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Previous Recommendations by the Ombudsman: 2007 to 2004 Archive

2007 Recommendations

August 2007

Recommendation #33 August 24, 2007, (PDF, 5 pages - 247 KB)

The Ombudsman recommends the following regarding U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudications of petitions that are returned to USCIS by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for revocation or revalidation:

  1. Issue receipt notices to customers when the petition file is returned and received by USCIS Service Centers.
  2. Establish a nationwide standard for the re-adjudication of petitions returned by consular offices for revocation or revalidation and amend the Operating Instructions/Adjudicator's Field Manual accordingly; include a "REVOCATION" entry in the processing time reports.
  3. Provide additional information about revocation or revalidation processes on the USCIS website.

June 2007

2007 Annual Report Recommendations, June 11, 2007

April 2007

Recommendation #32 April 9, 2007, (PDF, 4 pages – 105 KB)

Recommendation to USCIS that it

  1. post general information on deferred action on its website;
  2. maintain statistics on the issuance and denial of deferred action requests; and
  3. designate a headquarters official to review grants and denials of deferred action requests on a quarterly basis to ensure that like cases are decided in like manner.

February 2007

Recommendation #31 February 8, 2007, (PDF, 3 pages - 86 KB)

Recommendation that USCIS adopt a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) under which there would be at least 30 day advance notice to the public and posting on the USCIS website of changes to policy and operations instructions, absent exigent circumstances.

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2006 Recommendations

July 2006

Recommendation #30 July 12, 2006, (PDF, 15 pages - 175 KB)

Recommendation to USCIS to improve Freedom of Information Act operations while ensuring that information is provided timely by implementing seventeen actions and requirements which will result in a substantially reduced backlog.

June 2006

Annual Report Recommendations June 30, 2006

Recommendation #29 June 30, 2006, (PDF, 6 pages - 113 KB)

Recommendation that USCIS amend O petition rules to facilitate "extraordinary ability" aliens' employment in the United States by extending the maximum initial validity of O petitions from three to five years, and increasing the maximum extension length from one to five years.

Recommendation #28 June 9, 2006 (PDF, 4 pages - 82 KB)

A recommendation to immediately implement an online change-of-address procedure to supplement the current Form AR-11 process.

May 2006

Recommendation #27, May 19, 2006 (PDF, 11 pages - 127 KB)

Recommendation to USCIS that it implement up-front processing of immigration benefits beginning with those for family-based adjustment of status applications for the following reasons:

  1. to enhance security and process integrity;
  2. to improve customer service; and
  3. to increase USCIS efficiency.

April 2006

Recommendation #26 April 13, 2006, (PDF, 6 pages - 133 KB)

Recommendation to accept DNA test results as secondary evidence of family relationship, to grant authority to directors to require DNA testing and to initiate a DNA testing pilot project to study the impact of requiring DNA testing as evidence of family relationship.

March 2006

Recommendation #25 March 20, 2006, (PDF, 5 pages - 100 KB)

Changes to employment authorization document ("EAD") procedures including:

  1. issuance of multi-year EADs;
  2. issuance of EADs valid as of the date any previous issuance expires; and
  3. amendment to regulations to provide that K-1 nonimmigrants are not subject to breaks in employment authorization.

Recommendation #24 March 20, 2006, (PDF, 95 pages - 924 KB)

Asylum Office limitation on adjudication of I-589 applications for asylum and withholding of removal to those submitted from individuals who are in valid non-immigrant status in the United States.

Recommendation #23 March 20, 2006 (PDF, 3 pages - 84 KB)

Elimination of fingerprint requirements for active duty United States military personnel in the naturalization application processes.

Recommendation #22 March 20, 2006, (PDF, 4 pages - 87 KB)

Standardization of Notices to Appear ("NTAs") to provide that NTAs be issued and filed with the immigration court in all cases where, as a result of adjustment of status denial, the applicant is out of status.

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2005 Recommendations

December 2005

Recommendation #21 December 7, 2005 (PDF, 3 pages - 85 KB)

Automation and standardization of the Notice of Action Form (I-797) that includes Form I-94 for asylum approval notifications by the USCIS Asylum Division

Recommendation #20 December 7, 2005 (PDF, 5 pages - 91 KB)

Publication of the process under which cases are deemed precedent decisions, the criteria under which cases are selected for oral argument, and the statistics on decision making by the Administrative Appeals Office.

October 2005

Recommendation #19 October 13, 2005 (PDF, 4 pages - 87 KB)

Elimination of 'pick up' decision delivery process for asylum applicants in favor of a certified mail, return receipt notification process.

August 2005

Recommendation #18 August 28, 2005 (PDF,3 pages - 83 KB)

Publication of nonimmigrant visas issued against the annual numerical limitation on H-1B and H-2B visas to project the numerical cap of annually available visa numbers.

July 2005

Recommendation #17 July 29, 2005 (PDF, 4 pages - 1.3 MB)

Elimination of the postal meter mark 'Return Service Requested' on USCIS envelopes, thereby allowing all USCIS correspondence to be forwarded to applicants/petitioners.

June 2005

Recommendation #16 June 10, 2005 (PDF, 3 pages - 83 KB)

Policy changes to processing procedures for form I-131 refugee travel documents.

May 2005

Recommendation #15 May 9, 2005 (PDF, 3 pages - 84 KB)

Correction to contract issues for Department of the Treasury Lockbox and contractor, Bank One, Inc. due to untimely issuance of receipts to petitioners and applicants.

February 2005

Recommendation #14 February 25, 2005 (PDF, 2 pages - 77 KB)

Guidelines for USCIS termination of pilot programs.

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2004 Recommendations

December 2004

Recommendation #13 December 15, 2004 (PDF, 4 pages - 88 KB)

Long and short-term recommendations concerning USCIS issuance of permanent resident cards to arriving immigrants.

November 2004

Recommendation #12 November 29, 2004 (PDF, 4 pages - 92 KB)

Cessation of use of the Department of Treasury Lockbox by USCIS upon the expiration of its current Memorandum of Understanding.

Recommendation #11 November 29, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 82 KB)

National policy guidance on the implementation of InfoPass to ensure equitable access to immigration services.

October 2004

Recommendation #10 October 6, 2004 (PDF, 3 pages - 86 KB)

Correction to Naturalization policy memorandum in order to fully comply with section 319(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, as amended by Public Law 106-386.

Recommendation #9 October 6, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 87.80 KB)

Single USCIS forms package per type of petition/application regardless of which district office or service center will process the petition/application.

September 2004

Recommendation #8 September 27, 2004 (PDF, 3 pages - 83 KB)

Expansion of the Premium Processing Service (PPS) to include employment-based change-of-status (I-539) applications.

August 2004

Recommendation #7 August 16, 2004 (PDF, 3 pages - 72 KB)

Establishment of a separate fee structure for the “e-filing” of applications/petitions.

Recommendation #6 August 16, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 83 KB)

Authorization for employers to store Form I-9s electronically.

Recommendation #5 August 11, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 79 KB)

Customer Service Training for USCIS Employees.

June 2004

Recommendation #4 June 29, 2004 (PDF, 1 page - 24 KB)

Modification of Fee Instructions.

Recommendation #3 June 18, 2004 (PDF, 1 page - 17 KB)

Reengineering Green Card Replacement Processin.

Recommendation #2 June 18, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 16 KB)

Streamlining Employment-Based Immigrant Processing.

Recommendation #1 June 18, 2004 (PDF, 2 pages - 19 KB)

Streamlining Family-Based Immigrant Processing.

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Last Published Date: January 10, 2014
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