Date AnnouncedOct. 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]
See Biden administration action below.View Policy Document
Effective Date of ChangeOct. 23, 2017
Biden Administration ActionApril 27, 2021
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.Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in Requests for Extensions of Nonimmigrant Status
"A prior determination by an adjudicator that the alien is eligible for the particular nonimmigrant classification sought should be given deference," according to an April 2004 memo from USCIS official William Yates.The Significance of a Prior CIS Approval of a Nonimmigrant Petition in the Context of a Subsequent Determination Regarding Eligibility for Extension of Petition Validity