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USCIS ceases deference to past decisions for nonimmigrant petition extension requests

  1. Original Date Announced

    October 23, 2017

    USCIS stops giving deference to previous petition determinations, including H-1B and L-1 extension requests, rescinding a 2004 memo. H-1B extension petitions are now reviewed with the same level of scrutiny as initial petitions. The "burden of proof" remains on the petitioner, even where extension of H-1B or L-1 status is sought. [ID #485]

    USCIS Policy Memo (PM-602-0151): Rescission of Guidance Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in the Adjudication of Petitions for Extension of Nonimmigrant Status
  2. Effective Date

    October 23, 2017
  4. Biden Administration Action: Revoked/Replaced

    April 27, 2021

    Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in Requests for Extensions of Nonimmigrant Status

    This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On April 27, 2021, USCIS issued a policy memo addressing deference to prior determinations of eligibility by an officer when adjudicating a request for an extension of nonimmigrant status.

    This memo generally restores the 2004 USCIS deference policy with updates. This guidance clarifies that USCIS gives deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts unless there was a material error, material change in circumstances or in eligibility, or new material information that adversely impacts the petitioner’s, applicant’s, or beneficiary’s eligibility.

    View Document

Current Status

Not in effect
April 27, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Pre Trump-Era Policies

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