USCIS Updates Policy Manual Regarding Expedite Requests

USCIS announced on March 21, that the agency is updating guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify how it considers expedite requests related to government interests and requests related to emergencies or urgent humanitarian situations, including travel-related requests. This update also clarifies how to make an expedite request and explains how USCIS processes expedite requests.

What You Need to Know

The policy update:

  • Clarifies that USCIS may expedite cases identified as urgent by federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local governments of the United States because they involve public interest, public safety, national interest, or national security interests;
  • Clarifies that, when an expedite request is made by a federal government agency or department based on government interests, USCIS generally defers to that agency or department’s assessment;
  • Explains that USCIS may expedite adjudication of Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for requestors inside the United States when an applicant demonstrates a pressing or critical need to leave the United States, and that USCIS may consider expedited processing of Form I-131 whether the need to travel relates to a planned or unplanned event;
  • Clarifies when USCIS may consider an expedite request based on clear USCIS error;
  • Explains how to make an expedite request and how requestors can use USCIS online tools with secure messaging, such as submitting their expedite request and uploading evidence if they have a USCIS online account; and
  • Clarifies how USCIS processes expedite requests.

Individuals requesting immigration benefits may request to expedite the adjudication of their application, petition, request, appeal, or motion. USCIS considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and generally require documentation to support such requests. The decision to expedite is within the sole discretion of USCIS.

The new Policy Manual guidance is effective immediately and is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance.