USCIS Updates Guidances and Policies for Benefits Applications

Be careful petitioners and applicants, your application for immigration benefits may be denied if you do not have all evidence to prove you are eligible. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) issued a new memo, to give its officers the right to deny visas if applications do not include all the necessary information when submitted.

CIS officers no longer need to first seeking additional evidence that might be needed to complete an application, or issuing a notice stating the intent to deny a request to adjudicate.

USCIS announced recently that it would also begin initiating removal/deportation proceedings against visa applicants who lack immigration status when their visa applications are denied.  For example, if you are are out of status when you applied for change of status, therefore, you are ineligible to change status, CIS will deny your application and start removal proceedings. Or you may be a F-1 student applying for the H-1b lottery, but due to all sorts of administrative delays, your H-1b is not adjudicate until your F-1 expired, and then unfortunately it gets denied and you are out of status. CIS can also place you in removal proceedings.

Despite CIS saying the new memos are “not intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements,” it certainly feels that way. Immigration enforcement has always been the realm of ICE, not CIS. USCIS adjudications are often inconsistent and often arbitrary. Applicants have the choices to appeal CIS decision or to seek review, and such options will be lost.

DNA Testing Rules in Sibling Immigration Petition Cases

USCIS may suggest and accept DNA tests s evidence of a full-or half-sibling relationship

USCIS has updated its policy regarding direct sibling-to-sibling DNA testing. If USCIS determined primary evidence is unavailable or unreliable, USCIS may suggest and accept DNA test results from an American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) accredited lab as evidence of a full-or half-sibling relationship. In these cases, USCIS will consider DNA along with all evidence on record to determine if the requisite relationship exists.

A sibling relationship requires that the petitioner and beneficiary are, or once were, the children of at least one common parent. Primary evidence includes birth and marriage certificates. Secondary evidence includes medical records, school records, and religious documents. Affidavits sworn to by persons who were living at the time of and who have personal knowledge of the event to which they attest may also be accepted if certain conditions are met.

USCIS will consider results of DNA testing conducted by an AABB-accredited lab that reflect a 90 percent probability or higher that a full- or half-sibling relationship exists as probative evidence of the claimed relationship. Due to the variations within half-sibling relationship test results, any result for a half sibling below 90 percent will be deemed inconclusive. Where a result is inconclusive, an officer must continue to evaluate the remaining evidence in the totality of the circumstances. To the extent possible, DNA testing against the common parent(s) is encouraged.

兄弟姐妹移民申请案件DNA测试规则

美国移民局已更新其关于兄弟姐妹DNA测试的政策。 如果USCIS确定主要证据不可用或不可靠,USCIS可能会建议并接受AABB认可的实验室的DNA测试结果作为兄弟姐妹关系的证据。 在这些情况下,移民局将考虑DNA以及所有记录在案的证据,以确定申请人于受益人是否存在真实的兄弟姐妹关系。

兄弟姐妹关系的请愿者和受益人至少需要有一个共同父母。 主要证据包括出生和结婚证书。 次要证据包括医疗记录,学校记录和宗教文件。 亲戚朋友邻居也可以写信证明他们兄弟姐妹关系的了解程度。

美国移民局将考虑由AABB认证实验室进行的DNA测试结果,该结果必须反映90%或更高的兄弟姐妹关系概率,作为所声称关系的证明证据。由于半同胞关系测试结果的差异,任何半兄弟姐妹低于90%的结果都将被视为不确定证据。 如果结果不确定,美国移民局官员必须继续评估所有的剩余证据。在可能的范围内,移民局鼓励对共同父母进行DNA测试。

USCIS Implements New Interpreter Policy – Form G-1256 Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview Must be Signed

USCIS Policy Memorandum: The Role and Use of Interpreters in Domestic Field Office Interviews, will be implemented starting May 1, 2017.

USCIS is introducing a “Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview” form (Form G-1256). The “Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview” informs the interviewee about the importance of using a competent interpreter, and includes an attestation that all parties understand the guidelines that apply to interpretation, including that the interpreter must accurately, literally, and fully interpret for both the interviewee and the interviewer/officer. USCIS requires that the interpreter provide consecutive interpretation to ensure that the interpretation is as close to verbatim as possible.

Form G-1256 must be signed by both the interviewee and the interpreter at the beginning of the interview. The Declaration form reminds the interviewee that the use of an interpreter may expose the interpreter to the confidential information discussed at the time of the interview. It also requires the interpreter to agree to not disclose or share any of the information discussed or learned as a result of serving as the interpreter during the interview.

Attorneys may not serve in their roles as an attorney, accredited representative, or associated representative for the party to the case while simultaneously serving as an interpreter for the interviewee. Further, witnesses are restricted from serving as interpreters, unless the officer determines that there is an exception for good cause.