Class action litigation in late 2020 resulted in USCIS stating it would stop implementing the rejection policy for asylum applications and U visa petitions starting on December 28, 2020. USCIS confirmed on April 1, 2021, that it would no longer reject I-589, I-612, or I-918 for blank spaces. The rejections were implemented without notice, leading to capricious rejections of humanitarian benefit requests. Many individuals reported filings that were rejected for questions not relevant to their case. AILA provided the example of an individual leaving blank the question asking for an individual’s name in a native alphabet when the native alphabet was the same as English.
USCIS confirmed that for all forms it has reverted to the form rejection criteria it applied before October 2019 regarding blank responses.
In 2019, USCIS changed the form rejection criteria for:
- Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for 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.
USCIS has reverted back to the rejection criteria that existed for these forms before October 2019. USCIS will no longer reject Form I-589, Form I-612 or Form I-918 if an applicant leaves a blank space.
However, applicants 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.
For more information about filing requirements and required initial evidence, consult the filing instructions for each form.
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