• USCIS Will Resume Sending Original Approval Notices to Attorneys of Record
  • October 24, 2011
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • USCIS will return to its standard practice of sending original Form I-797 notices to attorneys of record, with courtesy copies to petitioning employers and applicants. The agency decided to withdraw a new policy of sending original notices to petitioners after Fragomen, the American Council on International Personnel, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and other stakeholders made government officials aware of the negative consequences of the change.

    The policy reversal was announced today in a letter from USCIS Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas. Employers and their immigration counsel should begin to see the change in the next six weeks, after agency computer systems are reprogrammed.

    In mid-September, USCIS altered its I-797 practices without notice, and began sending original notices (some with attached I-94 cards) to petitioners rather than attorneys of record. The change caused widespread confusion, including misdirected and delayed approvals, requests for evidence (RFEs) and other important case notices. It also required employers and their immigration counsel to change their longstanding ways of working together.

    What This Means for Employers

    Until USCIS systems are reprogrammed, petitioning employers will continue to receive original approval notices and I-94s, RFEs and other case notices.