USCIS Announces the Publication of a New Comprehensive Policy Manual


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has undertaken a comprehensive review of its adjudication and customer service policies to improve quality, transparency, and efficiency.  As a result of this extensive and ongoing review, USCIS has created the USCIS Policy Manual, which is the agency’s centralized online repository for USCIS’s immigration policies. The USCIS Policy Manual will ultimately replace the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), the USCIS Immigration Policy Memoranda site, and other policy repositories.  The manual is structured to house several volumes pertaining to different areas of immigration benefits administered by the agency such as citizenship and naturalization, adjustment of status, admissibility, protection and parole, non-immigrants, refugees, asylees, immigrants, waivers, and travel and employment.  

The USCIS Policy Manual is organized into different volumes, parts, and chapters that present policies in a logical and sequential manner.  The USCIS Policy Manual provides several user-friendly features and enhancements.  These features include up-to-the-minute comprehensive policy updates, an expanded table of contents, and links to related Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) sections, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and public use forms.  The manual is also equipped with a keyword search function, which will make locating policy and related information faster, easier, and less time consuming.  Citations of statutes, regulations, case law, authoritative sources, and other explanatory references appear in footnotes rather than the body of the text.  Tables and charts supplement and simplify policy information to facilitate understanding of complex topics and instructions.

The USCIS Policy Manual aims to provide transparency, including outlining policies that are easy to understand, while also furthering consistency, quality, and efficiency in its adjudications and customer service.  The USCIS Policy Manual contains the official policies of USCIS and must be followed by all USCIS officers in the performance of their duties.  The Policy Manual does not create any substantive or procedural right or benefit that is legally enforceable by any party against the United States or its agencies or officers or any other person.
- USCIS, Jan. 7, 2013.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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