USCIS Releases First Volume of Policy Manual

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the transition to a new online, centralized manual of immigration policies on January 7. The Citizenship and Naturalization volume is the first of the USCIS Policy Manuals to be changed and there are 11 other volumes to be released. This comes after an unprecedented, agency-wide review of USCIS policies based on feedback from customers, stakeholders and employees.

The USCIS Policy Manual features up-to-the-minute updates, the Code of Federal Regulations, public use forms, links related to the Immigration and Naturalization Act and an expanded table of contents. The organization has arranged the content in an easy-to-understand manner so immigrants and nonimmigrants can look up information quickly and efficiently. The manual will also include tables and charts to relate the information in a simple, clear way and ensure understanding of challenging and complex topics.

“With the introduction of the Policy Manual, we take a further step to provide our customers, stakeholders and workforce with an efficient and effective adjudication process that provides a high level of quality and consistency,” said Alejandro Mayorkas, director of USCIS.

USCIS will begin implementing the policies outlined in the Citizenship and Naturalization volume on January 22, 2013, and the rest of the centralized policy manual will follow. Before completion, USCIS received approximately 8,000 survey responses regarding the previous policies and operational service. This manual will ultimately replace the Adjudicator’s Field Manual, the USCIS Immigration Policy Memoranda site and other policy repositories.

Other volumes in the USCIS Policy Manual pertain to different areas of immigration benefits, including general policies, refugees, adjustment of status, consent to reapply, nonimmigrants, asylees, immigrants and waivers protection, as well as travel, employment and identity documents.