USICS to Start Requiring More Secure Mail Service for Certain Crucial Immigration Documents

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At the end of April 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) published a press release on its website stating that the agency will begin phasing in the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service for certain crucial immigration documents such as Green Cards.[1]

USCIS US United States Citizenship and Immigration Services field main office entrance

Phase 1: The first phase of this requirement starts on April 30, 2018. This phase affects documents that must be re-mailed because they have been returned by USPS as “non-deliverable”; these documents include Travel Booklets, Employment Authorization Cards, and Permanent Resident Cards (a.k.a. Green Cards). These crucial immigration documents oftentimes do no reach their intended recipient and are returned as non-deliverable when mailed using USPS first-class mail, which does not provide a tracking number. If you are an applicant who has changed their address during the application process with USICS, then there is a greater chance your documents have been returned as non-deliverable and will need to be re-mailed using the more secure Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service.

Under this new delivery method[2]:

  • The applicant must show identification to sign for their documents upon delivery;
  • The applicant can also chose to designate an agent to sign for their document on their behalf (to do so, the intended recipient must complete the PS Form 3801 (Standing Delivery Order) or PS Form 3801-A (Agreement by a Hotel, Apartment House, or the Like);
  • The applicant has the option to sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications (note: this Informed Delivery option is not offered for every ZIP Code and address); and
  • The applicant also has the option to arrange pickup of the documents at a post office at a specified date and time by selecting the “Hold for Pickup” option on the USPS website

Pros of this new delivery method include increased security, integrity, and efficiency of document delivery as well as better tracking and delivery information accuracy. However, these new requirements may prove inconvenient for applicants who work or go to school full-time and do not have a person at home to serve as their designated agent and receive the delivery on their behalf.

Phase 2: USICS plans to eventually expand the required usage of the Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to all important immigration documents. However, no specific date has been set yet.

While this change to a new delivery method may seem like a minute housekeeping or administrative point, it is absolutely not. Here at the immigration law firm of Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners, we’ve seen applicants miss out on certain immigration benefits or have their applications delayed or rejected altogether for administrative reasons such as improper signatures or failure to follow procedural directions to a T.

The various immigration application forms and their legal requirements and procedures are notoriously detailed-oriented, complex, and constantly changing. If you file an application or form with a mistake, it will always be part of your application file. Given the high stakes, it is imperative that you file your application correctly the first time around. As such, we strongly recommend that you retain an experienced immigration attorney who can help make sure your application process is done right. Here at Kuck | Baxter, our detailed-oriented, passionate immigration attorneys can help you submit any forms, documents, or petitions to USCIS.

To learn more about Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners and the immigration law services we offer our clients or to schedule your consultation with one of our immigration lawyers, contact us using our website’s online contact form or you can reach us at:

 

 

Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC

365 Northridge Road

Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Tel: (404) 816-8611

 

Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC

367 Prince Avenue #3

Suite K

Athens, GA 30606

Tel: (404) 816-8611

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-begin-using-more-secure-mail-delivery-service

[2] https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-begin-using-more-secure-mail-delivery-service

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