Nebraska Service Center to Begin Handling Inquiries on Pending U Visa Petitions

 

Introduction

In this article, we will be discussing changes in the processing of certain U visa petitions being handled by the Nebraska Service Center. We will summarize the May 25, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) news update titled “U Nonimmigrant Status Program Updates” [PDF version].

U nonimmigrant petition

Nebraska Service Center Processing Certain U Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

In July of 2016, the USCIS announced that it would begin reviewing petitions for U nonimmigrant status at two USCIS service centers. These two service centers are the Vermont Service Center and the Nebraska Service Center. Previously, all petitions for U nonimmigrant status were handled by the Vermont Service Center.

At the time of the announcement, the USCIS stated that it was initially transferring 3,000 U nonimmigrant visa petitions (Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status) from the Vermont Service Center to the Nebraska Service Center. Petitioners whose petitions are transferred receive transfer notices.

Nebraska Service Center Handling Inquiries for Pending U Nonimmigrant Petitions

On May 25, 2017, the USCIS issued an update for those whose U nonimmigrant petitions have been transferred to the Nebraska Service Center. The Nebraska Service Center has begun responding to inquiries regarding pending Form I-918 petitions. The USCIS provided affected petitioners and their attorneys with contact information for the Nebraska Service Center:

Contact Information for Attorneys and Representatives:

Email inquiry to nsc.i-918inquiries@uscis.dhs.gov.

Contact Information for Petitioners and Applicants:

Petitioners and applicants may check their case status online if they are inquiring about a related application or petition. Otherwise, they may mail inquiry with an original signature to:

  • USCIS
  • Nebraska Service Center
  • P.O. Box 87918
  • Lincoln, NE 68501-7918

Other Issues

As of June 2017, all U nonimmigrant petitions are filed with the Vermont Service Center. However, a petitioner or applicant should always carefully follow the relevant form instructions and consult the USCIS website for information on where and how to file a USCIS-issued form. The USCIS indicated that the Nebraska Service Center will begin accepting a certain number of Form I-918 petitions directly once it has implemented the appropriate safe address and confidentiality procedures.

When the Vermont Service Center transfers a Form I-918 to the Nebraska Service Center, the USCIS will send notification. If no transfer notice is sent, that means the Form I-918 is being processed by the Vermont Service Center, and all relevant inquiries should be sent there.

U visa petitioners and applicants may consult the processing times in order to have an idea of when their petitions may be fully adjudicated. The USCIS explained that all U nonimmigrant petitions — including those being processed at the Nebraska Service Center — are reviewed according to the processing time for the Vermont Service Center.

The USCIS estimates that the Nebraska Service Center will respond to inquiries within 14 days of receipt.

Conclusion

The USCIS made its changes in Form I-918 processing in order to “improve[] processing times, efficiency, and customer service to [the] victim population.” The Vermont Service Center and the Nebraska Service Center handle U nonimmigrant petitions in accordance with the same rules and procedures. That the Nebraska Service Center is now accepting inquiries regarding to Form I-918 petitions pending before it is the next step in its increasing its role in the processing and adjudication of U nonimmigrant visa petitions.

Individuals should consult with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the U visa petitioning process. Furthermore, aliens who are crime victims should consult with an attorney for guidance on immigration options that may be available, including the U nonimmigrant visa category in certain cases.

Please see our full selection of articles on U visas to learn more about a variety of issues relating to the U nonimmigrant category [see category]. To learn about workload transfers generally, please see our full article [see article].