USCIS Centralizes Filing and Adjudication of I-601 and I-212

Today, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the centralized filing and adjudication of certain waivers for grounds of inadmissibility.

Beginning June 4, 2012, individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a US Consular Officer will be able to mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a USCIS Lockbox facility. This change affects individuals abroad who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa — these individuals must send waiver applications.

Currently filed applications
Currently, applicants experience processing times from one-month to more than a year, depending on their filing location. USCIS’s new centralization will provide customers with faster and more efficient application processing and consistent adjudication. It is part of a broader agency effort to transition to domestic filing and adjudication; it does not reflect a change in policy or the standards by which the applications are adjudicated. Individuals filing waiver applications with a USCIS Lockbox will now be able to track the status of their case online.

The change affects filings for:
• Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
• Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
• Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212).

Applicants who mail their waiver request forms should use the address provided in the revised form instructions on the USCIS website. Applicants who wish to receive an email or text message when USCIS receives their waiver request, may attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, to their application.

Filing a waiver at Ciudad Juarez
During a limited six-month transition period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will have the option to either mail their waiver applications to the USCIS Lockbox in the US, or file in-person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez. Applications filed at CJ will be transferred to the US for adjudication.

If you filed before June 4th, 2012
USCIS is aware of the pending caseload for applicants in Ciudad Juarez, and is taking proactive steps to work through these cases. USCIS will significantly increase the number of officers assigned to adjudicate the residual cases filed before June 4, and those filed during the interim six-month transition period. USCIS has already begun to test this process and has transferred applications from Ciudad Juarez to other USCIS offices in the US.

This change is separate and distinct from the provisional waiver proposal published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2012.

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney
Lowenbaum Partnership, LLC
St. Louis, Missouri

Tara Mahadevan

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

This blog is not intended as legal advice.

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