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On July 15, 2020 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released a policy alert with a purpose to consolidate existing USCIS policy regarding officers’ application of discretion in adjudication. In short this is a heads up to all that they will be seeing a mix of approvals and denials based on the officer’s discretionary adjudications. This adds a second step to the evidentiary requirements of each case and assesses it a bit differently.


President Trump issued a Proclamation which addressed the Department of Homeland Security’s administrations of employment authorization benefits. The USCIS wants to remind officers to refer to existing guidance, on the exercise of discretion in adjudications.

Benefits such as applications for lawful permanent residence and employment authorization documents ensure the benefit requester has the burden of demonstrating eligibility of the benefit they are looking for, including discretion. If the requester establishes eligibility such as showing that the alien is not inadmissible, and positive discretionary factors outweigh any negative discretionary factors, USCIS exercises discretion. Benefits that involve discretion are typically assessed after an officer has determined that the requester met all the previous eligibility requirements, with a discretionary analysis of the adjudication of a benefit request being completely separate.

This guidance replaces Chapter 10.15 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling.



This article aims to provide new information concerning USCIS COVID-19 Related Accommodations. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C.              (Team ALO).

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