76 Fed. Reg. 53764 (August 29, 2011)

This USCIS final rule, effective November 28, 2011, is titled Immigration Benefits Business Transformation, Increment I. A major goal of the rule is to make USCIS regulations more compatible with the electronic filing processes planned under the USCIS Transformation Program. Towards this end, the rule:

  • Removes References to Form Numbers and Form Titles
  • Removes References to Position Titles Within USCIS
  • Replaces “Service” With More Specific Component Names and Removes References to Particular USCIS Offices
  • Removes Information About Procedures for Filing and Internal Processing of Benefit Requests
  • Removes Obsolete and Expired Regulatory Provisions; Corrects and Updates Provisions Affected by Statutory Changes
  • Revises or Reorganizes Sections or Paragraphs for Clarity and Consistency and to Remove Duplicative Information

Note that this rule makes these changes only to regulations in managed by USCIS, not to regulations managed by ICE. Also not changed by this rule are the procedural provisions of 8 CFR 214.2, which govern the majority of the nonimmigrant categories, including the F and M student regulations currently managed by ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). NAFSA understands that a separate rulemaking is under development that would address those provisions.

USCIS also takes the opportunity in this rule to finalize several interim rules that have come into effect during the past few years, including:

  • Application for Refugee Status; Acceptable Sponsorship Agreement Guaranty of Transportation, RIN 1615–AA24
  • Adjustment of Status for Certain Syrian Nationals Granted Asylum in the United States, RIN 1615–AA57
  • Eliminating the Numerical Cap on Mexican TN Nonimmigrants, RIN 1615–AA96
  • Allocation of Additional H–1B Visas Created by the H–1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, RIN 1615–AB32
  • Classification of Certain Scientists of the Commonwealth of Independent States of the Former Soviet Union and the Baltic States as Employment-Based Immigrants, RIN 1615–AB14
  • Revoking Grants of Naturalization, RIN 1615–AA30


USCIS also revises 8 CFR 103.2(b)(1) by adding a new clause stating that an applicant or petitioner “must continue to be eligible through adjudication” of a benefit request. USCIS asserts that this reflects "USCIS longstanding policy and practice, as well as a basic tenet of administrative law."

Although the rule is effective on November 28, 2011, public comment is invited, and must be submitted on or before October 28, 2011.