News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – September 21, 2011 In an unannounced but apparently official change in policy, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is no longer sending the “original” version of important official documents to immigration lawyers representing petitioning companies and employees. Instead, USCIS is mailing “original” approval notices (Forms I-797) directly to the petitioner or applicant, and sending only a “courtesy copy,” lacking critical data, to the lawyer. Aside from the related logistical inconvenience, the original versions of approval notices are often the only evidence that an employee has of his or her legal status, and can be very difficult to replace. Moreover, notices from USCIS may be time sensitive for a variety of reasons. Therefore, large and small companies alike should coordinate with their mailroom to make sure that any mailings from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) are routed immediately to the appropriate personnel, who can then alert immigration counsel and send the original or copies if needed.
© Jewell & Associates, PC 2011