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USCIS Will No Longer Provide Deference to Prior Adjudications for Nonimmigrant Petitions

USCIS issued a policy memorandum that supersedes and rescinds the April 23, 2004, memorandum titled “The Significance of a Prior CIS Approval of a Nonimmigrant Petition in the Context of a Subsequent Determination Regarding Eligibility for Extension of Petition Validity” and section VII of the August 17, 2015, policy memorandum titled “L-1B Adjudications Policy.” The memorandum, which is effective immediately, provides updated guidance that makes clear that the burden of proof remains on the petitioner even where an extension of nonimmigrant status is sought, and that adjudicators must apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary, and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition.

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