The USCIS recently announced that it is again modifying its operations and filing procedures. The last modification to its filing procedures became effective on April 1, 2007 when the USCIS reorganized where nonimmigrant visa petitions should be filed. The latest reorganization affects where various immigrant visa applications (and their ancillary applications) are filed. The USCIS stated that this change becomes effective on July 30, 2007. However, through August 28, 2007, applications which are not properly filed according to the new procedures will still be accepted but transferred to the appropriate USCIS Service Center for processing. Any application improperly filed pursuant to this latest reorganization after August 28, 2007 will be rejected. Interestingly, the USCIS also stated that it will accept applications implementing this new guidance prior to July 30, 2007 and will not reject applications filed using this guidance prior to the July 30, 2007 implementation date. However, it is unclear if the USCIS has yet to inform its contractors about this flexibility in the implementation date.
The guidance modifies the filing procedures as follows:
- All Forms I-140 and Forms 485 (with ancillary forms) should be directly filed with either the Nebraska Service Center or Texas Service Center based upon where the offered position indicated in the Form I-140 is located.
- Form I-129F will be filed with either the Vermont Service Center or California Service Center depend-ing upon where the petitioner resides. This will apply to both K-1 and K-3 applications.
The USCIS stated that it will be updating the forms on its website shortly to reflect this new guidance. After this guidance becomes effective it is also assumed that the USCIS will be further reorganizing its operations and filing procedures for the remaining forms which have not already been affected by a previous reorganization. Additional information about any further reorganization of the USCIS operations and filing procedures will be contained in our firm's future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.