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USCIS Updates Customer Service and Safe Address Procedures for Individuals Protected Under Confidentiality Provisions

We have implemented provisions in the USCIS Policy Manual that provide guidance on customer service and safe address procedures for individuals protected under 8 U.S.C. 1367. The confidentiality provisions at 8 U.S.C. 1367 protect information about individuals who have pending or approved victim-based immigration relief, specifically relief under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), such as Form I-360 VAWA self-petitions and Form I-751 waivers based on battery or extreme cruelty, T nonimmigrant status applications or U nonimmigrant status petitions, and their derivatives and beneficiaries.

USCIS has established specific procedures to improve access to information and customer service (PDF, 332.75 KB) for these protected individuals through the USCIS Contact Center, while continuing to protect their privacy and follow statutory confidentiality provisions. Protected individuals may now submit inquiries or request a service by calling the USCIS Contact Center or sending a secure message from their USCIS online account.

The USCIS Contact Center will ask specific questions to verify a caller’s identity before providing services. See the “Inquiries for VAWA, T, and U Filings (Including Form I-751 Abuse Waivers)” section of our Contact Us webpage for important information. Callers should have documents ready, if possible, for reference when sending a secure message and during the call:

  • A receipt notice for each form they are asking about; and
  • A copy of relevant pending or approved applications or petitions.

This expansion currently applies to protected individuals only. Their attorneys and representatives must continue to use the dedicated VAWA/T/U email hotlines for customer service inquiries. To support more efficient processing and avoid duplicate work, we ask attorneys and representatives to avoid submitting the same requests your clients are submitting through the USCIS Contact Center.

We also updated guidance on mailing address procedures (PDF, 346.89 KB) for protected individuals. These procedures support protected individuals receiving correspondence from USCIS in a timely manner and ensure they can control which address USCIS uses to mail correspondence related to their benefit requests. This update provides guidance to the public and USCIS employees on mailing address and adjudication procedures for all forms filed by protected individuals.

This guidance is currently effective. Find the updated guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual – Volume 1, Part A, Chapter 7, Section E.

Release Date 

07/03/2024

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-updates-customer-service-and-safe-address-procedures-for-individuals-protected-under , Midtown Tribune news

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