USCIS Rescinds Deference to Prior Nonimmigrant Petitions

October 24, 2017, USCIS has superseded and rescinded the April 23, 2004, memorandum titled The Significance of a Prior CIS Approval of a Nonimmigrant Petition in the Context of a Subsequent Determination Regarding Eligibility for Extension of Petition Validity and section VII of the August 17, 2015, policy memorandum titled L-1B Adjudications Policy.

Many USCIS adjudicating officers have been requiring additional supporting documents for extensions despite the prior policy memo. This memorandum makes it clear that the burden of proof remains on the petitioner, even where an extension of nonimmigrant status is sought.

USCIS acknowledged that many of the regulations do not require supporting documents to be submitted as initial evidence when an employer files a petition extension without change on behalf of the same alien. However, they do not limit USCIS' authority to request additional evidence. The rescinded memo is consistent with existing USCIS practice to seek full documents in requests for evidence, notices of intent to deny, and the adjudication of petitions for nonimmigrant benefits.

The full text of the memorandum can be found here.

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