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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

USCIS BACKS DOWN ON PREPAID MAILERS

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A few days back, I posted criticism of a USCIS policy announcement that it was ending accepting prepaid mailers. Applicants who wanted to get their receipts by overnight mail have for a long time been allowed to include an envelope with a prepaid mailing label. Then USCIS announced they were going to stop allowing this because they didn't want to be bothered anymore with the extra burden of having to accommodate these requests.



In response to public criticism, they've decided to back down. The text of the memo reads:

USCIS RESCINDS PRIOR UPDATE REGARDING THE DISCONTINUANCE
OF "PREPAID MAILERS" FOR ISSUING NOTICES AND DOCUMENTS

WASHINGTON USCIS is retracting its recent "USCIS Update" regarding the discontinuance of "prepaid mailers" for issuing notices and documents, dated July 23, 2007. Prior to the July 23rd announcement, USCIS allowed the public to enclose "prepaid mailers" in connection with applications or petitions filed with USCIS. A prepaid mailer is essentially a self-addressed envelope, where postage is paid by the addressee, that USCIS may use for mailing a document to the petitioner/applicant or their authorized representative. USCIS is aware that the July 23rd announcement caused anxiety for several of its customers and USCIS is committed to finding an alternative that will allow the public the continued convenience of using "prepaid mailers" while not unduly impacting its operations. Thus, USCIS is reinstating the practice of utilizing prepaid mailers as an alternate method of delivering notices and documents to the public.

USCIS reminds the public that prepaid mailers are not required. If an applicant/petitioner nonetheless wishes to submit one, it should meet the following criteria: Express and Priority mail (including Fed Ex, DHL, or UPS) with appropriate postage with prepaid shipping label on the package, already paid by person who sends it, e.g., Fed Ex "Expanded Billable Stamp", or DHL "Easy Return Label", among others.

Are you starting to see a pattern? When the public makes a lot of noise expressing outrage at unfair behavior at USCIS, the agency DOES respond. They've really never had to address this sort of thing before since grassroots complaining - backed up with the credible threat of litigation where appropriate - has not been a factor.

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Comments

  1. 's Avatar
    Thank you Greg for being such an outspoken advocate and "noise-creator" for the immigrant community!! You seem to be on top of things as soon as an issue emerges and your blog is by far the most informative immigration blog so far. Keep up the excellent work!!
  2. Rob Gard's Avatar
    Greg:

    Let's hope that USCIS also backs off of enforcement of the new forms, some of which, according to USCIS website, require only the 7-30-2007 revision of the forms, to wit: I-765, I-129F, and I-290B. There are several forms with 7-30-2007 revision dates listed, but only these three forms listed above require the 7-30-2007 version of the form. USCIS really needs to be better at getting out the word on these forms revisions.
  3. Narayan's Avatar
    Greg:

    What do you suggest we do to change the "I-485 receipt required for travel" for H1bs? Would calling the USCIS and complaining help? I know a lot of people who would like to travel, and are constrained by I-485 receipt delays.

    Thanks!
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