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CIS Service Centers to Specialize in Certain Applications
Application Type Replaces Geography
Contributed by Carl Shusterman, Esq..
USCIS Service Center Geography MethodSince the inception of the INS remote service centers in the 1980s, each service center has been responsible for adjudicating immigration petitions and applications according to the geographical area of the country where the petitioner or the applicant was located.
New CIS Service Center Bi-Specialization SystemOn March 24, the CIS announced that it was taking the first step in scrapping this geographical system and replacing it with a new system which the agency has dubbed bi-specialization.
I-29 Processing by CIS Service Center
I-140 Processing by CIS Service Center
E-1 and E-2 Petitions and CIS Service Center Processing
Dependents - USCIS Applications, Service Centers
Confused? Try this on for size: The above information applies only where the principal is in E, H, L, O, P, R or TN status. Principals and dependents in all other nonimmigrant categories should continue to follow the instructions on the I-539 to determine where the form should be submitted.
Where should dependents of would-be immigrants submit
their I-485s (and I-765s, I-131s and I-824s)?
However, if the I-140 on behalf of the principal is pending at another service center, both the principal and the dependents should file their I-485s and accompanying applications with the service center at which the I-140 is pending. Be sure to include the receipt notice for the I-140 with your filing.
Similarly, if the I-140 has already been approved, both the principal and the dependents should submit their I-485s and accompanying forms to the service center which approved the I-140. Be sure to include the I-140 Notice of Approval.
The place of filing does not change unless the case requires an I-140. Therefore, the geographical rule still applies where the immigrant classification requires an I-360, an I-526 or no petition at all (e.g., applicants for adjustment of status under the visa lottery).
Grace Period on Filing With the Wrong Service Center
We link to the CIS News Release and Fact Sheet regarding the bi-specialization program from Shusterman's Employer's Guide.
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