Special Immigration Alert: USCIS Changes I-797 Notice Procedures

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On September 12, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) suddenly announced that it would start sending the original I-797 receipt and approval notices for all immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and applications directly to applicants and petitioners. If a Form G-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative) is submitted, the USCIS will now send the courtesy copy of these I-797 notices to an attorney or accredited representative. Prior to this announcement, the USCIS had sent the original I-797 notices to the attorney or accredited representative and the courtesy copy to the applicant or petitioner identified in the application or petition.

The USCIS’s sudden policy reversal came without any advance warning and may require sponsoring employers, especially large organizations, to implement policies and procedures quickly to ensure that these notices can be identified in the mail and routed to the proper person in their organizations.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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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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