USCIS Policy Manual Makes Sweeping Changes to Discretion

U Visa/T Visa/VAWA
Publication Date

In 2020 and 2021, USCIS changed its interpretation of discretion in adjudication of immigration benefits in three separate releases of policy manual guidance.[i] These chapters add voluminous positive and negative discretionary factors that adjudicators are instructed to analyze in more than a dozen types of immigration benefits, including many categories of employment authorization, adjustment to permanent residence, temporary protected status and change of status applications.

This practice advisory will summarize the new guidance on discretion, begin to prepare practitioners to respond to the requirements, and offer a basis to challenge them by pointing out the legal errors.