Texas Service Center Guidelines
Revised September 28, 1998
The Texas Service Center (TSC) processes applications from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
The purpose of this manual is to open lines of communication between the TSC and all individuals and organizations that utilize our services. We provide these guidelines to clarify basic procedural requirements. The guidelines will change from time to time, and changes will be communicated to interested parties.
The Texas Service Center operates under a set of uniform procedures. We follow the requirements enumerated in 8 CFR Parts 204, et seq., and contained in the "instructions" attached to each petition or application form. At no time will the TSC Guidelines usurp the authority of the regulations, formal instructions or the INA that govern the adjudication process.
We would like to emphasize that the guidelines are general in nature, to allow the flexibility necessary to operate efficiently.
The Adjudications activity adjudicates and tracks applications and petitions using the Computer Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS). RAFACS II/CLAIMS is an enhanced in-house tracking system that interfaces with the Mainframe CLAIMS. The Mainframe CLAIMS System is also national in nature and allows any INS office to check on the status of applications/petitions.
Each case is considered on its own merits and some may require documentation not called for in this manual. Use of the guidelines will assist our customers in obtaining the best and fastest service from the TSC, and ensure the most efficient use of our combined time and efforts.
Personnel of the TSC, immigration law practitioners who are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA), and representatives of other local associations meet on occasions, and continue to develop together processes designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
PLEASE NOTE: The procedures set out in these guidelines are specific to the TSC only and are not for use at the other three Service Centers.
The TSC has been established as a remote adjudication facility. Accordingly, there is no procedure for handling in-person inquiries or submissions. However, after submission you may make inquiries through our INS DIRECT telephone line or FAX machines further addressed in this manual. Please utilize the procedures set forth in these guidelines.
These guidelines are a result of the joint effort of the AILA/TSC Liaison Committee, and are dynamic in nature, representing current circumstances and continued initiatives.
You are welcome to duplicate this information for professional use.
Texas Service Center
Immigration and Naturalization Service
TEXAS SERVICE CENTER
The Texas Service Center (TSC) is one of four INS Service Centers and has jurisdiction for applications and petitions from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
The mission of the Texas Service Center is to process and adjudicate applications and petitions accurately and timely. We will develop and support our personnel to provide quality service to all of our customers. We are committed to improvement through continual review and innovation.
The Division is headed by three Assistant Center Directors for Adjudications, who report to the Deputy Director. Each division is referred to as a product line.
BUSINESS AND NONIMMIGRANT SERVICES
The Business & NI Services Product Line adjudicates I-129 (E, H, L, O, P, Q, R); I-140; related I-290; I-360; I-526; related I-539; related I-824 applications; and I-829 applications.
The Family Services Product Line adjudicates I-129F; I-130; I-212; related I-290; I-612; I-751; I-817; and related I-824 applications.
RESIDENT AND STATUS SERVICES
The Resident and Status Services Product Line adjudicates I-90 (including SAW I-90A); I-102; related I-290; I-485 (Section 1 eligible Cubans residing within Florida; effective November 29, 1996, employment based adjustment of status applications provided it is being filed on basis of Form I-140, Form I-526, or Form I-360 where the underlying visa number is immediately available per the esatblished priority date; and effective June 22, 1998, adjustment of status applications based on NACARA [Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act]); initial processing of I-589; I-765 [(a6), (a11), (a13), (c2), (c3i), (c3ii), (c3iii), (c3iv), (c5), (c6), (c7), (c8), (c9) only if the I-485 is pending at TSC, (c17i), (c17ii), (c17iii), (c20), (c22)]; legalization applications (including I-700, I-698, I-687, I-694, I-690, and I-695, replacement of Temporary Resident Cards); and initial processing of N-400's for all offices within our jurisdiction.
Estimated processing times for each type of application and petition adjudicated at TSC are provided on the receipt (Form I-797, Notice of Action). A response to an initial request for evidence restarts the processing time clock consistent with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(10)(i). However, TSC's policy is to treat response to requests for evidence on a prioritized basis.
INQUIRIES AND STATUS CHECKS
Please do not initiate inquiries and status checks until after the maximum estimated processing time printed on Form I-797 has expired. You may call INS DIRECT number or contact the center by fax to inquire about the status of your case.
TSC INS DIRECT: (214) 381-1423
TSC GENERAL FAX: (214) 767-7405 or 7406
BUSINESS AND NONIMMIGRANT SERVICES FAX: (214) 767-7425
RESIDENT AND STATUS SERVICES FAX: (214) 767-7409
EMPLOYMENT BASED I-485 ADJUSTMENT CASES FAX: (214) 767-7654
FAMILY SERVICES FAX: (214) 767-7409
STATUS INQUIRIES MAY BE MAILED TO (FAX PREFERRED):
P. O. Box 851488
Mesquite, Texas 75185-1488
The National Visa Center (formerly TIVPC) is located at 32 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801-2909. The public phone number is (603) 334-0700.
WE PREFER FAX INQUIRIES.
WE HAVE FOUND THROUGH EXPERIENCE THAT THEY ARE THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE METHOD OF COMMUNICATION. ISSUES CAN BE PRESENTED SUCCINCTLY. MOST IMPORTANTLY, A FAX ELIMINATES THE HANDLING ASSOCIATED WITH THE MANY PEOPLE INVOLVED IN PHYSICALLY RECEIVING AND DIRECTING A MAILED INQUIRY TO THE PROPER RESPONSIBLE PARTY.
DO NOT FOLLOW UP A FAX WITH A "HARD COPY". DO NOT USE THE SHOTGUN METHOD OF SENDING A SIMILAR FAX TO DIFFERENT NUMBERS. THIS WILL ONLY CREATE CONFUSION AND MAY DELAY YOUR REQUEST.
An approval notice containing a TSC error should be brought to the attention of the appropriate Product Line using the fax procedures outlined above. Significant deviations from standard procedures should be brought to the attention of the appropriate product line using the fax procedures outlined above.
Expedited processing can be requested of the Director via fax on a case by case basis. AILA members must process their requests through one of the AILA Liaison Co-Chairs.
Fee waivers are the sole discretion of the Director and may be granted or denied on a case by case basis. Please direct requests to the Directors attention and include all relevant information with each request. Decisions will be based solely on the supporting documents submitted.
I-485 AGE OUTS
We ask that you bring age outs to our attention a minimum of six months before the 21st birthday. Reminders may be a fax to "AGE OUT" in bold letters to the respective product line fax numbers above. We may not be able to complete dire circumstances age outs cases sooner than six weeks because of fingerprint processes and requirements which mandate that FBI clearances be completed prior to adjudication. Likewise, please include a coversheet with "AGE OUT" written in bold letters on submissions bearing applicants aging out within six months of filing.
Forms are not available from the Texas Service Center. Individual forms may be obtained by calling the Forms Request telephone at 1-800-870-3676. Forms may be ordered in volume through the Government Printing Office (GPO) or GPO bookstores. You may place an order with the GPO by calling (202) 512-1800 or writing the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325.
ATTORNEY OR REPRESENTATIVE
All applications and petitions with representatives must include a blue Form G-28 (FOR EACH AND EVERY APPLICATION OR PETITION, EVEN IF FAMILY GROUPS, OR RELATED FORMS, e.g., I-129 WITH DEPENDENT I-539) signed by the applicant or petitioner. If a G-28 is not signed by the applicant or petitioner, the case will not be treated as a represented case. The representative must also sign the G-28 in the appropriate location.
Petitions and applications submitted without a properly executed G-28 (requires original signature of attorney or representative and the petitioner or applicant) will result in the G-28 being disregarded. Thus, all decisions will be sent directly to the petitioner or applicant.
The following categories of forms must be mailed directly to the TSC. TSC is currently in a modified Phase II "direct mail" mode.
A. FILE AT TSC, ADJUDICATION WILL OCCUR AT TSC.
I-90A - SAW
I-102 - (to replace a "tear off" I-94 from form 797)
I-131 - advance parole based on an I-485 submitted at TSC
I-290 A, B - Appeals/Motion to a denial issued by TSC
I-360 - Religious, Physician, Military, Widow, Int'l.
I-485 - Section 1 Cuban Adjustment (Florida resident only)
I-485 - Effective November 29, 1996 Employment Based adjustment of status
(based on approved Form I-140, Form I-526, or Form I-360)
I-485 - Effective June 22, 1998, NACARA cases
I-526 For areas served by TSC and VSC only
I-539 - A, B, F, G, I, J, M, N & their dependents
I-695 - only for replacement of I-688, Temporary Resident card
I-751 - final action occurs at the TSC or District/suboffice
I-824 - duplicate approval notice; different consulate or POE notification; notification
to Consulate of permanent adjustment
I-829 - final action occurs at the TSC or District/suboffice
I-765 - eligibility codes accepted 8 CFR 274(a).12 (see chart pages 8-10)
B. File at TSC, adjudication will occur at either the Arlington, Va; Houston, Tx or Miami, Fl Asylum office depending on residence:
C. File at TSC, adjudication will occur at the District Office:
N-400 (ONLY FLORIDA RESIDENTS)
D. File at a District/Sub-Office. Adjudication will occur at TSC.
E. File at District/Sub-Office. Adjudication will occur at the District/Sub-Office.
I-102 - Parolee's
I-290 A,B - Appeal/Motion to a denial at a district/suboffice
I-360 - Amerasian, Special Immigrant Juvenile
I-515 - Students arriving at POEs without an I-20
I-612 - If filed with an I-485
I-695 - Only for replacement of I-688A Employment Authorization Cards
I-765 - see chart pages 8 - 10
F. File with District Office, adjudicated by EOIR
G. File at Nebraska Service Center, adjudicated at NSC
I-131 - TRAVEL DOCUMENT NSC (NEBRASKA SERVICE CENTER) - DIRECT MAIL
I-129 - TN/NAFTA
I-539 - TD (Dependent of NAFTA principal)
I-730 - NSC DIRECT MAIL
I-765 - see chart pages 8 - 10
I-765 Filing Chart
|EAD CATEGORY||DESCRIPTION||WHERE TO FILE|
|(a)(3)||Admitted as Refugee||File the case with the Nebraska Service Center.|
|(a)(4)||Paroled as Regugee||File the case with the Nebraska Service Center.|
|(a)(5)||Asylum Granted||File the case with the Nebraska Service Center.|
|(a)(6)||Fianc(e)'||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(a)(7)||N-8 or N-9 Nonimmigrant||File the case with the Nebraska Service Center.|
|(a)(8)||Micronesia/Marshall Islands||File the case with the Nebraska Service Center.|
|(a)(10)||Withhold of Deportation Granted||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(a)(11)||Extended Voluntary Departure/Deferred Enforced Departure Granted||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(a)(12)||Temporary Protected Status Granted||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(a)(13)||Family Unity Granted||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(1)||A-1/A-2 Dependent||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(2)||Coordination Council for North American Affairs Dependent||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|F-1 Optional Practical
F-1 International Organization.
F-1 Economic Necessity.
F-1 Special Student Relief Program.
|File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(4)||G-1/G-2 Dependent||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(5)||J-2 Nonimmigrant||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(6)||M-1 Practical Traning||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(7)||NATO Dependent||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(8)||Asylum Pending||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(9)||I-485 Application Pending||File the case where the I-485 application is pending.|
|(c)(10)||Suspension of Deportation Pending||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(11)||Paroled temporarily for emergency reasons or for reasons deemed in the public interest.||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(12)||Voluntary Departure Granted||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(14)||Deferred Action Granted||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(16)||Filed an application for creation of record of Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence pursuant to 8 CFR, Part 249.||File the case with the Local Office.|
|B-1 Domestic of
B-1 Domestic of a United States Citizen.
B-1 Airline Employee.
|File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(18)||Final Order of Deportation or Removal exists and alien released on an order of supervision.||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(19)||Temporary Protected Status Pending.||File the case with the Local Office.|
|(c)(20)||Legalization Applicaiton filed pursuant to Section 210 of the Act.||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
|(c)(22)||Legalization Application filed pursuant to Section 245A of the Act.||File the case with the Texas Service Center.|
PREPARATION OF PETITION
TYPE/PRINT -- Applications/petitions submitted are preferred in typed format. Legible printing is an alternative.
ADDRESS -- The address block on the forms is the data field captured for all of our mailings. Consistent with the limitations on the number of characters per line (a maximum of 32) and the total number of lines (4) in that field, whatever is in the block will become the mailing address used by the system. The data in these fields is entered exactly as indicated on the forms. Please include internal routing symbols in the address block, especially for large organizations. Attorney's addresses are captured from the G-28.
FASTENERS -- PLEASE use "Acco type" fasteners to hold together thick or bulky applications/petitions.
TAB -- Use tabs to aid the examiner in locating documents easily. If used, tabs should be on the bottom or on the left side of the documents (remember our record copies are housed on the left side of the file.
EXHIBITS -- Include an index to the supporting documentation.
FORM AND SUBSTANCE
ORDER -- The application/petition should be in the following order:
Check or Money Order
G-28 (if applicable)
Petition or Application
COVER LETTER -- Submit a one page cover letter specifically outlining the benefit requested and the reasons why the beneficiary or applicant is entitled to the benefit. Statements of beneficiary eligibility and petitioner requirements in the cover letter of the petitioner and/or attorney of record must be fully substantiated.
TRANSCRIPTS -- Degrees or diplomas that do not specifically indicate relevance to the position offered must be accompanied by transcripts.
TRANSLATIONS -- Summary translations are acceptable for all foreign language documents unless a complete translation is requested. The translator must certify that she/he is competent to translate and that the translation is accurate. The certification format should include the certifier's name, signature, address and date of certification. The format is:
Certification By Translator
I (typed name) , certify that am fluent (conversant) in the English and languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled " ".
Date Typed Name
PHOTOGRAPHS -- If photographs (in addition to having the name and file # noted on the back) are placed in "see-through" bags, we do not have to open that type of envelope (unlike the standard manila) to verify that the required photographs are included, thus eliminating the possibility of misplacement/loss.
FEES -- SEE ATTACHMENT C. All fees (PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH. IT WILL ONLY DELAY PROCESSING.) should be submitted individually by petition or application/petition package, i.e., when filing an I-129 and an I-539 for the principal's wife and child you may send one check. When one attorney is filing three I-130s the same day each petition should have its own check so if one petition is not acceptable for receipting all three will not be returned. However, if a family package of I-130s is being filed together you may use one check to keep the same priority date (if one is returned you may want them all returned).
I-94 -- Please place the I-94 admission number on all applications for extension of stay or change of status. Also include a copy of the front and back of all I-94 cards for the principal alien and dependents. DO NOT send in original I-94s unless specifically requested by a Service officer.
COPIES -- The Service no longer routinely requires submission of original documents or "certified copies". Instead, legible photo copies of such documents (including naturalization certificates and alien registration cards) will be accepted for initial filing and approval of applications and petitions. At the discretion of the adjudicator, original documents may still be required in individual cases.
MARKING ENVELOPE -- To ensure more efficient processing, boldly mark the outside of the envelope indicating the type of application/petition being submitted. PREFERABLY TWO INCHES HIGH, AND WHILE ARTISTIC ABILITY DOES NOT COUNT EXTRA, LEGIBILITY CERTAINLY DOES.
OVERNIGHT DELIVERY -- Since TSC is not the majority tenant located in a multi-tenant facility, we do not initially receive courier deliveries to the street address. However, TSC does physically pick up all mail (INCLUDING OVERNIGHT PRIORITY MAIL) from our post office box on a daily basis. Using our Post Office box rather than the street address ensures the fastest delivery possible.
SUBSEQUENT ACTIONS AFTER FILING
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION -- Notices for additional information or clarification mailed from the Service Center will contain a colored cover sheet to be used in responding to the notice. In all cases, responses to a notice must include that copy of the notice on the top of the response to ensure that response is directed for review in a priority manner.
INQUIRIES -- The best way to locate records is through the SRC receipt number or the A#. It is to your advantage to provide this information whenever possible. If you do not know the A#, provide a COMPLETE name and date of birth. Also, provide any and all names used when originally admitted to the United States. Providing this information is extremely helpful and speeds processing time.
CASES -- Reconstructed cases will be accepted only when specifically requested by the Service to complete processing. Be sure to submit the "SRC number" of the original filing and any copies of notices received from the Service on the first filing when submitting a reconstructed application or petition, or copies as directed.
FORM I-824 -- I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Petition is filed at the office where the original approved petition was adjudicated. When applicable, the I-824 may be filed direct mail to the Texas Service Center if Part 2 Block a or b is marked; i.e., requesting a duplicate approval notice or requesting that a different U.S. Consulate or Port of Entry be notified of the previous approval of a petition. Block c, requesting that a U.S. Consulate be notified that status has been adjusted to permanent resident, should be filed with the office where the adjustment took place. An I-824 is not to be filed on an approved I-130 to request an upgrade. Contact the National Visa Center directly at 32 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801-2909, or via fax at 603-334-0791.
APPEALS AND MOTIONS
TSC handles appeals and motions resulting from their prior decisions. "A" and SRC files are retained at the Center during the appeal period. The product line that issued the denial, will also process the appeal or motion.
Appeals and motions in adjudication denial cases should be mailed directly to TSC with the appropriate fee. See mailing addresses below. Effective February 10, 1994, Motions must be submitted on Form I-290A. Motions to Reopen/Reconsider on AAO decisions should be sent directly to the TSC.
Requests for extensions to submit briefs to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) should be submitted to the AAO with a copy to the TSC. Requests for extension of time to submit briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) should be submitted to the TSC for consideration. All Appeals and Motions must be received at TSC within 33 days of the date of the Notice. [Note: The appeal time is 18 days to denials and revocations appealable to the BIA.]
Appeals in legalization denial cases should be mailed directly to the TSC with the appropriate fee. There are no motions in the legalization program (8 CFR 103.5(b)).
An inquiry or a motion does not stop the clock on an appeal deadline. To preserve appellate rights in any denial situation, file an appeal.
DIVISION SPECIFIC PROCEDURES
BUSINESS AND NONIMMIGRANT SERVICES DIVISION
General Information for Form I-129 and Inherent I-539
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, was published in the Federal Register on February 21, 1992. The form should be used for an employer to petition for an alien to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform services or labor, or to receive training, as an H-1A, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L-1, O-1, P-1, P-2 or Q nonimmigrant worker. The form I-129 is also used when the principal is requesting a change of status or extension of stay for any of the above.
The Form I-129 for an employer to petition for an extension of stay or change of status for an alien as an E-1, E-2, or R-1 nonimmigrant may be filed with the TSC. An application to apply for an E-1, E-2 or R-1 nonimmigrant visa must be made with a consular office for entry or reentry into the U.S.
Petitions with multiple beneficiaries (H-2A/B, H-3, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, & Q), must submit separate petitions and the appropriate fee if applying for visas at different (or more than one) consulate offices abroad.
The new I-129 form replaced the I-129H, I-129L, I-539 for E, H, L, O, P, Q, and R extensions and the I-506 for changes to E, H, L, O, P, Q, and R. The filing fee for the Form I-129 is a flat fee of $110.00.
Dependents of alien workers will need to file for a change of status or extension of stay on the Form I-539. When filed with an I-129, place the I-539 directly after the I-129. Mark "EB" on the right side margin, and use a "post it note" on the I-129 to indicate that there is an accompanying I-539.
A legible copy of the front and back of each Form I-94 is required for beneficiaries of Forms I-129 and their dependents filing a Form I-539. The original Form I-94 is no longer required; therefore, the I-94 will not be annotated to show an extension of stay or change of status in these cases. The approval notice (Form I797C) now contains a cut off I-94.
All I-129 petitions must include supporting documentation. Do not submit one set of documentation for multiple beneficiaries filed on separate petitions. Each petition must be supported separately.
When submitting an I-129 and supporting documentation in duplicate, submission of a complete and separate duplicate set including supporting documentation is imperative. The original petition and documentation are kept at the TSC and the complete copy is sent to the consulate.
Form I-129 for new employment, extension of stay or change of status may be filed up to 6 months before the services are needed or the Extension of Stay expires. Extensions of stay will be granted from the date of expiration if the petition is timely filed per 8 CFR 214.2.
H-1B Petition and LCA's
Labor Condition Applications (LCA Form ETA 9035) must be certified by DOL and submitted at the time of filing an I-129 petition for H-1B specialty occupation. Labor Condition Applications (LCA) must include a detailed list of all Service file numbers for beneficiaries who have been previously approved by INS using the same LCA.
The LCA should be valid from the date of expiration through the date of requested employment. Extensions of stay will not be granted beyond the time period certified on the LCA.
LCAs are considered initial evidence. Therefore, they should be included in the record at the time a petition is filed. Failure to submit the LCA may result in a denial. Submissions without an LCA should include a detailed explanation as to why the LCA was not filed with the petition. Petitions without the LCA will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. LCAs should be reviewed for errors and corrected prior to filing with the petition.
In all cases, evidence must demonstrate that an LCA was properly filed and accepted with the Department of Labor prior to filing a petition with the Immigration Service.
The I-129 petition for H-2 workers must be filed with a Temporary Labor Certification (ETA 750) which is issued by the Department of Labor. Form ETA-750 must be certified by the U.S. Department of Labor's certifying officer and will include validity dates and a cover letter. This letter will indicate the number and title of jobs certified, date of need, specific activity, area of employment and the period covered by the certificate. The certification is usually not valid for more than one year. Petitions filed without the ETA-750 will be denied pursuant to sections 103.2(b)(8) and 204.5(1)(3)(i).
Any subsequent substitutions or replacements of agricultural workers within the approved period will need a copy of the ETA 750. Any request for a new extension will need a new temporary labor certification. In both instances, a copy of the prior approval notice is to be submitted.
I-129 petitions for H-2B classification cannot be submitted for unnamed beneficiaries.
O's and P's
All O and P I-129 petitions must be submitted with the appropriate consultation. Individuals (O-1) who will be employed in the motion picture and television industry must include a consultation from a management organization and a union/peer group. All other O and P nonimmigrant(s) need a consultation from an appropriate peer group. All support personnel for the P-1 should file separately.
E-1 and E-2 applicants should file an I-129 to change employer or duties, or where there is a structural change in the nature of the corporate entity. A fee is required if an extension of stay, change of status or amendment of original petition is sought. All petitions should include submission of copies of the front and back of the I-94. Only E-1 and E-2 dependents should file a form I-539.
Q nonimmigrant - International Cultural Exchange Visitor Programs: This new classification was created under IMMACT 90. This classification encompasses a cultural exchange program to enhance the American people's knowledge and appreciation of different world cultures.
Processing will be facilitated when Form I-539s are completed and filed for dependents of I-129 applicants and you include a copy of the front and back of the principal's I-797 approval notice or I-94. Principal aliens are not to be included on form I-539. PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE PRINCIPAL'S I-129 AND THE DEPENDENT(S)' I-539 ARE KEPT TOGETHER; BUT NOT IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE I-539(S) COULD BE MISSED AT DATA ENTRY.
Employment Based Immigrant Services
Original ETA 750 must be filed with the I-140 petition when required. See I-140 instructions. ETA(a) Application for Alien Employment and ETA(b) Offer of Employment Statement of Qualification of Alien should be submitted with original filing. ETA-750 should be submitted in duplicate when filing for a Registered Nurse.
Pursuant to the 1994 Technical Corrections Act, submission of a new petition to retain a priority date from ETA 750 which was filed prior to October 1, 1991, will require evidence that the originally approved petition and original ETA-750 are still physically located at the designated American Consulate or NVC.
The purpose of Form I-526 Petition for Immigrant Entrepreneur, is to classify an alien entrepreneur as an immigrant under Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. TSC has jurisdiction for areas served by the Texas and Vermont Service Centers.
All I-829 petitions for removal of a conditional status based on a petition for alien entrepreneur should be filed at the TSC with all documentation required under the Regulations.
Form I-360 is used to classify an alien as a Special Immigrant (Religious Minister/Worker; employment with the Panama Canal Company, Canal Zone Government or U.S. government in the Canal Zone; Physician; military service personnel).
FAMILY SERVICES DIVISION
The Texas Service Center accepts photo copies of naturalization certificates and Form I-151/551 as stated in controlling regulations. The TSC may request original documents as needed. Copies of a registered marriage certificate must be submitted as documented evidence of a husband/wife relationship.
When multiple Form I-130 petitions are submitted for more than one family member, each must contain copies of the required documentation for each family member's petition. An individual fee should be submitted for each petition.
The Form I-751 is used by persons who were admitted to or adjusted in the United States on a conditional basis due to a marriage to a United States Citizen (USC), or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). These conditional permanent residents receive an Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551) that is valid for two (2) years from their date of admission or adjustment. The application must be filed by the alien and the alien's spouse who filed the original immigrant visa petition or fiance/fiancee petition through which the alien obtained permanent residence. This petition must be filed with the Texas Service Center within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of the date on which the alien obtained conditional permanent residence.
At the time of filing the Form I-751, the alien receives a receipt for filing the case. The receipt will state that a six-month extension for employment and travel purposes has been granted. The Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) must use the expired resident card together with the receipt in order to prove legal status for employment or travel purposes.
Dependent children of a conditional permanent resident who acquired conditional permanent resident status concurrently with the parent may be included in the joint petition filed by the parent and the parent's petitioning spouse. A child shall be deemed to have acquired conditional residence status concurrently with the parent if the child's residence was acquired on the same date or within 90 days thereafter. Children who cannot be included in a joint petition filed by the parent and parent's petitioning spouse due to the child not having acquired conditional resident status concurrently with the parent, the death of the parent, or other reasons may request a waiver of the requirement to file a joint petition.
Dependent children who are included in the joint petition filed by the parent and the parent's petitioning spouse do not receive a receipt. They will receive a Verification Letter. This letter will state that a six-month extension for employment and travel purposes has been granted. The CPR must use the expired resident card together with the Verification Letter in order to prove legal status for employment or travel purposes.
Form I-751 requires copies of as many documents as the individual wishes to establish the marriage was entered into in "good faith". If the petition is for a child, the A number of the conditional resident parent is necessary.
The alien's complete U.S. address is required on I-751s.
Form I-360 Petitions for Amerasian and Special Immigrant Juveniles must be filed at the local INS office having jurisdiction over the place the alien lives or will live.
The I-360 petition for widow(er) must be filed within two years of the USC spouse's death, and the beneficiary must not have remarried or have been legally separated. The widow(er) must have been married to their USC spouse for a minimum of two years prior to the USC death. If the beneficiary or deceased USC spouse was previously married, evidence of legal termination of all prior marriages, death certificate of the USC spouse, proof of US citizenship or birth in the United States must be submitted.
The Family Unity Program was created by Section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990. Adjudication of I-817 applications for voluntary departure under the Family Unity Program lies exclusively with the Service Center.
Documents to be submitted are Form I-817, fee and the initial evidence required in the instructions on the application form.
An alien who is not a lawful permanent resident is eligible to apply for benefits under the Family Unity Program if he or she:
a. entered the United States on or before May 5, 1988, and has resided in the United States since that date; or in the case of a seasonal agricultural worker (Sec 210 INA) who entered the US before November 30, 1988;
b. on May 5, 1988, he or she was the spouse or unmarried child of a legalized alien, and that he or she has been eligible continuously since that time for family-sponsored second preference immigrant status under Section 203(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act based on the same relationship.
Form I-765 filed for employment authorization for applicants of Family Unity benefits, under (a)(13) must be accompanied by a copy of the notice of decision which they receive regarding Family Unity. The I-765 may be, and is encouraged to be, filed concurrently with the I-817. All family unity applicants should file under (a)(13).
The continuous acceptance of employment authorization based on Family Unity status is contingent upon the applicant filing and being granted an extension of his Family Unity status. The applicant must submit an extension Form I-817 with evidence of continuous residence from the expiration of his/her previous Family Unity benefit and a statement of continuing relationship to the legalized alien and with evidence of filing an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
RESIDENCE AND STATUS SERVICES DIVISION
Nonimmigrant applicants whose status is B, F, J, or M may file Form I-539 (Rev. 12-2-91) to extend the authorized period of temporary stay in the same status or to change to another status.
Effective 09/01/93, the original I-94 is no longer required as supporting documentation with the I-539; submit a copy (front and back).
Extensions of stay and school transfers of F-1 students should be dealt with solely by the Designated School Official of the attending school or school system; a Form I-539 filed at the Texas Service Center is not necessary for these purposes.
The best way to locate records for an applicant on a Form I-102 is with the I-94 admission number and/or the passport number. Supporting documentation submitted with the I-102 should include a copy of the I-94, if available; copies of the passport pages showing dates of admission, if available; means of transportation into the U.S., if available; and/or copies of previous filings or correspondence with the Service regarding admission and stay in the U.S. If available, all prior Notices of Action, I-171C or I-797, should be submitted.
Phase II Legalization Application submissions should be placed in the following order to prevent delays in processing (from top to bottom):
a. Fee, if required.
b. Form G-28, if applicable.
d. Evidence/attachments, and any Center notices if applicable.
There are no provisions to allow for the filing of a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider on a legalization denial or termination; however, the Director of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) and the Center Director may sua sponte reopen any adverse decision issued under their jurisdiction.
All decisions for an applicant who has tested positive for the HIV virus will be certified to the AAO.
Certified decisions: 30 days are allowed to submit a brief to the TSC prior to the file going forward to the AAO.
All legalization appeals must be filed at the TSC. They must be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
A timely appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial or termination. There are no extensions. Any questions as to timeliness will be made by the AAO. Upon request, briefs may be submitted up to 30 days after the appeal is filed or a FOIA response is provided.
All waivers for the legalization program are filed at the TSC. All information requested on the form should be provided, especially the section of law the waiver seeks to overcome, the "A" number and the basis of the eligibility. Where a fee is required, the instrument of payment must be as specified in Sections 245a and 210 of Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations.
There are no waivers available under Sections 212(a)(2)(A), 212(a)(2)(B), 212(a)(2)(C), and 212(a)(3) of the INA. These citations were formerly known as sections 212(a)...(9), (10), (23), (27), (28), (29) and (33) of the INA.
Special Agricultural Workers (SAW) I-90A applications filed by approved SAW applicants are received by the Center directly from the applicants. Adjudication requires positive verification of information in applicant's file.
On approval of the I-90A, a notice is generated and sent to the applicant requesting him/her to report to a field office for ADIT processing. The completed I-551 card is mailed directly to the applicant by the Immigration Card Facility.
An applicant files the I-90 application packet in person, with the required fee, at a District Office, Sub-Office, or Port-of-Entry. The I-90 application packet is forwarded to the TSC for adjudication. The TSC issues a Notice of Action, Form I-797, fee receipt for the I-90. Upon approval, the Immigration Card Facility (ICF) issues the I-551 (Resident Alien Receipt Card). The applicant receives his/her card directly from the ICF. In the case of "commuters", the ICF will send the I-551 to the District Office or Port of Entry (POE) where the applicant may pick up the card.
Form I-765 for initial issuance of Employment Authorization Document may be filed at the Texas Service Center 150 days after the filing of the I-589 (Revision date 11/16/94). Employment may be authorized if the applicant's I-589 is pending before the Service or the immigration judge.
Form I-485 (Employment Based Adjustment of Status)
Effective November 29, 1996, Texas Service Center will accept Form I-485 for employment based cases provided that it is being filed on the basis of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; Form I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur; or Form I-360 which classifies the beneficiary as a "Special Immigrant Religious Worker." Concurrent filings of these petitions with the I-485's will not be permitted.
Eligibility to apply for permanent residence is dependent on whether a visa priority date is available, and service centers have been directed to reject any I-485's submitted on behalf of an applicant to whom an immigrant visa is not yet available on the date the application is received by the service center.
Service Centers may transfer I-485's to a local INS office if it is determined after initial review that an interview is necessary.
EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION (I-485 Employment Based)
An applicant for adjustment of status may apply concurrently for an employment authorization document (EAD) by filing Form I-765 with the I-485.
An adjustment applicant may file for advance parole using Form I-131 concurrently with an adjustment application and will be expeditiously adjudicated within 30 days.