Policy Manual Update: Clarifying Expedite Requests

Policy Manual Update: Clarifying Expedite Requests

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Thursday, March 21 announced that we are updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify how we consider expedite requests related to government interests and requests related to emergencies or urgent humanitarian situations, including travel-related requests. This update also clarifies how to make an expedite request and explains how we process expedite requests.

What You Need to Know
The policy update:

  • Clarifies that we may expedite cases identified as urgent by federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local governments of the United States because they involve public interest, public safety, national interest, or national security interests;
  • Clarifies that, when an expedite request is made by a federal government agency or department based on government interests, we generally defer to that agency or department’s assessment;
  • Explains that we may expedite adjudication of Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for requestors inside the United States when an applicant demonstrates a pressing or critical need to leave the United States, and that we may consider expedited processing of Form I-131 whether the need to travel relates to a planned or unplanned event;
  • Clarifies when we may consider an expedite request based on clear USCIS error;
  • Explains how to make an expedite request and how requestors can use USCIS online tools with secure messaging, such as submitting their expedite request and uploading evidence if they have a USCIS online account; and
  • Clarifies how we process expedite requests.

Individuals requesting immigration benefits may request to expedite the adjudication of their application, petition, request, appeal, or motion. We consider all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and generally require documentation to support such requests. The decision to expedite is within the sole discretion of USCIS.

The new Policy Manual guidance is effective immediately and is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance.

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