INS Streamlines Procedures for Immigrating Overseas Dependents

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has changed its policy for the filing of applications for action on approved application or petition (Form I-824). Form I-824 is used to request further action on an application or petition that has already been approved by the INS, such as an adjustment of status application on form I-485, a family-sponsored or employment-based immigrant petition on Form I-130 or Form I-140, or a nonimmigrant work petition of Form I-129. Generally, Form I-824 is utilized in three circumstances. First, to request a duplicate approval notice. Second, to request that an U.S. consulate other than the one designated on the original application or petition be notified of the approval. Third, to request that an U.S. consulate be notified that adjustment of status has been approved so that dependents of the adjustment applicant may apply for derivative immigrant visas.

In an effort to reduce processing time and avoid redundancy, the INS will now distribute visa petitions according to the manner in which the visa petition indicates that the beneficiary intends to process (adjustment of status or consular processing). Accordingly, the beneficiary will no longer be required to file Form I-824 when the petition indicates he will process at the consulate. Instead, the INS will forward the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) regardless of whether the priority date is current or whether the beneficiary is eligible for adjustment of status if the visa petition indicates that the beneficiary will consular process. This process is believed to minimize the possibility of filing unnecessary Form I-824.

Of course, the beneficiary must still file Form I-824 in order to change the initial manner of processing noted on the visa petition. Form I-824 is also appropriate when the beneficiary, as a principal alien, seeks adjustment of status and the dependant family abroad will follow-to-join. Under this situation, Form I-824 must be filed concurrently with the principal’s application for adjustment of status (I-485) in order to minimize processing delays for the dependent family members.