New Rule on Notices From USCIS effective 01/27/2015
Author: New York Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published its new rule on notices USCIS issues to applicants and petitions. Notices are extremely important: they confirm the receipt of an application or petition; valid status in the US or a date for an interview. Currently, the notices are sent to an applicant or petitioner and a copy is sent to an attorney of record. USCIS now clarifies its rules in that:
” First, USCIS will clarify that it will send notices only to the applicant or petitioner when the applicant or petitioner is unrepresented. See new 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19)(i). Second, if USCIS has been properly notified that the person or entity filing the benefit request is represented by an attorney or accredited representative recognized by the Department of Justice, Board of Immigration Appeals, USCIS will send notices to the applicant or petitioner who filed the benefit request and to their attorney or accredited representative of record. See new 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19)(ii)(A). Third, if provided for in the applicable form, form instructions, or regulations for a specific benefit request, an applicant or petitioner may request that USCIS send original notices and documents only to the official business address of their attorney or accredited representative, as reflected on a properly executed Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, with a courtesy copy being sent to the applicant or petitioner for their records.”
Finally, in case of electronic applications, the person has options: the notices may be sent electronically to both the applicant and the attorney or via mail.
Most importunately, the official documents such as EAD (work authorization card) or permanent resident card currently are being sent to the applicants only unless the applicant or self-petitioner designates their attorney’s official address as the delivery address.
These rules of notice delivery may seem trivial, however when a notice is not delivered it causes delays, denials and frustration. For more information see http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=50525&linkid=281897