USCIS Reaches Settlement Agreement in “No Blank Space Rejection Policy” Case

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reached a settlement agreement in the case of Vangala et al. v. USCIS et al., No. 4:20-cv-08143(N.D. Cal.). The agreement allows certain individuals to receive updated receipt dates for resubmitted immigration benefit applications or petitions originally rejected under the former “No Blank Space” rejection policy. Under this former policy, USCIS rejected filings with any blank fields or spaces.

On July 20, 2021, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division, granted final approval of the settlement agreement. This agreement is specific to the “No Blank Space” rejection policy that was applied to three forms:
Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal
Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient (PDF, 628.59 KB).

Individuals whose forms were rejected under the former policy may resubmit their request on or before July 20, 2022, to obtain an updated receipt reflecting the date their rejected request was originally filed.

Individuals who had resubmitted these forms before the effective date of this settlement agreement (July 20, 2021) may also submit documentation on or before July 20, 2022, to obtain an updated receipt date.

USCIS has also agreed to notify affected individuals it has identified who may benefit from the settlement agreement.

The full details of required documentation and filing addresses for each scenario can be found in the settlement agreement and at the webpages for Form I-589 and Form I-918. USCIS encourages affected individuals to review the settlement agreement for specific information about resubmitting their application or petition or requesting an original receipt date.

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

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