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Streamlining VAWA Processing: USCIS Centralized Intake Process

In the realm of immigration law, even small procedural changes can have significant impacts on individuals and families navigating the complex system. Recently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made a notable update to its processing procedures for petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), aimed at enhancing efficiency and improving the overall experience for applicants.

Effective since April 1, 2024, USCIS centralized the intake process for Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, and related filings under VAWA at the Nebraska Service Center. This operational adjustment marks a departure from the previous practice of transferring VAWA-based filings to the Vermont Service Center for intake processing.

What does this mean for VAWA self-petitioners and those assisting them through the process?

First of all, the filing location and adjudication of Form I-360 for VAWA self-petitioners remain unchanged. Applicants should continue to file Form I-360 with the Nebraska Service Center, as outlined by USCIS guidelines. USCIS will no longer transfer VAWA-based filings to the Vermont Service Center, nor will it send transfer notices to self-petitioners. Instead, all intake processing will now be consolidated at the Nebraska Service Center.

This operational update reflects USCIS’s commitment to streamlining internal processes while maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the immigration system. By centralizing intake processing, USCIS aims to expedite the handling of VAWA petitions, reducing unnecessary delays and ensuring a more seamless experience for applicants.

Importantly, USCIS officers from the Humanitarian, Adjustment, Removing Conditions, and Travel Documents Service Center, equipped with specialized VAWA training, will continue to adjudicate these cases. This ensures that VAWA petitions receive the attention and expertise they deserve, with a focus on fairness and compassion.

While any change in immigration procedures may raise questions or concerns, it’s essential to recognize the underlying goal of improving service delivery and enhancing the overall applicant experience. USCIS remains committed to serving individuals and families seeking protection and relief through the VAWA process, and this operational update is a testament to that commitment.

At ALO, we’re dedicated to keeping our clients informed and empowered throughout their immigration journey. If you have any questions or concerns about how this operational update may impact your VAWA petition, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team. We’re here to provide guidance and support every step of the way.

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).