R 111607Z DEC 01
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS
SPECIAL EMBASSY PROGRAM
POUCH
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
POUCH DUSHANBE
POUCH NDJAMENA
POUCH LAHORE
POUCH PESHAWAR

UNCLAS STATE 211789


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS, CMGT
SUBJECT: CHANGES TO PACKET SYSTEM FOR IMMIGRANT VISA PROCESSING


This message has been cleared with M/P(SEP).

1. This message describes changes to the standard
information packages used to communicate with immigrant
visa applicants. Briefly put, the IV packet system is
being eliminated in favor of a simpler system of
standardized mailings and more explicit provision for the
use of Internet and other electronic resources when
appropriate. The procedural notes in 9 FAM Volume 42
dealing with immigrant visa processing have been revised
to reflect these changes and will be updated in the next
release of Inserts.

2. Although the IV packet system has served well for over
forty years with relatively few changes, the ease with
which information can now be maintained and shared
electronically makes the linear, rationed approach to
immigrant visa information less useful. The numbered
packets, many of which are no longer used by consular
sections and rarely seen by applicants, were also the
source of some confusion. The numbered packet system has
therefore been eliminated. Packets 1, 2, 2a and 3a no
longer exist. Standardized information sheets should be
used to respond to queries as discussed below. The old
Packet 3 has now been renamed the "Instruction Package for
Immigrant Visa Applicants." Packet 4 is referred to as
the "Appointment Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants."
Packet 4a, important as the mailing that initiates the
termination process, is now referred to as the "Follow-Up
Instruction Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants."

3. Automated consular systems will continue to refer to
standard information packages by their old packet numbers
for the time being.

4. The DSL series information sheets are obsolete and
should no longer be used. Instead, information sheets
identified by title and date have been drafted and are
available on the CA Intranet by clicking on the "IV" link.
These information sheets are referenced in the revised FAM
notes, but copies of this information will no longer be
maintained in the FAM. Instead, consular personnel should
consider the text available on the Intranet site to be the
definitive text. Every effort will be made to ensure that
content of the CA Internet site mirrors that maintained on
the Intranet, but in the event of any discrepancy, posts
are reminded that the Intranet remains the definitive
source of visa information. These information sheets and
the forms posted on the Intranet site may be e-mailed to
inquirers and IV applicants as requested. They may also
be printed on demand at smaller volume posts. Larger
volume IV operations should use these information sheets
as master documents and continue to print in bulk those
most commonly used.

5. VO is working with CSD on changes to the format of
Appendix C that will make it easier to maintain and share
post-specific IV processing information. In the meantime,
post should print country-specific portions of Appendix C
from the online version of Appendix C whenever this
information is requested.

6. The old OF-169 (the "Packet 3 checklist," renumbered
DS-2001 last year) has been redesigned. The information
concerning documents required for IV application has been
separated out into an information sheet entitled
"Instructions for Immigrant Visa Applicants." This
document, covered by the form letter generated by the
automated IV system, will become the basic component of
the new "Instruction Package for Immigrant Visa
Applicants." The DS-2001 has been redesigned as a one-
page optional form to be used by applicants or their
agents to notify post or NVC that they are ready for
interview. The revised DS-2001 is now with OMB for
approval and will be distributed and posted on the
Intranet as soon as available. In the meantime, posts may
feel free to use either the current DS-2001 or the revised
"Instructions for Immigrant Visa Applicants" (posted on
the CA Intranet) but should not use both forms as this
would cause confusion. The new DS-2001 cannot be used
until approved by OMB.

7. The 9 FAM 42 procedural notes have also been revised
to remove references to "rationing" or piecemeal provision
of information to IV applicants. Although IV processing
posts are still required to provide the "Instruction
Package" and "Appointment Package" at the appropriate
stage in the IV process, this information may be provided
to all inquirers, applicant or not, prepared or not, at
any time. The forms and information sheets used in the IV
process are public documents widely available on the
Internet. Although consular officers will still need to
stress to IV applicants the need to proceed through the IV
process in a linear manner to avoid confusion, all
information should be made available upon request.

8. Septel will provide guidance on further FAM changes
concerning the definition of "documentarily qualified" and
various pre-screening measures that may be used in the IV
process.

9. Post comments and questions concerning these changes
are welcome and should be addressed to CA/VO Tony Edson.

10. Minimize considered.
POWELL