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Chapter 11 - Decision and Post-Adjudication

During adjudication, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny. USCIS considers any evidence timely submitted in accordance with the notice’s instructions prior to issuing a decision.

A. Approval

If the alien meets the eligibility requirements set forth above, the officer approves the petition under the correct classification and USCIS notifies the petitioner of the approval.

B. Denial

If the petitioner fails to establish eligibility for the benefit sought, the officer denies the petition. If the petition is denied, USCIS informs the petitioner of the reasons for denial. The decision must include information about appeal rights and the opportunity to file a motion to reopen or reconsider.

C. Motions and Appeals

The petitioner may appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or may file a motion to reopen or reconsider by filing a Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B).[1]

D. Validity of Approved Petitions

An approved petition is valid indefinitely, unless the approval is revoked under INA 203(g) or INA 205.[2]

E. Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status based on classification as a special immigrant is addressed separately in this Policy Manual.[3]


[^ 1] Current information about filing locations, fees, and other information about how to file a motion or appeal can be found at

[^ 2] See 8 CFR 204.5(n)(3).

[^ 3] See Volume 7, Adjustment of Status, Part F, Special Immigrant-Based (EB-4) Adjustment [7 USCIS-PM F].


Legal Authorities

8 CFR 204.5 - Petitions for employment-based immigrants

8 CFR 204.9 - Special immigrant status for certain aliens who have served honorably (or are enlisted to serve) in the Armed Forces of the United States for at least 12 years

INA 101(a)(27) - Definitions of certain special immigrants

INA 201 - Worldwide level of immigration

INA 202 - Numerical limitations on individual foreign states

INA 203 - Allocation of immigrant visas

INA 203(b)(4) - Certain special immigrants

INA 204(a)(1)(G)(i) - Petitioning procedure

INA 2048 CFR 204 - Procedure for granting immigrant status

Pub. L. 109-163 (PDF) - Section 1059 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, as amended – Special immigrant status for persons serving as translators with U.S. armed forces

Pub. L. 110-181 (PDF) - Section 1244 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, as amended – Special immigrant status for certain Iraqis

Pub. L. 111-8 (PDF) - Section 602(b), Title VI of the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009


No appendices available at this time.


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 22.3 and 26 of the AFM, related appendices, and policy memoranda.

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, 327.05 KB) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.

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”].