U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing an update to its policy guidance, effective immediately, regarding the selection of a self-identified gender marker on forms and documents for individuals seeking immigration benefits. The key points of this update are as follows:
- Self-Identified Gender Marker:
- USCIS will now accept the self-identified gender marker provided by individuals requesting immigration benefits.
- The selected gender marker does not need to align with the gender marker on supporting documentation.
- Proof of Gender Identity:
- Individuals requesting benefits no longer need to submit proof of their gender identity when seeking a change in their gender marker, except for cases involving Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document.
- Please note that the guidance outlined in this Policy Manual section does not apply to Form N-565, and individuals submitting this form must adhere to the form instructions (See 8 CFR 103.2(a)(1)).
- Post-Submission Gender Marker Changes:
- Individuals seeking to change their gender marker after the initial filing should refer to the Updating or Correcting Your Documents webpage.
- Currently, the available gender markers are "Male" (M) or "Female" (F), with ongoing efforts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to include an additional gender marker ("X") for another or unspecified gender identity. USCIS will adjust its forms and Policy Manual accordingly.
- Background and Rationale:
- The policy revision is a response to public feedback received in April 2021, identifying evidentiary requirements related to gender marker changes as barriers for individuals seeking USCIS benefits and services.
- The change aligns with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans, as well as Executive Orders 13988 and 14091, addressing discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities.
For detailed information, the updated guidance is available in the USCIS Policy Manual. USCIS encourages feedback on this policy update through the Policy Manual Feedback page, and comments received will be considered for future updates.