USCIS Restores "Deference Policy" for Extension Requests

On Tuesday, April 27th, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance restoring the so-called “deference policy,” which instructs officers to give deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts, unless there was a material error, material change, or new material facts. With this update, the USCIS is reverting to prior long-standing guidance issued in 2004, which was rescinded in 2017 under the Trump Administration. The restoration of the deference policy is welcome news for high-skilled immigration, and reflects the Biden Administration’s ongoing mandate to review existing government policy for barriers that “impede access to immigration benefits."

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