Friday, October 21, 2011

USCIS I-797 Approval Notice Policy Change

MU VISA ADVISOR: USCIS I-797 Approval Notice Policy Change

An I-797 Approval Notice is issued when a petition is approved by the USCIS. This notice shows the Petitioner (employer) name, the Beneficiary (employee) name and the dates of validity for the approved status. If the Beneficiary is inside the United States, the notice will also include a tear-off I-94 card at the bottom of the notice page.

In mid-September, the USCIS changed its policy with regard to the processing of I-797 Approval Notices. Until recently, these notices were sent to the attorney on file for the case. MU would receive the I-797 Approval Notice and send the original notice, along with a copy of the petition, and when applicable the public access file, to our client.

USCIS’s new policy, effective September 12, 2011, is to send the I-797 Approval Notice to the Petitioner or Applicant on the case. The attorney will receive only a “courtesy copy” of the Approval Notice which does not include the I-94 card. If you are the Petitioner or Applicant on a case, please carefully watch your mail for Approval Notices. When you receive this notice at your office or home, please send a scanned or photocopy to MU for our records. If you have
any questions about this policy change and how it might affect your case, please do not hesitate to contact Musillo Unkenholt.

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue. If any member of your company would like to be added to the MU Visa Advisor mailing list, please contact Jeana (

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