USCIS to Change How it Issues Notices

Effective January 27, 2015, DHS will make the following 6 changes to its regulations governing how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue correspondence, notices of decisions, and documents evidencing lawful status.   

  • USCIS will send notices only to the applicant or petitioner when the applicant or petitioner is not represented by an attorney.
  • When an applicant or petitioner is represented by an attorney, USCIS will send notices to the person or entity who filed the benefit request and to the attorney.
  • Depending on the particular benefit sought, an applicant or petitioner may request that USCIS send original notices and documents only to the attorney with a courtesy copy being sent to the applicant or petitioner.
  • For applications or petitions filed electronically, USCIS will notify both the applicant or petitioner, and the attorney electronically of any notices or decisions. No electronic notice will be given if the applicant or petitioner requests to receive paper notices, or if USCIS determines that issuing a paper notice or decision is warranted.
  • USCIS will only send Form I-797, Notice of Action, as an approval notice with a tear-off I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to the applicant's or petitioner's attorney, unless the applicant or petitioner specifically request that USCIS send it to his/her mailing address.
  • USCIS will only send original secure identification documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Documents, to the applicant or petitioner, unless notified to send the document to his or her attorney.   

These changes are relevant within the TN visa context for individuals requesting TN status by mail on Form I-129 (the affected documents being the I-797 notice), and for TN workers filing for green cards (the affected documents being I-797 notices, Advance Parole/Employment Authorization cards, and Green Cards).