News on Form I -601 and I-797

March 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed changes that will permit certain immediate relatives (spouse, children or parents of US citizens) who can prove extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse or parent to get a waiver of the unlawful presence bars before exiting the US. This process is not in effect and will not be available until USCIS publishes a final rule mentioning the effective date. Before pushing the final rule, USCIS has plans to release a notice of the proposed rule making in the near future, considering all comments received.

Individuals are requested not to send an application requesting a provisional waiver during this interim period. The USCIS will reject such applications and return the application package along with any related fees to the individual. Applicants are advised to wait until the USCIS issues a final rule and the change becomes effective. It is also important to remember that some unauthorized practitioners of law may wrongly lead you claiming they can file a provisional waiver application (Form I-601) for you. They may also ask you to pay them to file the form, although USCIS does not accept the form. Do not fall prey to such scams.

USCIS decision on I-797 Receipt and Mailing Process

Recently, USCIS sent the original I-797 receipt and approval notifications directly to the applicants and petitioners who were represented by attorneys. Later, USCIS has passed a decision to return to its earlier practice of sending the original I-797 receipt and approval notice to the applicant or petitioner’s attorney and resumed mailing such notices from January 2012. Recently, USCIS started a process for Form I-129, Petition for a Non immigrant Worker, through which attorneys or representatives could enter their address as the mailing address so that they can get the original I-797 notices.

Having reverted back to the earlier process, attorneys and representatives need not enter his/her address as the mailing address to get the original I-797 notices. All the I-129 Form currently being filed should have the petitioner’s address as the mailing address. This change is effected to avoid any future delays in VIBE. Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) is a tool designed to enhance the decision of USCIS on some employment-based immigration petitions. This process will also enable premium processing customers to submit petitions without the need for enclosing a postage pre-paid envelope.

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