Request action on the approved immigration application today!



Application for action on an approved USCIS application or petition is appropriate for use to request further action on any immigration form application or petition. Also the Form I-824 can be used by individuals who have lost their Form I-797 Approval Notice or who never received the Approval Notice from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Using this form applicant cannot request for replacement of an employment authorization card, green card or Form I-94. It’s for the replacement of Form I-797 approval notice.

For a previously approved petition or application you can use this form to request USCIS for further action. After filing any immigration form with the USCIS if you have never received an approval notice, though the USCIS records indicate so, this Form I-824 should be filed.

Form filling instructions

The Form I-824 must be completely and accurately filled and ‘N/A’ or ‘NONE’ should be used wherever appropriate.

Part I details:

Information like the family name which is your legal name must be filled. If two last names use a hyphen between the two names. Next you need to fill the complete name of the unit if the applicant or petitioner is a company or organization. The street number and number of rural route should be filled in as the physical address in the space for Home or business address. Next the mailing address if different from the home address then it needs to be filled in. Complete phone number including the area code where you can be reached during the day must be filled next.

Next information about the country of birth must be filled.  Information of country of Citizenship must be filled. Date of birth in eight number formats must be filled. In case form is being filed on behalf of any company the Internal revenue Service tax number of the business must be filled.  If the alien registration number is known to you, you need to fill in else leave space blank. Similarly the US social security number if known to you fill in else fill in ‘NONE’.

Part II details:

The appropriate reason for the request needs to be selected.

Part III details:

Regarding the original petition or application if any information is required you need to fill in.

Part IV details:

Applicant must sign and date the Form I-824 else it is considered incomplete.

Part V details:

If applicant is not preparing form, the person doing it must also sign and date and give his/her Address information as well.

Filing procedure and processing

Along with the Form I-824 the following documents should be attached if available:

  • Copy of the original petition or application
  • Form I-797 Notice of action copy of the original petition or application
  • Certificate of naturalization Form N-550 copy

In case the original application or petition was approved by the Vermont or Texas service center of USCIS the Notice of action Form I-797C will begin with EAC or SRC. The Form I-824 for these should be mailed to the USCIS Dallas lock box facility. If the original documents were approved by California or Nebraska service centers the Form I-797C begin with LIN and WAC and the Form I-824 for these should be mailed to the USCIS Phoenix lock box facility. Other forms approved by local offices, starting with MSC or without the three letter code should be sent to Chicago lock box facility of USCIS.

Along with the Form I-824 you need to submit the Form G-1145, E-notification of application/petition acceptance. The filing fee for the application for a duplicate approval notice is $405 which can be paid by check or money order payable to US department of Homeland security. If you have established the eligibility for the requested benefit the form would be approved and the decision whatsoever would be sent in writing to the applicant.


Secure Mail Initiative from USCIS now implemented fully.

SMI secure


Secure Mail Initiative (SMI) has been fully implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To deliver certain immigration documents in a safe, secure and timely manner it uses U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation.The SMI enables USCIS to confirm delivery of permanent resident cards and documents pertaining to travel and employment authorization. It’s made possible by a partnership between USCIS and the USPS.

USCIS customers can easily stay up-to-date on the delivery status of their documents and USCIS can confirm that these essential documents were delivered to the proper address with USPS tracking information.

Following are some SMI benefits for USCIS customers:

  • With USPS tracking information the ability to track the status of their documents.
  • On average, documents sent through USPS Priority Mail should arrive two to four business days sooner than with first-class mail, hence quicker delivery.

To request tracking information for their documents customers who receive notices of approval can contact USCIS’s Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283. USCIS customer service representatives will provide customers with their USPS tracking number and current USPS delivery status.

After getting their approval notice before calling for information regarding their cases customers should wait at least two weeks. Customers must also provide information from the receipt notice they received when they submitted their initial application when requesting tracking information. Customers can track the delivery status by visiting the Postal Service website at after receiving the tracking number from the USCIS Customer Service Center by entering the USPS tracking number into the Track & Confirm field.

Resulting from USCIS’s 2007 final fee schedule SMI was one of several enhancements. USCIS first piloted the initiative in July 2008, delivering all re-entry permits and refugee travel documents using USPS Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. USCIS has also used SMI processes since July 2009 for re-mailing all permanent residence cards, as well as employment authorization and travel documents returned by the USPS to USCIS as undeliverable.

Enhanced services from USCIS for immigration forms.



As part of an ongoing effort to enhance these services for our customers USCIS has further expanded the services offered by our Case Status Online and e-Request systems. To view the most current status of your application for all USCIS forms Case Status Online option can be made use of by typing in your receipt number. To provide you with a status update and estimated processing times for a pending immigration benefit application or petition is the primary purpose for collecting your case receipt number.

To inquire electronically about applications and petitions submitted to USCIS e-Request option can be used. You can also create an inquiry for a notice you received from a Service Center with a typographical error. You will need your receipt number to place an inquiry. Contact the USCIS Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY) if you do not have your receipt number. Please wait 30 days to receive a response before notifying USCIS again if you have previously initiated a service request.

 The following enhancements can be seen on Dec. 19 by customers:

• You will be able to track the mailing and/or delivery of a card or document produced by USCIS through our Secure Mail Initiative within Case Status Online.

• You will be able to create a Service Request if you do not receive documents related to Forms I-485, Application to Adjust Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-130, Petition for Alien Relative within e-Request.

Looking for help about US citizenship for children?

kid us citizenship


Through the naturalization process or as birth right a person can become a US citizen. For the naturalization process an eligible green card holder needs to file INS N 400 Form. To obtain US citizenship through parents there are two possible ways, at birth is one option and another is after birth but before the kid is 18 years of age. Child born outside US is a US citizen if at birth time both the parents are US citizens and at least one person has lived in US for some time.

Also if one of the parents is a US citizen and the child was born on or after November 14 1986 the child is a US citizen provided the US citizen parent stayed in US for at least 5 years anytime and at least 2 years in a row after his/her 14th birthday is mandatory and also the parents are still married at the time of birth of the child. There is exception to the physical presence requirement if the US citizen parent was abroad either on an US armed forces assignment, US government employee or as certain international organization’s employee. After child turns 18 years of age the normal process of filing <N 400 should be followed.

Details for childbirth citizenship

If the child birth date is after October 10 1952 but before November 14 1986 child is a US citizen at birth if the US parent should have stayed for at least 10 years in US as citizen and of which minimum 5 years as US citizen in US after his/her 14th birthday. There are exceptions from physical presence criteria if US parent is in US armed forces and is on duty abroad, as a US government employee abroad or as a certain international organization employee abroad.

After birth and before the 18th birthday the child is a US citizen if born after February 27 2001 and if one of the parents is a US citizen and the child is in legal custody of that parent and living in US. Children who are less than 18 years of age between December 24, 1952 to February 26, 2001 and who live in US as green card holders with parents who are both US citizens before the child was 18 years old. Else if only one parent is alive who became US citizen before the child was 18 years old can also become US citizen after birth. If the parents have legally parted and the child is with the US citizen parent who is legal custodian of the child and naturalized before child was 18 is a US citizen. For a child born out of wedlock and if the mother naturalized before child turned 18 is also a US citizen.

If child is adopted?

In case of adoption, US citizen parent with whom the child stays and is in legal custody and also after February 27, 2001 but before 18th birthday of the child, for child to become a US citizen should meet the following conditions:

  • Before the 16th birthday of the child or sometimes 18th the child should have been adopted and  in the legal custody of the US citizen parent who adopted him/her lived together for at least two years prior to becoming a US citizen
  • As an orphan (IR-3) or as adoptee (IH-3) the child entered US after the adoption process was completed abroad by the US citizen parent. Also if the child as an orphan (IR-4) or adoptee (IH-4) entered US and was later adopted before her or his 18th birthday.

Documentation of childbirth abroad

To US citizen parents if a child is born abroad it’s important to get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) issued as early as possible and that will as an official record help the child to claim US citizenship. Child birth abroad should be reported at the nearest consulate or embassy. Only until the child is under 18 years of age the Consular Report of Birth Abroad can be recorded at a consular office abroad. After the report is made and approved only the original report is given to the parents. Multiple copies of the same can be got anytime.

DS-1350, Certification of Report of Birth is no longer issued by the Department of State as of December 31, 2010. For identity, citizenship and other legal purposes all previously issued DS-1350s are still valid proof. USCIS issued Form N-600, Certificate of Citizenship and the Consular Report of Birth is acceptable proof of U.S. citizenship. At the nearest office of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services an application for a Certificate of Citizenship may be submitted in the United States.

A redesigned FS-240 Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) was begun to be issued in January 2011 by the Department of State. With a variety of state of the art security features the new CRBA was updated and is printed centrally in the United States. Locally no longer CRBAs are printed in U.S. embassies and consulates. In order to ensure uniform quality and reduce the vulnerability to fraud central production and the elimination of blank FS-240s around the world was started. In accordance with 22 U.S.C 2705 as valid proof of U.S. citizenship still previous version of the FS-240 is accepted.

Additional fee for immigrant visa application effective February 1 2013.



New USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 will be collected from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence or green card in the United States by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from Feb. 1, 2013. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.

Why additional fee?

With the Department of State (DOS), USCIS has worked closely to implement the new fee. After immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS this fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States. This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The implementation of this new fee is further detailed in a Federal Register notice publication.

Applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States in order to simplify and centralize the payment process. On how to submit payment DOS will provide applicants with specific information when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.

Approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month are processed by USCIS. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee.

How to pay fee?

Two separate fees will now have to be paid by applicants according to USCIS. The DOS visa application processing fee they are still required to pay and will now also have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

Through the USCIS website applicants must pay this fee online. After they receive their visa package from DOS applicants should submit payments before they depart for the United States.

On the USCIS website by providing their checking account information or debit or credit card information applicants can electronically submit the fee.

On a U.S. bank all check payments must be drawn. Another person can make this payment on the applicant’s behalf if the applicant is unable to make this payment,

If fee is not paid?

Until the required USCIS Immigrant fee is paid the applicant will not receive a green card. The lawful status of the applicant is not affected if fee is not paid. While the applicant can use their Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, for one year to document they are a lawful permanent resident. The applicant will need to possess a green card as evidence of their lawful permanent resident status once that I-94 stamp expires.

Use updated Form I-693 to report medical examination to USCIS!


Form I-693


Form I-693 must be completed by a designated civil surgeon for all applicants filing for adjustment of status to that of a permanent lawful resident. It’s used to report results to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  It’s required to prove that the applicant is not inadmissible to US on any health grounds.

The medical results are confidential and only used for immigration purposes. The aliens with ‘K’ or ‘V’ type non immigrant visas and refugees who have completed the medical tests abroad need not repeat the examination. If you marry US citizen you are eligible for the K-3 visa and K-1 visa for fiancé (e). They need to submit proof for their completed vaccination records.

Procedure to file Form I-693

The form instruction needs to be understood first.  Next fix an appointment with one of the Designated USCIS Surgeons. Next the form needs to be filled and should not be signed. After attending the medical examination in front of the civil surgeon the form needs to be signed. The Form I-693 in a sealed envelope needs to be submitted to USCIS along with Form I-485, Application to register permanent residence or adjustment of status. In order to prove identity to the surgeon you need to take government issued photo identification like a driver’s license.

After filling the details the form should be accepted from the civil surgeon only if it’s in a fully sealed envelope. Disease conditions like tuberculosis (TB), syphilis, sexually transmitted diseases, leprosy, lack of vaccinations, physical or mental disorders along with harmful behavior or any type of drug addiction are reasons of inadmissibility. In such cases if the conditions are not harmful to public you can apply for waiver. No filing fee needs to be paid for this form.

Processing and filing information

According to recent updates from USCIS, medical examinations completed on or after January 1, 2012, must be reported using the 10/11/11 version of Form I-693. USCIS will reject the form if a medical examination completed on or after January 1, 2012, is submitted using an outdated form. In such cases the applicant should return to the civil surgeon in order to complete and resubmit the current version of Form I-693.

The results of a medical examination by a designated civil surgeon on Form I-693, indicating if the applicant is admissible or not on health grounds is required by USCIS for applicants seeking to adjust to lawful permanent resident status. For only 12 months the results of the medical examination are generally valid. So it’s important for applicants to schedule the medical examination as close as possible to the time they file for adjustment of status. Also they should provide sufficient time for the performance of laboratory testing or additional testing required under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) Technical Instructions.

After initial processing of the application it will be accepted and checked for completeness. Additional information may thereafter be requested for if form is incomplete or evidences are not provided. Once the applicant has established eligibility for the requested benefit the decision would be informed to the applicant in writing.

Get to know applicant steps in green card application process from outside US.


U.S. citizen’s immediate relative or one who qualifies into one family-based preference categories need to maintain their relation during the green card application process. If you marry US citizen or are one of the immediate family members like parents  living outside US the steps discussed below would be useful.

Following are the general steps involved for applicants outside U.S.:

Step 1: Complete Form DS-3032. The applicant will receive from the National Visa Center the Form DS-3032 to know if the applicant has an attorney to fill in the application on her/his behalf. So the mailing address for future paperwork will be the one provided by the applicant on this form.

Step 2: Next the immigrant visa fee bill will be sent to the address provided once National Visa Center receives the DS-3032 completed form. Current fee for immigrant visa processing is $355 and $45 is charged for visa security. After careful review applicant should make correct checks or money orders separately for the two and send to correct agency.

Online payment can be made to the National Visa Center at its website. The case number and invoice identification number (located on the National Visa Center fee bill) and the individual’s bank routing number and account number (checking or savings) details need to be provided while making online payment.

Step 3: Complete the instruction Packet

National Visa center will send the Instruction Packet once they receive the visa fee which is also called the Packet 3. Depending on the consulate which will ultimately process the application the instruction packet sent by the National Visa Center will differ. Normal contents are:

  • To show that the visa processing has begun a bar coded cover sheet will be sent by the National Visa center.
  • Notice listing the vaccination requirements
  • immigrant visa applicant instructions
  • Form DS-2001
  • Part 1 of Form DS-230,part 2 if required for the specified case
  • Forms or additional instructions specific to the consulate designated.

Depending on the National Visa center either all the documents or some of them would be collected for pre-screening. During the interview appointment remaining documents need to be submitted directly to the consulate. This information can be decided by reading the instructions sent by National Visa Center.

One original or certified copy of the additionally required documents as listed below need to be submitted

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce / marriage termination documents
  • Prison and court records
  • Deportation documents, military records and police certificates
  • Passport identification page photocopy
  • Custody documents
  • Passport style photographs two of each applicants

At the time of interview original documents will be returned. Duplicate copies of the submitted documents should be retained, in case of any of them are damaged or lost, by the applicant. Any pre-processing if required will be done once all the forms and supplementary documents are received by the National Visa Center. Additional information will be requested in case of incomplete documentation. The application file will be sent to the designated consulate after the administrative processing is complete by the National Visa center.

Step 4: Obtain a medical examination

The National Visa center or the consular post will send an Appointment Package to the applicant approximately one month before the visa interview appointment date and it’s called Packet 4. A letter to the applicant informing him or her of the interview date and also when and where to obtain the medical examination will be in the packet. As early as possible before the interview the medical examination needs to be completed. Immigrant related exams performed only by authorized physicians are accepted else it’s not accepted and further delays the application processing.

Step 5: Attend the Interview

Instructions in the appointment package will include the interview date and time and will have information with regard to documentation to be taken to the interview. Appointment letter, passports, information package documents yet to be submitted to the National Visa center like photographs, document to establish the relation between applicant and sponsor and financial documents are some of them. If documents are not in English a certified English translation is a must. Duplicate file copy of any documents already or to be submitted during interview must be taken by the applicants. Review of the submitted paperwork for accuracy and questioning of the applicant regarding the application content is done during the interview by the consular officer.

The interview process will be quick and simple if the applicant has provided correct documents and not found inadmissible. The document showing the financial support of the applicant once she/he is in US will be the main point in the interview so it should be thorough and detailed. The visa will be issued is the basis of the immigrant visa is valid. The applicant may have to return to the consulate at a later time to receive the visa or have it mailed to them since the visa processing takes several hours. In case visa is denied the principle consular officer must review and confirm it before its final. Denial decision can also be referred for review to the Department of State by the consular officer in case of a legal issue and the former’s decision is final and can’t be reviewed by judiciary in court.

Step 6: Entering the U.S.

Six months of validity is there for immigrant visa and partly based on medical examination validity and it could be valid for less than six months also. The immigrant visa holder needs to enter U.S. before it expires.

Get to know more about US fiancé visa.



To bring a foreign national fiancé (e) living abroad to the United States to marry US citizen should file Petition for alien fiancé (e), Form I-129F. Once approved the fiancé (e) can enter US with the K-1 visa. If fiancé (e) is already in US or US citizen plans to marry foreigner outside US this form need not be filed.

Eligibility to petition
All of the following conditions should be met before US citizen petitions for fiancé (e) visa, K-1:

  • Petitioner) must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Within 90 days of your fiancé (e) entering the US you intend to marry.
  • Any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment and you and your fiancé (e) must both be free to marry.
  • Within 2 years of filing your petition you met each other, in person, at least once. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
    1. If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé (e) ’s foreign culture or social practice.
    2. If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.

If fiancé (e) visa is issued?

In order for the marriage ceremony to take place fiancé (e) of the US citizen is given 90 days time and allowed to stay in US after the K-1 non-immigrant or fiancé (e) visa is issued. The alien spouse can then file for permanent residence status once you marry. While USCIS processes the application he/she can remain in the United States.

If fiancé (e) visa is not issued?

If Department of State (DOS) denies issue of K-1 visa after examining the Form I-129F petition and returns the expired petition in accordance with 8 CFR214.2(k)(5) to USCIS, the petition  remains expired and will not be reaffirmed or reopened by USCIS. In normal course the petition would thus expire. But if this is the case the US citizen can repetition. Denial letter will mention how and when you can appeal.  Within 33 days of receiving the denial by mail generally you may appeal. On USCIS Form I-290B your appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision. The appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) in Washington, DC after your appeal form and a required fee are processed.
Children of Fiancé (e) s

It’s important for the US citizen to mention about fiancé (e) children in Form I-129F petition. For children under 21 years of age and unmarried the K-2 non-immigrant visa option is available.

Work authorization

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization can be filled by the fiancé (e) who intends to work once he/she enters US. Form has to be filed with the USCIS service center serving the area of residence in US where they stay. For only 90 days after entry any work authorization based on a non-immigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid. But if fiancé (e) files for permanent residence fiancé (e) would be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization. For this as soon as you marry your fiancé (e) should file Form I-765 together with Form I-485.

If not married within 90 days?

After 90 days the fiancé (e) visa expires and cannot be renewed or extended. In case you do not marry your fiancé (e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days. It will be a violation of the US immigration law if your fiancé (e) does not depart. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

Get to know about ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ program



Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) is a new USCIS initiative launched this year, a spontaneous way for entrepreneurs to find the way through the immigration process. This initiative is to encourage more people to invest and start businesses in US. Start up business experts and immigration experts from USCIS constitute the EIR team. For some important existing US non-immigrant visa categories this team provides short time streamlined pathways to entrepreneurship.

Simultaneously USCIS also provide workshops for their immigration officers alongside entrepreneurs starting businesses to stay informed about their techniques and practices. Through April 2013 for further accomplishments of the team USCIS extended the EIR project. The team will, according to the department, also spread out its spotlight under current immigration law to U.S. immigrant visa pathways that allows abroad entrepreneurs to start a business in the U.S.

New online resource center started by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to support abroad entrepreneurs seeking to start up a business in the U.S. through the immigration process. The center, called Entrepreneur Pathways is part of the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program USCIS launched earlier this year.

Eligible visa options to enter US

Using the Form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker the non-immigrant petition is filed. Persons can come to US on non-immigrant visa and while maintaining the status can file for permanent residency also. This is called dual intent.

Business Visitor :

To start a new business in US in order to make safe endowment, to find office space, discuss a contract or, in connection with your business, to participate in business meetings an entrepreneur can apply and use the B-1 business visa. Initially after entering you can stay in US for minimum 6 months and subsequently extend stay in US.

Student visa/OPT Optional Practical Training

As a student on F-1 visa in US you can opt for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and also in your main area of study you can start a related business. OPT cannot be opted by students who are being trained in English language. Student visa holder is eligible for 12 months OPT for each post-secondary degree after which 17 month extension option is available for Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) degree students.
Specialty Occupation H-1B visa

Persons with bachelor degree or higher in a engineers, scientists or mathematicians related fields can get a H-1B work visa and also start a business in US and work in it in any position  provided person has a undergraduate degree or equivalent in a related field of the designation. Initially for 3 years a H-1B visa holder can stay in US which can be extended for another 3 years and generally 6 years maximum period of stay or even further.

Extraordinary ability & achievement

With extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics a person can get O-1A visa provided the ability is verified by persistent approval and acknowledged and in the same or related field a business can be started after entering US.  Level of expertise should show that person is one amongst the top best people in that field and only then considered extraordinary ability. In the US up to 3 years initially the person can stay and later renew every one year till completion of activity.

Treaty Investor

By investing substantial amount of money in a new or already running business in US a person can get E-2 visa provided you are from a country with which a treaty of commerce agreement exists with US or from one of the countries approved by the congress to be eligible for the E-2 non-immigrant visa program. For 2 years initially the eligible person can stay in US and subsequently renew indefinitely every two years.

Intra-company Transferee

As an executive, manager or worker a person with specialized knowledge is eligible for “intra-company transferees” L-1 visa. This person should have worked for 3 years for a qualifying company and also at least one year prior to filing for L-1 in an affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch offices of the foreign employer before being sent to open new office in US as a executive, manager or worker.    Initially for 3 years person is permitted to stay in US which can be extended up to 2 years. For executives and managers the maximum period of stay is 7 years and for workers with specialized knowledge the period is 5 years.

Beware of changes in Form I-601 filing process.


Waiver applicants located outside the United States filed Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, as well as any associated Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after deportation or removal, with USCIS by submitting the applications to United States Embassies or Consulates. To the international USCIS office with jurisdiction for decision the Embassy or Consulate then forwarded the applications.

Applications filed by applicants outside of the United States were adjudicated by the international USCIS office having jurisdiction over the country where the application was filed. In 2011, there was an interim change to the historical filing process in that international USCIS offices co-located with American Consulates and Embassies began to receive the filing of Form I-601 and Form I-212 applications at their respective locations.

On June 4, 2012, USCIS adopted a comprehensive change to the Form I-601 filing process for waiver applicants located outside the United States requiring that waiver filers located abroad file their waiver application with the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox. For the first 6 months of this change, through Dec. 4, 2012, USCIS made an exception allowing Form I-601 waiver applicants located in Mexico the option of filing their Form I-601 applications and any associated Forms I-212, with the USCIS Ciudad Juarez Field Office or with the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox. This exception expired on December 4, 2012.

Effective December 5, 2012, applicants in Mexico may no longer file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility at the USCIS Ciudad Juarez Field Office or any associated Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after deportation or removal. Applicants in Mexico must now file Form I-601 and associated Form I-212 with the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox. 

This announcement does not affect Form I-601 filings that may be eligible for processing by a USCIS international office due to exceptional and compelling humanitarian reasons or Form I-601 filings with the Havana Field Office for waiver applicants in Cuba.  For further information, please see  Exceptions for Permitting the Filing of Form I-601 policy memorandum.