The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced new “Direct Filing” instructions for additional immigration forms that were transitioned last year into the Bi-Specialization initiative. “Direct Filing” is the process by which USCIS requires customers to file their petitions and applications with the service center that will process the filings, based on the place of temporary employment or place of residence. USCIS customers can expect that the center where they file will also generate the receipt notice and complete the adjudication. This is a streamlining of the Bi-Specialization process which previously required the filing of applications and petitions at one centralized location and that were subsequently distributed to another service center for issuance of a receipt notice and final case processing.
This Update addresses “Direct Filing” instructions for the following forms: Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document), Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant), Form I-485 (Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing Service). USCIS will implement “Direct Filing” incrementally for all remaining petition and application forms transitioned into the Bi-Specialization initiative.
The effective date of the “Direct Filing” instructions for all of forms I-129F, I-131, I-140, I-360, I-485, I-765 and I-907 is July 30, 2007 , and coincides with the effective date of the fee increase for all immigration benefit applications and petitions. During the first 30 days of “Direct Filing” (July 30 to August 28), USCIS will not reject any form incorrectly filed at the prior filing location. However, applicant must include the correct fee and must meet all other requirements for a proper filing. Beginning on or after August 29, 2007, USCIS will reject any of the forms listed above that are filed with the incorrect filing location. Those rejected and returned forms will include the fee and instructions for proper filing.
Effective July 30, 2007 :
USCIS will release new forms with updated filing instructions in the near future. In order to assist the public in determining the proper “Direct Filing” location, USCIS will also release filing charts that list proper filing locations on the online forms entry page for each form in advance of July 30, 2007.
- Petitioners will file all Forms I-140 (and concurrently filed Forms I-907 for a classification that is Premium Processing eligible), as well as employment-based Forms I-485 (and related Forms I-131, I-765) with the Nebraska Service Center or the Texas Service Center . This represents a change from current filing instructions, which direct all of these filings to the Nebraska Service Center . The filing location for a Form I-907 filed to upgrade a pending Form I-140 to Premium Processing, for a classification that is Premium Processing eligible, will remain unchanged. The Form I-907 is filed with the location where Form I-140 is pending.
- Petitioners will file the Form I-129F with either the Vermont Service Center or California Service Center , depending on where the petitioner resides, and regardless of whether it is filed for a K-1 fiancé(e) or a K-3 spouse. This represents a change from current I-129F filing instructions, which direct the filing of K-1 petitions to all four USCIS service centers and the filing of K-3 petitions to the Chicago Lock Box.
USCIS will accept Forms I-129F, I-131, I-140, I-360, I-485, I-765 and I-907 filed with the new “Direct Filing” location in advance of the July 30, 2007 effective date, that are otherwise properly filed.