USCIS Policy Manual Revised to Clarify Expedite Requests

The USCIS has updated its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to provide clarity on how expedite requests are evaluated, particularly concerning government interests and emergency situations, including travel-related matters. This update also offers insights into the process of submitting expedite requests and outlines the procedures for handling them. 

Government Interests 

The revised guidance specifies that cases flagged as urgent by federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local governments of the United States due to public interest, public safety, national interest, or national security concerns may be expedited. It further elucidates that expedite requests made by federal government agencies or departments based on government interests are generally given deference, acknowledging their assessment of urgency. 

Travel-Related Requests 

Considering various travel document applications, the update underscores the consideration of expediting Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, for applicants within the United States facing pressing or critical circumstances requiring travel abroad. Whether for unplanned or planned events like professional, academic, or personal commitments, USCIS evaluates the urgency of the need to depart the country. 

For planned events, USCIS assesses: 

  1. Timely submission of Form I-131 by the applicant. 
  2. Whether processing times would impede the issuance of the travel document before the planned departure date. 


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