The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has spent the last four years creating a one-stop shop for all laws, regulations and policy guidance it administers or promulgates. USCIS will soon unveil “version 1.0” of its effort. The on-line USCIS Policy Manual (“Manual”) will go live at www.uscis.gov later this month. Although the Manual was developed primarily for use by USCIS adjudicators, the agency the Manual is expected to be accessed and used just as frequently by the immigration community.
USCIS Director, Alejandro Mayorkas on January 15, 2013, stated the intention of the Manual is to bring consistency, predictability and transparency to the legal authority and policies that drive USCIS petition adjudication. Previously, to access the pertinent laws, regulations and policies related to a specific subject matter handled by the USCIS, one would have to pull from a number of different resources, independently housed by the issuing agency. These resources included the Adjudicator’s Field Manual and a collection of memoranda, legislation, regulations and interpretive guidance coming from different agencies. These materials will now be replaced by a centralized repository of all relevant policy guidance and legal authority.
According to the agency, the Manual strives to be user friendly, using logic and plain language to explain the rules. The Manual will be organized sequentially from entry to naturalization and the topics will be presented by Volume – Part – Chapter and will be searchable. Webinars on how to navigate the Manual as well as a short introductory video are available at www.uscis.gov.
For more information about the new Manual, go to uscis.gov or contact your Jackson Lewis immigration attorney.