U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is issuing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual on family-based immigrant visa petitions (including Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and, in limited situations, family-based Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant). This includes explaining how we handle correcting approval notice errors and requests for consular processing or adjustment of status, as well as routing procedures for approved petitions.  

A petitioner submitting Form I-130 must inform USCIS of the beneficiary’s current address and whether the beneficiary wants consular processing with the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) or adjustment of status in the United States, if eligible. Based on this information, we will either keep the approved Form I-130 for adjustment of status processing or send it to the NVC for consular processing, as appropriate.

If the petitioner does not provide accurate information on Form I-130, it may take longer for the beneficiary to get an immigrant visa or adjust status. For example, if we keep an approved petition based on the petitioner’s inaccurate information, the petitioner generally must file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, with the appropriate fee, to transfer the petition to the NVC.   

If the petitioner does not clearly indicate whether the beneficiary wants consular processing or adjustment of status, we will decide at our discretion whether to send the approved Form I-130 to the NVC or keep it for adjustment of status processing. In general, if evidence of the beneficiary’s most recent location, including their address on Form I-130, the petition suggests they are inside the United States, we will keep the approved Form I-130 and process their adjustment of status. In general, if that evidence suggests they are outside the United States, we will send it to the NVC for consular processing. 

Before we updated this guidance, we generally kept an approved Form I-130 if it did not clearly indicate whether the beneficiary wanted consular processing or adjustment of status. This update clarifies procedures for Form I-130 so we can process it more efficiently when it is unclear whether the beneficiary wants consular processing or adjustment of status, or if their preference changes or their form needs to be corrected. 

We expect this update will reduce the number of Forms I-824 filed, because we will keep fewer petitions for adjustment of status processing. This update will also increase flexibility for petitioners who do not have a consular post to record on Form I-130 

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Posted in: Immigration