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Breaking news: USCIS to continue processing applications from banned countries

We have just reviewed a leaked an undated USCIS memorandum. It appears to be authentic, and indicates that USCIS will continue processing adjustment of status (I-485) and other applications for citizens of the 7 countries subject to the Immigration Ban Executive Order. Apologies for the poor quality. It appears the document was photographed with a cell phone.

The leak has been confirmed here by the Intercept.

[Updated 14:30 hr PST]

Transcribed text of the memo.

TO: All USCIS Employees
From: Lori Scialabba
Acting Director
Subject: Guidance Concerning Executive Order on Immigration

On January 27, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” This memorandum provides guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding the impact of this Executive Order on various immigration benefit requests.

All USCIS employees should be aware of current guidance from DHS, specifically:

  1. Section 3(c) of the Executive Order does not affect US CIS adjudication of applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the United States regardless of their country of nationality. Section 3(c) also does not affect applications and petitions by lawful permanent residence outside the United States, or applications and petitions for individuals outside the United States whose approval does not directly confer travel authorization (including any immigrant or nonimmigrant visa petition). This includes but is not limited to the matters discussed more specifically in paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 below
  2. Applications to register permanent residence or just status (Form I-485) make continue to be adjudicated, according to existing policies and procedures, for applicants who are nationals of countries designated in the Executive Order.
  3. USCIS will adjudicate Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions (Form I-730) for all beneficiaries, from any country of nationality, currently in the United States according to existing policies and procedures. Further guidance will be issued with respect to beneficiaries currently outside of the United States.
  4. USCIS will continue refugee interviews when the person is a religious minority in his or her country of nationality facing religious persecution. Additionally, USCIS will continue refugee interviews in jurisdictions where there is a pre-existing international agreement relating to refugee processing. USCIS will not approve a refugee application for an individual who we determined would pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States. USCIS will continue adjudicating all affirmative asylum cases according to existing policies and procedures.

Questions concerning information contained in this memorandum may be addressed via your directorate or program office through appropriate supervisory channels.

Scanned copy of the memo.

The memorandum may be downloaded here: Scialabba Memo 2-2-17.

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All Sound Immigration attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Associations. They practice immigration law exclusively, focusing on helping families start new lives in the United States.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. How long does it take to go interview after your filling petition is approved for your child under age 21.A green card holder.

    1. Hi, Yaw. Once an I-130 has been approved – and a visa number is available – you would typically expect to receive notification from the National Visa Center within 60 days. That will contain further instructions. Read more about that process here.

  2. I filled my i730 for my family in December, how long it takes for the approval letter and will new EO will affect on my family petitions while they are in Pakistan?
    Please explain me

  3. Thanks for the Post! is there any update on this? were you able to confirm that they start processing pending I485. mine is pending for more than 6 month now and i am from one of the affected countries.

  4. Thank you for the update!!! It seems so far you guys are the only one that published this document. How confident you are regarding its authenticity? Anyway if this document is true then it’s really a relief. I’ve also heard unconfirmed individual case(student on F-1 called USCIS inquired about his OPT application, and Tier 2 officer said there is no hold and it should be approved within a week). ACLU also brought the pending application issue to court recently. This whole EO is really a mess. 🙁

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