USCIS Reverts to Prior Blank Form Rejection Policy

Melsida Asatrian's picture

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reverted its policy to that which was in effect prior to October 2019 regarding certain applications being submitted with blank spaces. The USCIS made the announcement on April 1, 2021 [link].

The forms affected by the October 2019 policy were:

Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal;
Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement (under Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended); and
Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.

Under the return to its pre-2019 policies, the USCIS will no longer reject Forms I-589, I-612, or I-918 if the applicant leaves a blank space.

Despite the policy reversion, the USCIS cautions applicants to ensure that they fill out all required fields on their forms. “[A]pplicants should be aware that we may reject these forms, or it might create delays in their case, if the applicant”:

Leaves required spaces blank;
Fails to respond to questions related to filing requirements; or
Omits any required initial evidence.

While the USCIS's backing away from the October 2019 policy and returning to a more forgiving stance on incomplete forms is welcome news to applicants, it is still very important for applicants to do their utmost to ensure that all forms filed with the USCIS are fully completed. As the USCIS noted, filing an incomplete form may still lead to case delays or the denial of the relevant applicant. An applicant is well-advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on properly completing one of the three forms affected by the policy reversion or any other form that must be filed with the USCIS.

USCIS Reverts to Prior Blank Form Rejection Policy