
An incorporated or unincorporated NPO can qualify for tax-exempt status if it meets certain conditions. In most states, if an NPO qualifies for a federal tax exemption it also automatically qualifies for a state tax exemption. The federal government offers many different types of tax exemptions for non-profits under IRC 501(c). The most popular kind of NPO is called a 501(c)(3). Under this code section, the NPO is exempt from paying federal income taxes and contributions made to the non-profit are generally tax-deductible for the donors.
Most NPOs are required to file an annual informational return, called a Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (IRS Form 990 or IRS Form 990EZ), if the organization’s gross receipts exceed $50,000 from sources other than the exempt purpose. Some religious organizations are not required to file IRS Form 990 or 990EZ.
IRS Form 990 provides an analysis of an NPO’s revenue and expenses, and net income is stated on the form as revenue less expenses. The abbreviated balance sheet on IRS Form 990 does not identify which assets and liabilities are current and therefore is not useful for calculating net current assets.
[^ 1] See IRS’s Employer ID Numbers webpage. For an explanation of what types of business structures require an EIN, see IRS’s Do You Need an EIN webpage.
[^ 2] For an explanation of married couples and sole proprietorship, see IRS’s Frequently Asked Questions for Entities webpage.
[^ 3] See Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).
[^ 4] See Matter of United Investment Group (PDF), 19 I&N Dec. 248 (Comm. 1984).
[^ 5] See Michael Spadaccini, Ultimate Guide to Incorporating in Any State (Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 2010), p. 3. For a general overview of sole proprietorships, see Jeffrey F. Beatty and Susan S. Samuelson, Business Law and the Legal Environment (Cengage Learning, 2006), p. 755. See the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Choose a business structure webpage.
[^ 6] See Section 101 of the Uniform Partnership Act (1997). The Uniform Partnership Act is a uniform act from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws for the governance of partnerships. It has been amended several times since its promulgation, most recently in 2011 and 2013. The Uniform Partnership Act has been enacted by most U.S. states.
[^ 7] See the IRS’s Tax Information For Partnerships webpage.
[^ 8] See Section 202(a) of the Uniform Partnership Act (1997).
[^ 9] See IRS’s Instructions for Form 1065.
[^ 10] A partnership can also be formed by estoppel (where a party is held out to be a partner and can be held liable for debts or damages incurred by the partnership). See definition of “partnership by estoppel,” Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019). A written general partnership agreement usually identifies the names of the partners; the amount and type of contribution made by each partner; each partner’s initial percentage of ownership; the business activities conducted by the partnership; whether and how partnership interests can be transferred; and the conditions allowing dissolution of the partnership. See Section 103 of the Uniform Partnership Act (1997).
[^ 11] See the IRS’s Tax Information For Partnerships webpage.
[^ 12] See Section 306 of the Uniform Partnership Act (1997).
[^ 13] See the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (2001). The Uniform Limited Partnership Act is another uniform act from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws for the governance of partnerships.
[^ 14] See Angela Schneeman, Law of Corporations and Other Business Organizations (Cengage Learning, 2009), p. 114.
[^ 15] See Sections 201 and 404 of the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (2001).
[^ 16] The elements identified in these written agreements include the names of partners, the amount and type of contribution made by each partner, whether the partners hold a limited partnership interest, each partner’s initial percentage of ownership, the business activities of the limited partnership, whether and how partnership interests can be transferred, and the conditions allowing the dissolution of the limited partnership. See IRS Publication 541, Partnerships.
[^ 17] See IRS’s Instructions for Form 1065. See Section 1001 of the Uniform Partnership Act.
[^ 18] See the U.S. SBA’s Choose a business structure webpage.
[^ 19] See IRS’s SOI Tax Stats - Partnership Study Explanation of Selected Terms webpage.
[^ 20] For an example of limited partnerships and LLLPs, see page 21 of the Ohio Secretary of State’s publication, Start a Partnership in Ohio (PDF).
[^ 21] State law created and governs LLLPs. See, for example, page 21 of the Ohio Secretary of State’s publication, Start a Partnership in Ohio (PDF), and State of California Franchise Tax Board’s Limited liability limited partnership webpage.
[^ 22] For a discussion of one state’s LLLP provisions, see pages 21 to 23 of the Ohio Secretary of State’s publication, Start a Partnership in Ohio (PDF).
[^ 23] See IRS’s Tax Information For Partnerships webpage.
[^ 24] The partnership must also provide a Partner’s Share of Income, Deductions, Credits, etc. (Schedule K-1) to the IRS and to each partner, which breaks down each partner's share of the business's profits and losses. In turn, each partner reports this profit and loss information on Schedule E of the partner’s individual IRS Form 1040. See IRS’s Instructions for Schedule E.
[^ 25] Negative values are represented in parentheses on tax forms.
[^ 26] See Michael Spadaccini, Ultimate Guide to Incorporating in Any State (Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 2010), p. 8.
[^ 27] See Michael Spadaccini, Ultimate Guide to Incorporating in Any State (Irvine, CA: Entrepreneur Press, 2010), p. 8.
[^ 28] See William Meade Fletcher, Cyclopedia of the Law of Private Corporations, Vol. 1, section 41.31 (Sept. 2021 Update). See DeWitt Truck Brokers, Inc. v. W. Ray Flemming Fruit Co., 540 F.2d 681 (4th Cir. 1976) (court properly ignored the existence of a corporate entity where there was a failure to follow corporate formalities).
[^ 29] See Wachovia Securities, LLC v. Jahelka, 586 F.Supp.2d 972, 1002 (N.D.I.L. 2008) (disregarding a corporation’s existence when it failed to observe required corporate formalities such as holding regular meetings, taking minutes, and maintaining corporate records).
[^ 30] For instructions on electing a different taxation structure, see IRS’s S Corporations webpage and IRS’s Instructions for Form 1120.
[^ 31] When determining whether or not a corporation has the ability to pay the beneficiary the proffered wage, officers should refer to Volume 6, Immigrants, Part E, Employment-Based Immigration, Chapter 4, Ability to Pay [6 USCIS-PM E.4].
[^ 32] S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are not taxed on business profits unless they elect otherwise; instead, the profits pass through the businesses to their owners, who report business income or losses on their personal tax returns.
[^ 33] See IRS Publication 542, Corporations.
[^ 34] In addition to start-up costs, operating expenses, and product and advertising outlays, a C corporation can deduct the salaries and bonuses it pays and all of the costs associated with medical and retirement plans for employees. See IRS’s Instructions for Form 1120.
[^ 35] See 26 U.S.C. 1361.
[^ 36] See IRS’s S Corporations webpage. A subchapter S corporation must be a domestic corporation; have only allowable shareholders (may include persons, certain trusts, and estates, but may not include partnerships, corporations, or non-resident shareholders); have no more than 100 shareholders; have only one class of stock (for example, no preferred stock allowed); and not be an ineligible corporation (such as certain financial institutions, insurance companies, and domestic international sales corporations).
[^ 37] Negative values are represented on tax forms by parentheses.
[^ 38] See 26 U.S.C. 448(d)(2).
[^ 39] See IRS Publication 542, Corporations.
[^ 40] See IRS’s Instructions for Form 1120.
[^ 41] When determining whether or not a corporation has the ability to pay the beneficiary the proffered wage, officers should refer to Volume 6, Immigrants, Part E, Employment-Based Immigration, Chapter 4, Ability to Pay [6 USCIS-PM E.4].
[^ 42] See the U.S. SBA’s Choose a business structure webpage.
[^ 43] While the default tax treatment for an LLC is pass-through taxation, as with all entities, it may elect to be taxed differently.
[^ 44] See IRS’s SOI Tax Stats - Partnership Study Explanation of Selected Terms webpage.
[^ 45] The powers and duties of members and managers are typically outlined in the LLC’s operating agreement. See U.S. SBA’s Basic Information About Operating Agreements webpage.
[^ 46] See IRS’s Limited Liability Company (LLC) webpage. A professional limited liability company (PLLC) is an LLC organized for the purpose of providing professional services, such as a doctor, chiropractor, lawyer, accountant, architect, landscape architect, or engineer. Some states permit LLCs to engage in the practice of a licensed profession through PLLCs. Exact requirements of PLLCs vary from state to state. Typically, a PLLC's members must all be professionals practicing the same profession. In addition, the limitation of personal liability of members does not extend to professional malpractice claims.
[^ 47] See Marilyn E. Phelan, Nonprofit Organizations: Law and Taxation, sections 1:1, 4:1, and 7:1 (Oct. 2022 Update).
[^ 48] See IRS’s Exempt Organization Types webpage.
[^ 49] See Marilyn E. Phelan, Nonprofit Organizations: Law and Taxation, section 1:2 (Oct. 2022 Update).
[^ 50] See 26 U.S.C. 501.
[^ 51] To qualify, the non-profit organization must be organized and operated exclusively for the exempt purposes set forth in IRC 501(c)(3)—charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals—and no part of their net earnings “may inure to any private shareholder or individual.” See 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). See IRS’s Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Organizations webpage.
[^ 52] See IRS’s Instructions for Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.
[^ 53] See IRS’s Instructions for Form 990 Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax and IRS’s Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (PDF).
The following cases may be relevant to T nonimmigrant status eligibility issues and adjudications.
Threats of harm or serious harm:
United States v. Dann (PDF), 652 F.3d 1160, 1170 (9th Cir. 2011) (Threats should be considered from the vantage point of a reasonable person in the place of the victim and must be sufficiently serious to compel that person to remain.).
United States v. Farrell, 563 F.3d 364, 372 n.3 (8th Cir. 2009) (“Jury Instruction 16 defined ‘involuntary servitude’ as follows: ‘[A] condition of compulsory service in which the alleged victim is compelled to perform labor or services against the alleged victim's will for the benefit of another person due to the use or threat of physical restraint or physical injury, or by the use or threat of arrest, prosecution, or imprisonment. . . The use or threat of a civil lawsuit does not make the labor involuntary.’”).
United States v. Djoumessi (PDF), 538 F.3d 547 (6th Cir. 2008) (“The term ‘involuntary servitude’ necessarily means a condition of servitude in which the victim is forced to work for the defendant by the use or threat of physical restraint or physical injury, or by the use or threat of coercion through law or the legal process. This definition encompasses those cases in which the defendant holds the victim in servitude by placing the victim in fear of such physical restraint or injury or legal coercion.”) (quoting United States v. Kozminski, 487 U.S. 931, 952 (1988)).
United States v. Bradley (PDF), 390 F.3d 145, 153 (1st Cir. 2004), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 545 U.S. 1101 (2005) (The use of “physical restraint; such as, the use of chains, barbed wire, or locked doors,” is not required in order to establish the offense of forced labor.).
United States v. Warren (PDF), 772 F.2d 827, 834 (11th Cir. 1985) (“That the worker had the opportunity to escape is of no moment, if the defendant has placed him in such fear of physical harm that he is afraid to leave.”).
United States v. Udeozor (PDF), 515 F.3d 260, 265 (4th Cir. 2008) (in upholding conviction for involuntary servitude, finding that sexual abuse of the victim was one of the forms of force used to keep the minor victim in the condition of involuntary servitude).
Abuse or threatened abuse of legal process:
Clyatt v. United States (PDF), 197 U.S. 207 (1905) (victim was coerced by threat of legal sanction to work off a debt to a master).
United States v. Reynolds (PDF), 235 U.S. 133 (1914) (when breach of the labor contract is criminalized, requiring a misdemeanor offender to work for a surety who would, in turn, pay the convict’s fine to the state, the condition of peonage is created).
Pollock v. Williams (PDF), 322 U.S. 4 (1944) (“[The State] must respect the constitutional and statutory command that it may not make failure to labor in discharge of a debt any part of a crime. It may not directly or indirectly command involuntary servitude, even if it was voluntarily contracted for.”).
Bailey v. Alabama (PDF), 219 U.S. 219 (1911) (subjecting debtors to prosecution and criminal punishment for failing to perform labor after receiving an advance payment).
United States v. Kozminski (PDF), 487 U.S. 931, 945 (1988) (recognizing that threatening an incompetent with institutionalization or an immigrant with deportation could constitute the threat of legal coercion).
United States v. Kaufman (PDF), 546 F.3d 1242, 1265 (10th Cir. 2008) (recognizing that a variety of methods of coercion including threats of institutionalization were used to compel victim who suffered serious mental illness to perform farm work in the nude).
United States v. Farrell, 563 F.3d 364, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2009) (in upholding conviction for peonage, finding that employers used threats of arrest and imprisonment based on the victim’s lack of immigration status).
United States v. Djoumessi (PDF), 538 F.3d 547, 553 (6th Cir. 2008) (upholding involuntary servitude conviction when coercion involved threats of deportation to Cameroon which victim considered the greatest threat against her because of the conditions there and her desire to help her family through opportunities in the United States).
United States v. Veerapol, 312 F.3d 1128, 1130-31 (9th Cir. 2002) (upholding involuntary servitude conviction and noting that the employer maintained control over Thai restaurant workers through a variety of methods of coercion, including threats of imprisonment based on the workers’ lack of immigration status).
United States v. Calimlim, 538 F.3d 706, 713 (7th Cir. 2008) (finding that the employer’s actions of keeping victim’s passport, never admitting they were violating law, or offering to try and regularize the worker’s presence in the United States and implicit threats that she may be subject to deportation proceedings constituted “abuse of law”).
United States v. Calimlim, 538 F.3d 706, 713 (7th Cir. 2008) (rejecting employer’s arguments that threatening deportation was not an “abuse of law” because worker was here without immigration status and thus subject to deportation and finding employers’ threats were directed to an end different from those envisioned by the law and were thus an abuse of legal process).
Nunag-Tanedo v. E. Baton Rouge Par. Sch. Bd., 790 F. Supp. 2d 1134, 1144 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (citing principle that abuse of legal process occurs when objective for threats is to intimidate and coerce forced labor).
Ruiz v. Fernandez, 949 F. Supp. 2d 1055, 1077 (E.D. Wash. 2013) (rejecting defendants’ arguments that threats to report H2A Chilean sheepherders were justified because, if workers left the ranch without being assigned to another member ranch, they would be in violation of their temporary work visas. Workers testified that threats were made almost daily and were apparently made in relation to victims' general willingness to do specific work on the ranch rather any sort of expressed intent to leave the ranch without obtaining a transfer.).
Elat v. Ngoubene (PDF), 993 F. Supp. 2d 497, 526 (D. Md. 2014) (citing Camayo v. John Peroulis & Sons Sheep, Inc., Nos. (D. Colo. Sept. 24, 2012)) (Threats of deportation can constitute an abuse of the legal process if they are an abuse of the process).
United States v. Farrell, 563 F.3d 364, 372-73 (8th Cir. 2009) (The workers’ relationship with their employers was more akin to one of debt bondage rather than simple debt. Given the continually mounting expenses, at no point was the value of the workers' labor sufficient to liquidate the debt and there was, in effect, no limit to the length of the services required to satisfy the obligation or even a limit on the amount owed.).
Compensation for labor:
United States v. Bradley (PDF), 390 F.3d 145, 153 (1st Cir. 2004), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 545 U.S. 1101 (2005). (“If a person is compelled to labor against his will by any one of the means prohibited by the forced labor statute, such service is forced, even if he is paid or compensated for the work.”).
Non-traditional types of work:
United States v. Kaufman (PDF), 546 F.3d 1242, 1263 (10th Cir. 2008) (noting that involuntary servitude and forced labor statutes do not apply only to coerced “work in an economic sense” and would include coerced acts such as requiring patients to engage in compelled sexual activity, including masturbation, genital shaving, and frequent nudity, much of which was videotaped).
United States v. Marcus (PDF), 487 F.Supp.2d 289 (E.D.N.Y. 2007), vacated on other grounds, 538 F.3d 97 (2d Cir. 2008) (Enslavement can arise even if the initial participation in the labor was part of a consensual alternative sexual relationship.).
Duration of victimization:
United States v. Pipkins, 378 F.3d 1281, 1297 (11th Cir. 2004), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 544 U.S. 902 (2005), and opinion reinstated, 412 F.3d 1251 (11th Cir. 2005). (“Section 1584 requires that involuntary servitude be for ‘any term,’ which suggests that the temporal duration can be slight.”).
United States v. Djoumessi (PDF), 538 F.3d 573, 552-53 (6th Cir. 2008) (“Even assuming there were moments during [victim’s] stay when she had an opportunity to escape […] Djoumessi's argument still falls short because a rational trier of fact could conclude that [victim’s] labor was involuntary for at least some portion of her stay. And that involuntary portion would suffice to sustain the conviction.”).
United States v. Dann (PDF), 652 F.3d 1160, 1167 (9th Cir. 2001) (The charge of forced labor need not apply to the entire duration of the victim’s services or labor. It could be applied to only a portion of the time.).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address international entrepreneur parole.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is publishing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual addressing Violence Against Women Act Self-Petitions.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the adjudication of applications for T nonimmigrant status for victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is rescinding policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on discretionary employment authorization for parolees.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is publishing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on employment authorization and deferred action for principal petitioners for U nonimmigrant status and qualifying family members with pending, bona fide petitions.
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, 332.97 KB) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.
1 USCIS-PM - Volume 1 - General Policies and Procedures
2 USCIS-PM - Volume 2 - Nonimmigrants
3 USCIS-PM - Volume 3 - Humanitarian Protection and Parole
4 USCIS-PM - Volume 4 - Refugees and Asylees
5 USCIS-PM - Volume 5 - Adoptions
6 USCIS-PM - Volume 6 - Immigrants
7 USCIS-PM - Volume 7 - Adjustment of Status
8 USCIS-PM - Volume 8 - Admissibility
9 USCIS-PM - Volume 9 - Waivers and Other Forms of Relief
11 USCIS-PM - Volume 11 - Travel and Identity Documents
No historical versions available.