October 6, 2011
Petitioners and Applicants: Keep an Eye Out for Original I-797
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that,
effective Sept. 12, 2011, it began sending original I-797 receipt and
approval notices directly to applicants and petitioners. Courtesy copies
of the notices are being sent to attorneys or accredited
representatives, if a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as
Attorney or Accredited Representative, is on file. This is a change from
the past, where the original notice was sent to the attorney or
accredited representative’s address listed on the Form G-28, while a
copy was sent to the address provided by the applicant or petitioner in
the applicable application or petition form. USCIS has noted that it
implemented this notification change to ensure that documents (such as
I-94 Arrival-Departure Records) are mailed directly to the address
specified by the applicant or petitioner. USCIS made this change without
any advance warning to attorneys, petitioners or applicants and has
caused a wave of confusion.
In addition, USCIS also reported that effective Nov. 28, 2011, the final
rule for Immigration Benefits Business Transformation, Increment I, will
go into effect. Under the amendments made by this rule, documents
produced as the result of an approved application or petition will be
mailed directly to the address provided by the party seeking the benefit
on the applicable application or petition and not that specified by the
attorney or accredited representative on a Form G-28. USCIS believes
that original receipts, decisions, and documents produced as a result of
approved applications or petitions should be sent to the address
specified by the party making the request.
As a result, all petitioners and applicants should watch closely for any
original notices received by USCIS. Further, it is important to ensure
that your address on file is correct and all address changes are
submitted timely to prevent lost notices and/or undeliverable mail.
A copy of USCIS statement can be found here:
Update on the Issuance of I-797 Receipt and Approval Notices.