USCIS Will Give Deference to Previously Approved Petitions
Today USCIS has issued policy guidance restoring the 2004 deference policy which was rescinded in 2017. This deference policy, effective immediately, instructs USCIS officers to give deference to prior determinations when adjudicating extension requests involving the same parties and facts unless there was a material error, material change in circumstances or in eligibility, or new material information that adversely impacts the petitioner's, applicant's, or beneficiary's eligibility.
The USCIS alert states: "This update is in accordance with President Biden’s executive order, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. The executive order directs the secretary of homeland security to identify barriers that impede access to immigration benefits and fair, efficient adjudications of these benefits. Affording deference to prior approvals involving the same parties promotes efficient and fair adjudication of immigration benefits."
USCIS giving deference to previously approved petitions should hopefully result in improved processing times, less RFE's, and increase efficiency within the department.