USCIS Reverts to Less Stringent Blank Form Rules

On April 1, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reverted its policy in effect prior to October 2019 regarding certain applications being submitted with blank spaces.

The forms affected by the October 2019 policy were:

Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal;
-Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended); and
-Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.

Under the return to its pre-2019 policies, the USCIS will no longer reject Forms I-589, I-612, or I-918 if the applicant leaves a blank space.

Despite the policy reversion, USCIS cautions applicants to ensure that they fill out all required fields on their forms and “applicants should be aware that we may reject these forms, or it might create delays in their case, if the applicant”:

Leaves required spaces blank;
Fails to respond to questions related to filing requirements; or
Omits any required initial evidence.

Please note it is still very important for applicants to do avoid errors and omissions in their forms filed with the USCIS. As the USCIS noted, filing an incomplete form may still lead to case delays or the denial of the relevant applicant. An applicant is well-advised to consult with an immigration attorney for guidance on properly completing any forms to be filed with USCIS.

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