USCIS Sending All Receipt and Approval Notices Directly to Applicants and Petitioners

Effective September 12, 2011, USCIS has started mailing all I-797 Receipt and Approval Notices directly to Applicants and Petitioners, rather than to attorneys of record. This change has been made effective, even when there is a G-28 on file. Unless this misguided policy is changed, attorneys will receive only courtesy copies of notices. USCIS has acknowledged that this was a change of policy made without any prior notice to affected applicants and petitioners.

In the future, it will still be possible for attorneys of record to receive the original approval and receipt notices, as long as specific steps are taken. However, in the meantime, it is extremely important that anyone who has filed a petition or application for immigration benefits and is waiting to receive a receipt or approval notice take steps to ensure that the mail for the office or home address listed on the petition or application is routinely checked to ensure that CIS correspondence is timely received. If an applicant has changed addresses since the filing of the petition or application, an AR-11 form must be filed.

For additional information on this new policy, click here. For access to the AR-11 form, click here.

Categories: Immigration Blog