USCIS final rule Notices of Decisions and Documents Evidencing Lawful Status became effective on January 27, 2015, after it was published for comment on October 29, 2014. This final rule changes how USCIS will correspond with an applicant, petitioner, and/or attorney or accredited representative of record. The rule expands an applicant/petitioner’s ability to have USCIS send original documents to his/her attorney or accredited representative of record rather than directly to the applicant/petitioner’s home address. Applicants/petitioners will use the updated Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, published on March 6, 2015, to select notification preferences.
Updates in the final rule include codifying that:
- USCIS will send notices only to an applicant/petitioner when he/she is unrepresented.
- If an applicant/petitioner submits a duly executed Form G-28 notifying USCIS that he/she is represented by an attorney or accredited representative, USCIS will send notices to the applicant/petitioner and to the attorney or accredited representative.
- An applicant/petitioner may request that USCIS send original notices only to the official business address of the applicant/petitioner’s attorney or accredited representative, with a courtesy copy sent to the applicant/petitioner for his/her records.
- For cases filed electronically, USCIS will only issue electronic notifications, unless the applicant/petitioner elects to have notifications sent by mail.
- USCIS will send the original Form I-797, Notice of Action as an approval notice with a tear-off I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to the applicant/petitioner’s attorney or accredited representative.
- USCIS now permits applicants/petitioners to have secure identification documents sent only to their attorney of record or accredited representative.