Revised Form G-28 Becomes Mandatory23 Mar 2015
UPDATE: On April 10, 2015, the USCIS issued an alert, changing the date for when the new G-28 will be required to Friday, May, 2015.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new version of form G-28, which is a form that may be submitted with immigration filings to identify the accredited representative or attorney who is representing the individual and/or employer. This form authorizes the USCIS to communicate with the attorney or representative directly. The primary purpose of the revision to the G-28 is to implement a January 2015 final rule providing the petitioner or the applicant with several choices regarding delivery of immigration notices and documents.
Purpose of Revised Form G-28
Immigration cases usually involve issuance of multiple notices and other official documents. As of January 27, 2015, the USCIS implemented changes regarding where such notices will be sent. The new regulation provides flexibility, in some cases, to allow applicants or petitioners to designate their respective preferences as to who should receive these documents from the USCIS. The G-28 form has been updated in order to carry out the regulatory changes. The revised version of the G-28, dated March 4, 2015, becomes mandatory on April 13, 2015. More information about these changes is provided in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, USCIS Transmission of Notices and Documents (06.Jan.2015).
Document Delivery Options
The revised G-28 contains a new section that sets out information and options regarding receipt of documents. Part 4 of the G-28 lays out the standard process for transmission of documents. Specifically, it states that when the represented party (i.e. applicant, petitioner, requestor, or respondent) has a G-28 on file for the case, notices will be sent to both the attorney or representative and the party being represented. Additionally, any I-94 issued in the decision of a case will be sent to the represented party, unless there is a request to do otherwise.
If a represented party does not wish to receive original notices or identity documents directly, the revised G-28 allows that party to request that these items be sent to the attorney or accredited representative. This is done by selecting the corresponding box on the new version of the form. There is also another box for consenting to transmission of secure identity documents, such as permanent resident (“green”) cards, employment authorization documents (EADs), and travel documents, to the attorney or accredited representative.
Earlier G-28s Not Valid for Filings on or After April 13, 2015
As mentioned, the new G-28 form becomes mandatory on April 13, 2015. After that date, if a case if filed with an older G-28, the case will be accepted if it is otherwise properly prepared, but the attorney or representative will not be recognized until an updated G-28 is submitted.
Oftentimes, the G-28 is completed by the attorney or representative and signed by the represented party in a routine manner without much consideration as to the meaning of the form. Attorneys are trained to inspect documents for errors or inconsistencies that may go unnoticed by laypersons, and are also more likely to understand the consequences of a decision issued by the USCIS and whether any steps need to be taken quickly to address an issue or problem. Providing additional delivery options can add certain levels of convenience to the process without sacrificing the protections offered by facilitating one’s attorney’s ability to review either originals or copies of these key documents.
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