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USCIS Clarifies Policy on Using Expedited Delivery Services


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has clarified aspects of its recent notice announcing that certain applicants and petitioners may select expedited delivery service to receive certain documents.

USCIS noted that those whose petitions or applications are processed at a USCIS Service Center or the National Benefits Center who wish to receive certain documents by overnight delivery service must include a valid prepaid air bill or shipping label with their filing.  The agency also noted that this option is only available for receiving the following types of documents from certain USCIS facilities:

USCIS Service Centers or the National Benefits Center: Advance parole documents (not including the combination Employment Authorization Document/Advance Parole Card), re-entry permits, and refugee travel documents.

USCIS Service Centers only: Approval notices and notices of denial.

To ensure that overnight delivery requests are not delayed, USCIS advises:

  • Including a valid prepaid air bill or shipping label when submitting an application, petition, or response to a request for evidence. “Providing a prepaid shipping label directly from the delivery service is the best way to avoid delivery errors. You will not need to write in an account number if you use a shipping label,” USCIS noted. 
  • Entering the name in both the “to” and “from” fields on the air bill or shipping label. 
  • Never listing USCIS as the sender and not marking “bill to sender.” 
  • Paying all delivery costs in advance, and including the prepaid air bill or shipping label with the submission (as noted above). 

USCIS said it will not honor shipping labels sent after the initial filing.  “If the delivery costs are not paid in full, or if you do not choose to send us a prepaid air bill or shipping label, we will send the documents to you by regular U.S. mail,” USCIS said.  Also, the agency noted that using a prepaid air bill or shipping label does not speed up adjudication and will not always result in faster delivery of the notice.  

USCIS’s clarifying announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/clarification-uscis-customers-can-select-delivery-service-receive-certain-documents

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Ivener & Fullmer LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.

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