9 FAM 602.2


(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)
(Office of origin:  CA/VO)

9 fam 602.2-1  (U) working with u.s. government officials at post

(CT:VISA-871;   06-24-2019)

(U) See 9 FAM 601.8 for information on handling referrals from representatives of other U.S. government entities overseas.  See 9 FAM 603.2 on sharing visa-related information with DHS and other U.S. agencies.

9 FAM 602.2-2  (U) working with the department of homeland security

9 FAM 602.2-2(A)  (U) Department of Homeland Security – Overview

9 FAM 602.2-2(A)(1)  (U) Department of Homeland Security - Mission, Organization, and Relationship to the Department

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) Mission and Scope of DHS Work:  The vision of homeland security is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards.  The missions of DHS include: 

(1)  (U) Preventing terrorism and enhancing security;

(2)  (U) Securing and managing our borders;

(3)  (U) Enforcing and administering our immigration laws;

(4)  (U) Safeguarding and securing cyberspace; and

(5)  (U) Strengthening national preparedness and ensuring resilience to disasters. 

b. (U) Overview of DHS Branches and Entities which deal with immigration: 

(1)  (U) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

(2)  (U) The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) mission is to prepare the federal law enforcement community to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values, through strategic partnerships. Utilizing a consolidated training model, the FLETC provides basic and advanced training to approximately 100 federal partner organizations and thousands of state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement officers and agents at FLETC’s four domestic training sites, at the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA), and at export locations throughout the world.  The FLETC engages in ongoing training review, development, and research in coordination with stakeholders at all levels of law enforcement to ensure its training continues to meet its partners’ needs.

(3)  (U) The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is responsible for using information and intelligence from multiple sources to identify and assess current and future threats to the United States.

(4)  (U) The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans develops, coordinates, and advocates DHS short- and long-term policy and strategy, integrating robust analytic effort to support DHS Senior Leadership decision-making; synchronizes implementation of guidance by turning policy and strategy into resource and operational guidance and plans, and synchronizing efforts to turn those plans into investments, operations, and results; and effectively communicate DHS policy, strategy, and plans to interagency, domestic, and international partners, and accurately assess and incorporate their equities in DHS policy, strategy, and plans.

(5)  (U) The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) protects the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.

(6)  (U) The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by promoting lawful immigration, effectively administering the immigration system, and promoting the integration of lawful immigrants into American society.

(7)  (U) The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) safeguards America’s borders, protecting the public from dangerous people and materials while enhancing the Nation’s global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel.  

(8)  (U) The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promotes homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.

c.  (U) The Department and DHS Relationship Related to Visas:

(1)  (U) The Department, through its consular sections, is responsible for visa processing and determining if an applicant abroad is eligible to receive a visa.  Once granted admittance into the United States, the status of the NIV or IV holder to remain within the United States generally falls under either the immigration court system run by the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review or with DHS.  CBP is responsible to determine admissibility of visa-holder when seeking admission at POE.  USCIS is responsible for the adjudication of petitions, the authorization of permission to work in the United States, the issuance of extensions of stay, and change or adjustment of an applicant's status while the applicant is in the United States.

(2)  (U) DHS has delegated certain functions to consular officers where the DHS components which would normally handle those functions are not present, or where those components are present, but do not offer public counter service. All posts without an appropriate DHS component -- USCIS, CBP, or ICE, including a public counter for some services -- must provide services on behalf of DHS as outlined in this section and throughout 9 FAM.  Posts at which an appropriate DHS component offers public counter service must refer applicants seeking DHS services to that office.

9 FAM 602.2-2(A)(2)  (U) Consular Officer Interactions with DHS, Services Performed on Behalf of DHS

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) Introduction:  Many visa-related functions and services require interactions and cooperative relationships with DHS.  Referrals to relevant sections in 9 FAM describing these functional relationships are provided below:

(1)  (U) Working Together Overseas:  See 9 FAM 601.8 for information on handling referrals from DHS officers overseas.  See 9 FAM 603.2 on sharing visa information with DHS and other U.S. agencies.  See also 9 FAM 601.10 on DHS involvement in fraud investigations.

(2)  (U) Petitions, Classification Status, Work Authorization:  See 9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(2) below regarding USCIS’ role in accepting and adjudicating petitions for NIV and IV classification, and 9 FAM 602.2-2(A)(2) paragraph c below regarding consular assistance with DHS pre-approval reports.  See also 9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(3) below on changes and extensions of status and work authorization.  9 FAM 502.7-3(D) describes DHS’ role reviewing K visa petitioners (Adam Walsh checks).

(3)  (U) Clearances:  See 9 FAM 303.1, 9 FAM 303.3, and 9 FAM 303.5 for information on working with other agencies on clearances, and 9 FAM 603.1 on protecting ineligibility-related information that you receive from other agencies. 

(4)  (U) Waivers:  See 9 FAM 305.4-3(E)(1) for information on DHS waivers of ineligibilities and documentation requirements.

(5)  (U) Visa Waiver Program:  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is authorized to designate the countries eligible to participate in the VWP.  See 9 FAM 201.1-4(C) for additional information on DHS’ role in evaluating countries’ eligibility to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

(6)  (U) LPRs, Parolees, Refugees, and Asylees:  For more information on DHS’ role in establishing eligibility for status, documenting, and dealing with other issues related to LPRs, see 9 FAM 202.2.  For similar information on DHS’ role with asylees and refugees, see 9 FAM 203; with parole cases, see 9 FAM 202.3.

(7)  (U) U.S. Citizens – Replacement Certificates of Citizenship or Naturalization:  Information on replacing these certificates is available at the USCIS website.

(8)  (U) Parole:  See 9 FAM 202.3 for information on DHS and cases involving advance parole, humanitarian parole, and Significant Public Benefit Parole.

(9)  (U) POE Actions:  See 9 FAM 602.2-2(C) below on information provided to consular officers because  of DHS’ Customs and Border Protection actions at POEs (I-275 Withdrawal of Application for Admission, ADIS system). 

b. (U) Fingerprint Collection on Behalf of DHS: 

(1)  (U) General Guidance on Fingerprint Collection:

(a)  (U) Do not collect fingerprints for DHS services where there is a USCIS, CBP, or ICE office physically located in the Embassy or Consulate, and that DHS agency offers counter service.  Instead, collect fingerprints upon DHS request only when no DHS office is available to do so.  Contact your post liaison officer in CA/VO/F with questions regarding the collection of fingerprints on behalf of DHS.  Fingerprints may be collected by any consular section employee.

(b)  (U) ACRS code 98 should be used to record a “no fee” service in the cashiering system when the consular section provides paper and ink fingerprinting services on behalf of USCIS in situations where the applicant(s) may have already paid a biometric fee as part of the petition or application filing process, and do not have to pay any additional fees.  In all other situations and at posts with a DHS office that can collect fingerprints, but where DHS is unable to facilitate cashiering services, consular sections may collect the fingerprinting fee on behalf of USCIS.  ACRS code 80 should be used to record these services.

(c)  (U) Do not use the NIV or IVO systems to collect or check fingerprints electronically for DHS services, except in the issuance of parole foils (PARCIS) to parole beneficiaries authorized by USCIS (see 9 FAM 202.3).  For all other fingerprint services conducted on behalf of USCIS, collect ink prints using the FD-258, Applicant Fingerprint Card.

(d)  (U) Only collect ink prints on behalf of USCIS for the approved services detailed below (adoptions, T and U visas and certain naturalizations) or when directly requested by USCIS.  All ink fingerprints must also be correctly accounted for in ACRS using codes 80 or 98.  Direct requests for fingerprints from USCIS should be forwarded to the Economy Act portfolio holder in CA/VO/F to ensure the request is properly documented.

(e)  (U) Only collect and mail ink fingerprint cards to USCIS for processing when associated with adoption cases or T and U petitions.  All other fingerprint cards should be sent to the requesting DHS office by the applicant.

(i)     (U) For intercountry adoption related filings:

(A)    (U) For I-600s filed directly with posts overseas, the fingerprints can be taken on a fingerprint card and mailed to the Nebraska Service Center to be scanned and uploaded into CPMS:

        (U)   Package shipped overnight by a private service provider:

        USCIS Nebraska Service Center

        Attn: FD-258 Team

        850 S Street

        Lincoln, NE 68508

        (U) Package sent via regular mail:

        USCIS Nebraska Service Center

        PO BOX 82521

        Lincoln, NE 68501-2521

(B)    (U) For I-600/As and I-800/As pending with the National Benefits Center (NBC), fingerprint cards can be mailed to:

        USCIS National Benefits Center

        Attn:  Adoptions

        Department of Homeland Security

        7600B W 119th Street

        Overland Park KS  66213

(C)    (U) Prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and adult members of the household (AHMs) may request a one-time, no-fee renewal of prints that were already captured. PAPs and AHMs may make the request directly to NBC or USCIS office abroad, and USCIS can typically refresh the prints electronically without recapturing.

(ii)    (U) For T and U visas: Follow the guidance in 9 FAM 402.6 and mail to the service center indicated in the Request for Evidence (RFE) presented by the applicant:

        For the USCIS Vermont Service Center (VSC) mail to:

        USCIS Vermont Service Center

        Attn: MRD

                    38 River Road

                    Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001

                    For the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) mail to:

                    USCIS Nebraska Service Center

                    850 S Street

                    Lincoln, NE 68508-1225


(2)  (U) Fingerprint collection for naturalization purposes:

(a)  (U) USCIS strongly prefers applicants to reschedule and attend their biometric appointment at a domestic USCIS office if they will miss their scheduled appointment due to a short trip or stay outside of the United States.  In the United States, fingerprints are captured electronically so are processed more quickly than paper and ink prints that are mailed in.  USCIS only allows for fingerprint capture abroad for active-duty military personnel and their qualified spouses and children, and for individuals who qualify for naturalization under INA 319(b), who provide a USCIS notice requesting they submit fingerprints, and who provide compelling extenuating circumstances that travel back to the United States would cause undue burden.  In rare 319(b) cases when compelling extenuating circumstances exist, consular sections are authorized to take prints. Confer with your CA/VO/F liaison before providing this service.

(b)  (U) If prints are taken at a consular section and mailed in, consular officers should remind the applicant to inform the domestic USCIS office where the original biometric appointment had been scheduled, so that the case will not be closed due to a failure to appear.  Consular officers should further ensure that the applicant’s A# number is added onto each FD-258, Applicant Fingerprint Card to avoid confusion and delays.

(c)  (U) Only INA 319(b) applicants or active-duty military personnel and qualified spouse and children applicants who have a USCIS notice advising them of a scheduled biometric appointment may be fingerprinted.  If the applicant is in possession of a USCIS notice then all applicable fees have already been collected, and no further fees are due.  The Economy Act covers fingerprinting on behalf of USCIS, and the service should be tracked as a no-fee service in ACRS, under code 98, for accounting purposes.  If the applicant does not have a USCIS notice, then fingerprints should not be collected.  This applies to private citizens as well as to military personnel.

(d)  (U) The applicant should send the card to the lockbox as part of their initial application or return the card to the National Benefit Center (NBC) according to the directions on the Request for Evidence.

(3)  (U) Fingerprinting Procedures:

(a)  (U) Verify the identity of the person being fingerprinted;

(b)  (U) Have the visa applicant sign the FD-258, Applicant Fingerprint Card; type in any aliases; and have the person taking the fingerprints sign and date the card;

(c)  (U) Print each finger in the correct sequence (the card indicates right and left hand).  Using light pressure, roll each finger from nail to nail to ensure legibility.  If the prints are illegible, the FBI will reject them for processing, causing a delay in the processing of the applicant’s case and unnecessary expense for the Bureau, (see detailed instructions on rolling fingerprints to record legible fingerprints at Recording Legible Fingerprints);

(d)  (U) Complete the lower blocks by taking simultaneous impressions as noted on the card.  (The best impressions are obtained when the applicant’s fingers are clean and dry.); and

(e)  (U) To avoid delays, verify that the prints are clear, complete, and legible before the applicant leaves the building.   

(4)  (U) Preparing Fingerprint Card:  The employee taking the fingerprints must prepare the card for mailing as indicated below:

(a)  (U) Use the proper FD-258, Applicant Fingerprint Card;

(b)  (U) Use black ink for the handwritten portion;

(c)  (U) Put the post code (post’s three-letter abbreviation) in the OCA block;

(d)  (U) The ORI block must show USNHNVC1Z for NIV cases and USNHNVC0Z for IV cases; and

(e)  (U) Complete all required fields on the card. These fields include the subject’s name (last, first, middle) and any aliases, subject’s date of birth (if a date of birth is unknown, 0101 with an approximate year of birth), sex and any other descriptive data of the applicant, “Reason Fingerprinted” (include USCIS Form number), and “Miscellaneous No.” (include subject’s A#).

(5)  (U) Ordering Fingerprint Cards:  The standard stock FD-258, Applicant Fingerprint Card (blue ink) may be ordered from the General Services Division of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA/EX/GSD).  If the consular section prefers to use the treated (inkless) version of the FD-258, request the cards directly from:


8117 Orion Avenue

Van Nuys, CA 91406

Phone: 818-787-1901, Fax: 818-988-9776

c.  (U) Pre-Approval Investigation Reports:

(1)  (U) Consular sections may conduct investigations related to eligibility of visa applicants (see 9 FAM 601.10) or, on behalf of DHS, in support of petition or application or adjustment of status adjudication.  This section provides guidance on preparation of reports including investigation results for DHS.  See 9 FAM 603 for additional information on protection and release of visa-related information.

(2)  (U) Report Preparation:

(a)  (U) When preparing a report, keep in mind that not all information will be protected by INA 222(f).  See 602.2-2(A)(2) paragraph c(3) below.

(b)  (U) Extracts from or copies of public records of foreign governments supplied to DHS must be provided in duly authenticated form. Oral statements furnishing credible information must, whenever possible, be reduced to writing and sworn to before a consular officer.  In accordance with the Schedule of Fees in 22 CFR 22.1 Item 45, no charge is to be made for notarial service on documents required by other U.S. Government agencies.

(3)  (U) Confidentiality in Pre-Approval Investigation Reports:

(a)  (U) Applicability of INA 222(f) Confidentiality Protections:  

(i)     (U) Investigation reports requested by DHS before petition or application approval or discretionary adjustment of status do not pertain to the issuance or refusal of a visa or permit to enter the United States, except for information taken directly from existing files.  Therefore, except for information taken from visa files, pre-approval investigation reports do not receive the confidentiality protection of INA 222(f).

(ii)    (U) Reports, such as fraud reports, which are initiated by consular sections in connection with the processing of a visa application following receipt of an approved petition, generally are protected from release pursuant to INA 222(f).  However, there are instances when it is necessary for DHS to release such reports to the petitioner to adequately administer the immigration laws.  For example, when DHS wishes to revoke a petition, by regulation, it generally must inform the petitioner of the evidence upon which it bases the revocation to give the petitioner an opportunity to rebut the adverse evidence.  In such instances, CA/VO and DHS have agreed that DHS may release consular reports to the petitioner. 

(b)  (U) Protecting Classified and Sensitive Information: 

(i)     (U) Since some pre-approval reports submitted to DHS are not accorded the protection provided by INA 222(f), you must ensure the protection of information that might prejudice U.S. Government interests.  An unclassified report to DHS must not contain material that could not be divulged to the beneficiary during a hearing or proceeding.

(ii)    (U) Draft reports without derogatory characterizations or other language that could create problems if presented to the petitioner.  All reports must be prepared keeping in mind the safeguards for protecting classified information and other sensitive matters, such as identities of informants.

(iii)    (U) Names and information which may identify sensitive or confidential sources and information from visa files protected by INA 222(f) must be positioned in separate paragraphs which begin with the capitalized heading "NOT FOR RELEASE."  If the sources of adverse information are sensitive, they might be identified in the body of the report as a “highly reliable source” and the name listed in a separate paragraph marked “Not for Release.”

(iv)   (U) If confidential sources can be compromised even with the segregation of certain material in protected paragraphs, ensure that the entire report is appropriately marked and classified.

(v)    (U) DHS routinely releases summaries of classified investigation reports that were used to deny a visa petition.  Where release of such summaries may compromise a sensitive source, begin a pre-approval report with the phrase "SUMMARY NOT RELEASABLE; IDENTITY OF CONFIDENTIAL SOURCE AT RISK.”   If only a portion of the report could compromise the sensitive source, begin the first paragraph with the phrase "SUMMARY NOT RELEASABLE (identify paragraphs that should not be released); IDENTITY OF CONFIDENTIAL SOURCE AT RISK.  Follow the same procedures for protecting information released from visa records under INA 222(f) and use the phrase "INFORMATION FROM VISA RECORDS" instead of "identity of confidential source at risk."

(c)  (U) Requests for Release of Reports or Information Contained in the Reports:  Since the Department acts as the DHS agent in conducting these investigations, once the investigation reports are forwarded to DHS, they become part of the DHS records system.  As a result, consular sections must refer all requests for the release of such reports to DHS.

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)  (U) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(1)  (U) Overview of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

(CT:VISA-1305;   06-24-2021)

(U) USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.  Among the services they provide are adjudications relating to citizenship and naturalization processes, immigration of family members, and employment in the U.S. by individuals from other countries, E-Verify, administration of humanitarian programs and intercountry adoptions, and civic integration of immigrants.

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(2)  (U) USCIS and Petitions

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) A  prospective employer or family member (petitioner) must first obtain an approved petition from USCIS before the beneficiary of the petition may apply for a visa in a petition-based nonimmigrant classification, as well as for most IV categories.

b. (U) NIVs:  For information on NIV classifications requiring DHS-approved petitions, see 9 FAM 402.10 (H visas), 9 FAM 402.12 (L visas), 9 FAM 402.13 (O visas), 9 FAM 402.14 (P visas), 9 FAM 502.7 (fiancé, quasi-IV visas), 9 FAM 402.15 (Q visas), 9 FAM 402.16 (R visas), 9 FAM 402.6 (S, T, and U visas), and 9 FAM 402.18 (CW and E-2C visas for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). 

c.  (U) IVs, Quasi-IVs:  See 9 FAM 504.2 for information on DHS’ role in handling IV petitions, and 9 FAM 502.3-3 and 9 FAM 502.3-4 for more on DHS’ role in petitions and processing of immigrant orphan and Convention adoptee cases.  9 FAM 502.2 (family-based IVs), 9 FAM 502.4 (employment-based IVs), and 9 FAM 502.5 (special immigrants), 9 FAM 502.7-3 (K visas) and 9 FAM 502.7-4 (N visas) address DHS requirements for, and adjudication of, petitions for IV classification.  9 FAM 504.2-8 addresses DHS’ return, revocation, and reaffirmation of IV petitions.

D. (U) Inquiries About Status of Petitions:  Consular sections normally should not send messages to the Department or directly to DHS inquiring about the status of petitions.  As an alternative, you should advise an individual seeking such assistance to ask the petitioner to obtain the information on the pending visa petition directly from DHS. Petitioners should direct such information inquiries to the Service Center with which the petition was filed or to the USCIS website, which provides real-time case status updates.  You may, however, inform the Department about cases which have public relations significance, stating the explanation in your message.

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(3)  (U) Changes and Extension of Status (USCIS)

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) Change in Nonimmigrant Classification After Admission: 

(1)  (U) If an individual admitted into the United States in one nonimmigrant classification desires to engage in another principal activity (one appropriate to a different nonimmigrant classification), they may be eligible to apply to DHS for a change of nonimmigrant classification pursuant to INA 248. Information on how to submit a change of classification can be found on the USCIS website.

(2)  (U) An individual admitted under certain nonimmigrant classes is; however, ineligible for a change of status, specifically one entering:

(a)  (U) Under INA 101(a)(15)(C), INA 101(a)(15)(D), or INA 101(a)(15)(K);

(b)  (U) Under INA 101(a)(15)(J) for graduate medical education or training;

(c)  (U) Under INA 101(a)(15)(J) (other than under (3) above) who is subject to the foreign residence requirement and for whom that requirement has not been waived, unless the change is to a classification under INA 101(a)(15)(A) or INA 101(a)(15)(G);

(d)  (U) Under the Visa Waiver Program; or

(e)  (U) Under the Guam Visa Waiver Program.

b. (U) Extension of Stay:

(1)  (U) A nonimmigrant in the United States who wishes to remain beyond the period for which they were initially admitted by DHS must apply to DHS for an extension of stay before the authorized period of stay expires.

(2)  (U) Extension of Stay for Nonimmigrants in H or L Status:

(a)  (U) In every case in which an employer or trainer seeks H-1, H-2, H-3, or L-1 classification initially for an individual beneficiary or a group, DHS requires the filing of a petition, Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, or Form I-129-S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, as appropriate, in the beneficiary(ies)’ behalf.  Individuals admitted to the United States in H or L status, or who acquire that status after admission, are authorized a period of stay not to exceed the validity of the petition.  Extensions may be granted, following application by the employer on Form I-129 for extension of both petition validity and stay by the individual,

(b)  (U) DHS uses Form I-797, Notice of Action, when a change of status or extension of stay is approved for an H or L beneficiary.  The Form I-797-A is sent along with the requested classification.  The Form I-797-B is used to notify the Department or CBP of an approved petition.  The Form I-797-C notifies the petitioner that the petition is approved and whether an extension is granted.  The petitioner may furnish the form to the employee to use to facilitate entry into the United States in H or L status, either initially or after a temporary absence abroad during the authorized stay in H or L status.  The Form I-797 is also used for a blanket L approval.

(3)  (U) There is a fee for an extension of stay application in most nonimmigrant classifications.  Some visa applicants’ period of authorized stay will be restricted because of the limited duration of their passports (see 9 FAM 403.9-3(B)).  Information on fees is available on the USCIS website.

c.  (U) Authorization to Work in the United States:  U.S. employers must check to make sure all employees, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are allowed to work in the United States. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or LPRs may fall into one of three categories of persons who are eligible for employment authorization:

(1)  (U) Category 1: Those who have authorization to work in the United States without restriction due to their status or otherwise authorized stay;

(2)  (U) Category 2: Those who have authorization to work incident to status for a specific employer generally due to nonimmigrant status;

(3)  (U) Category 3: Those in a category which requires the individual to file for and obtain permission to work.  Some of those who fall in the first and third categories (including those who have a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) are required to apply for work authorization and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) using the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS before seeking work in the United States.

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(4)  (U) Citizenship and Naturalization (USCIS)

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) Information on NIVs for individuals seeking naturalization in the United States is included in 9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(6) through  9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(8).  Citizenship for orphans is covered in 9 FAM 502.3-3 and 9 FAM 502.3-4(C)(2) covers citizenship for Convention adoptees. 

b. (U) See also the USCIS website for additional information on the USCIS role in citizenship and naturalization cases.

9 FAM 602.2-2(B)(5)  (U) Regulatory Fees Collected by USCIS

(CT:VISA-271;   12-14-2016)

(U) Consular officers may be questioned regarding fees charged for services rendered by USCIS.  A list of DHS fees can be found in 8 CFR 103.7 and the USCIS website.

9 FAM 602.2-2(C)  (U) Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) Overview of CBP Services:  With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world's largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.  As the world's first full-service border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.  The men and women of CBP are responsible for enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations.

b. (U) CBP at U.S. Ports of Entry: 

(1)  (U) Admission into the United States (Overview):  All persons arriving at a U.S. POE are subject to inspection by CBP officers.  CBP officers will conduct the immigration, customs and agriculture components of the inspections process.  Additional information regarding the inspection process is in the Code of Federal Regulations, see, e.g., 8 CFR 235, Inspection of Persons Applying for Admission. Travelers seeking to lawfully enter the United States must establish their admissibility to the satisfaction of the CBP officer. This is done as part of the inspection process. Many of the reasons that a traveler who is applying for admission into the United States could be inadmissible are found in INA 212(a).

(2)  (U) Review of Traveler Documentation:

(a)  (U) I-94 Arrival/Departure Documents:  Foreign visitors to the U.S. arriving via air or sea no longer need to complete paper Customs and Border Protection Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record or Form I-94-W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record. Those who need to prove their legal-visitor status—to employers, schools/universities, or government agencies—can access their CBP arrival/departure record information online.  The online arrival/departure record is the official record, not a date written or stamped in a travel document.  CBP now gathers travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. Because advance information is only transmitted for air and sea travelers, CBP will still issue a paper form I-94 at land border ports of entry.  Upon arrival, a CBP officer stamps the travel document of each arriving nonimmigrant traveler with the admission date, the class of admission, and the date that the traveler is admitted until.  Upon departure from the U.S., travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP.  Otherwise, CBP will record the departure electronically via manifest information provided by the carrier or by CBP.

(b)  (U) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA):  Visa Waiver Program travelers arriving by air or sea must possess a valid ESTA approval to present to CBP officers.  See 9 FAM 201.1-4(C) paragraph i, as well as the CBP website, for additional details and guidance on the ESTA program.

(3)  (U) U.S. Exit Controls:  See the DHS website for information on US-VISIT; see also 9 FAM 601.8 on referral case exemptions from US-VISIT requirements.  For travelers whose I-94 was not collected on departure, see 9 FAM 102.1-5.

c.  (U) Using CBP Information:

(1)  (U) Form I-275, Withdrawal of Application/Consular Notification:

(a)  (U) Purpose of Form I-275:  Under INA 235(a)(4), an individual applying for admission may, in the discretion of DHS and at any time, be permitted to withdraw the application for admission and depart immediately from the United States.  If the CBP officer at POE grants the withdrawal, it will be recorded on Form I-275.  A copy of the form will be given to the applicant and the Department also will be notified (see paragraph (b) below).  

(b)  (U) Consular Notification for Form I-275, Withdrawal of Application for Admission:  In January 2012, DHS began sending electronically to the CCD Form I-275, Withdrawal of Application for Admission/Consular Notification, which is created at ports of entry.  In the CCD, the Form I-275 is matched to the visa record for the visa that was presented at POE and an I-275 link is created at the bottom of the CCD visa record.  When this link is created, a banner is inserted at the top of the CCD record that reads as follows: "Visa May Have Been Cancelled by DHS - See I-275 Link Below."  You may use the CCD report called I-275 Lookup to review multiple I-275 records, including I-275 records created for Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers, which will not be attached to any visa records in the CCD. You can find Forms I-275 for VWP travelers by completing the nationality field in the I-275 report.

(c)  (U) Inquiries Related to Form I-275:  Refer inquiries about or from individuals who have withdrawn their applications for admission to the United States to the DHS office that prepared Form I-275, Withdrawal of Application/Consular Notification, if the purpose of the inquiry is to challenge the decision of DHS.  Forms I-275 are furnished to the consular office where the visa was issued for its information only so the consular section is not required to provide a copy of the form to the person making the inquiry.  In addition, you must not quote from the form or comment on the DHS action.

(2)  (U) DHS Arrival Departure Information System (ADIS):  In October 2002, ADIS began recording limited U.S. arrival and departure records, which have become more complete as time has passed.  ADIS arrival and departure records are based primarily on airline flight manifests and passenger vessel manifests. Arrivals at land borders are recorded in ADIS if the traveler obtains a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, or if the Customs and Border Protection Officer swipes the Border Crossing Card of the traveler.  Departure records across the land border are not automatically recorded in ADIS but may be recorded if the traveler sends in the Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record.  Because land border departures are not usually recorded in ADIS, and airlines have not always provided departure manifests, some departure records are missing from ADIS. ADIS does not record the travel of U.S. citizens.

(a)  (U) How ADIS Automated Query Works:  An automated query is sent to ADIS for every visa applicant, using the applicant’s passport number, country of passport issuance, and date of birth.  In addition, a search is conducted in the CCD for any previous visa records for the applicant, from which any different passport numbers are also used to search ADIS.  If the passport number queries do not obtain results from ADIS, a second query is sent using the applicant’s Last Name and DOB. All query fields must match in ADIS for records to be returned.

(b)  (U) How to See Results of Automated ADIS Checks:  From NIV, use keys Alt+O (the letter O) to go directly to the applicant’s record in the CCD.  Scroll down to the bottom right-hand side and click on the ADIS Results link, which will open the ADIS query results.  If the link is grayed out and not available, it means ADIS results were not received.  From IVO, click on the CCD button on the Applicant Tab to go to the applicant’s record in the CCD.  Scroll down to the Applicant Summary section and the ADIS Results link is located on the line with the Namecheck Detail and other clearance results.  In the ADIS Results, the exits and entries are listed in reverse chronological order. CBP observations will be listed, such as the results of a person being sent to secondary inspection.  Name variances and different documents used and captured in ADIS will also be listed.  The ADIS Results focus on summarizing entries and exits and do not include data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) or the Computer Linked Automated Information System, Version 3 (CLAIMS-3).  If an applicant was granted a change to nonimmigrant status or an extension of the authorized period of stay in the United States, these will not be reflected in the summarized ADIS Results but should be available via ADIS access through PCQS (see paragraph (d) below).

(c)  (U) How to Conduct Ad Hoc Queries of ADIS:  You may see a record in IDENT of a US-VISIT entry, but no ADIS results displayed in the CCD.  One reason for this may be that the information sent in the automated query did not get an exact match in ADIS.  If the applicant has a previous CCD record with a somewhat different name and a different passport number, the previous record may not have been found in the CCD because of the name difference; therefore, no query would be sent to ADIS with the different passport number.  You should copy the passport number from the IDENT record and enter it, along with the country of issuance, into the Send ADIS Request report in the CCD under the Cross Applications tab to see the ADIS record for such a case.  You do not need to enter Last Name and DOB with the query.  This ad hoc query should return the ADIS records for the applicant.  You may send ad hoc queries using the Send ADIS Request report to obtain the available U.S. travel records of any applicant. It is best to enter the passport number and country of issuance in the Send ADIS Request report, but if the passport number is not available, you may also query by using the Last Name and DOB.  In a small percentage of cases, if a query finds multiple Person IDs for the same person in ADIS, no results are returned.

(d)  (U) ADIS Access via the Person Centric Query Service (PCQS):  For more in-depth ADIS searches, and for all routine fraud-prevention purposes, you should access ADIS via PCQS.  Located under the "Other Agencies/Bureaus" tab, PCQS provides single sign-on access to a consolidated search of several USCIS and ICE immigration databases, including ADIS.  This version of ADIS offers a more fulsome search than the CCD ADIS report, and allows users to search with basic biodata, passport number, and fingerprint identification number (FIN).  It can be consulted if the automated algorithm returns no results or an error message and should be used for all FPU-related searches and any small-scale validation studies consular sections wish to conduct.

(e)  (U) Review of ADIS Records is not a Requirement:  The ADIS query is not a clearance; there is no requirement for you to review ADIS results. Visa Lookout Accountability (VLA) does not apply to reviewing ADIS results.  The automated ADIS query is a tool to make U.S. travel records in ADIS available for review by consular officers in cases in which this information may be helpful in reaching a decision.  For example, you may check the ADIS Results for applicants who report a previous visa lost or stolen if there is concern that the purpose of the "loss" was to conceal a U.S. overstay.  You may consult the ADIS results more or less frequently, depending on the circumstances of the visa applicants whose cases are being adjudicated.

(f)   (U) Enhancements to ADIS:  The ADIS checks may not always return results, even though the person has a U.S. travel record.  A small percentage of ADIS records contain multiple Person IDs for the same person, which causes no records to be returned by the ADIS check.  For such cases, when you click on the ADIS Results link, it will display “Multiple Person IDs Found.”  CA is continuing to work with DHS US-VISIT through the ADIS Project Team to seek improvements to the ADIS checks.  CA is also planning to enhance the ADIS checks by making the ADIS Results available to consular officers in the Clearance Window of the NIV and the IVO systems, which will make it more convenient to review these results.

(g)  (U) ADIS Implied Exit Records:  IDENT and ADIS share information.  When a visa applicant is fingerprinted and there is no record in ADIS that the person has departed the United States, the collection of the person's fingerprints abroad is used by IDENT to create a record in ADIS called Imp_DOS_Depart, which means it is implied that the person departed the United States since the person is abroad being fingerprinted.  Although the record in ADIS is labeled Imp_DOS_Depart, when it is pulled into the CCD through the automated ADIS query, it is displayed simply as an Exit record.  Such records are commonly created in ADIS for persons who had no departure record in ADIS because they crossed the land border.  Consular sections in Mexico will see these implied Exit records in the ADIS results with the same date on which an applicant is fingerprinted for a new visa.

9 FAM 602.2-2(D)  (U) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

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a. (U) ICE's primary mission is to promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.  This mission is executed through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes and focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating the illegal movement of people and goods.  ICE is the lead federal agency charged with investigating violations of U.S. immigration and customs law.  ICE conducts federal criminal investigations into the cross-border movement of people, goods, money, technology, and other contraband throughout the United States. ICE also manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification, arrest, and detention or supervised release for those found without a lawful immigration status.  While most ICE activities are conducted within the domestic United States, ICE has international Attachés attached to certain U.S. Embassies to assist in their agency missions.

b. (U) Departure verifications: ICE may require that certain individuals allowed to voluntarily depart the United States or who have had to pay departure bonds verify their departure by checking in at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

(1)  (U) In these cases, ICE may issue a form G-146, I-392, or I-210.

(2)  (U) At embassies and consulates where any DHS agency is co-located and offers counter services, such individuals should turn to DHS for completion of the departure verification.  At embassies and consulates without DHS presence, you should allow individuals to come to the consular section to complete this form and should determine a method of scheduling that works for the consular section.

(3)  (U) When providing this service, the consular section should issue a no fee receipt using ACRS code 81.  You should verify the identity of the individual, then complete and sign the form.  The officer should scan and send the form to the ICE email address listed on the form: VD-Bond-Verifications@dhs.gov.  After sending to ICE, the original form may be returned to the applicant.

9 FAM 602.2-2(E)  (U) Department of Homeland Security Contacts

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a. (U) DHS officers abroad are authorized to perform certain functions such as waiving certain passport and visa requirements jointly with consular officers, authorizing the admission of certain applicants under the provisions of INA 212(d)(3)(A) who otherwise are inadmissible and ineligible for a visa, and approval of petitions to accord immigrant status to relatives and applications for waivers of grounds of ineligibility and inadmissibility.  Requests for such actions, when authorized, should be addressed by consular officers to the DHS Officer in Charge (OIC), in care of the Foreign Service post located in the cities indicated below.

b. Unavailable.

c.  (U) When trying to locate a USCIS office, you should visit the USCIS website.  For any high-level policy issues, refer to CA/VO/F who maintains close relations with DHS components.  

9 FAM 602.2-3  (U) Working with other United StateS Government Departments

9 FAM 602.2-3(A)  (U) Department of Justice

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a. (U) L/CA handles all DOJ liaison regarding visa matters.  If DOJ contacts you directly regarding a visa case, refer them to L/CA.  If you are unsure how to proceed, contact L/CA.

b. (U) Federal Bureau of Investigation:

(1)  (U) Fingerprinting:  Personnel taking fingerprints to follow closely the instructions in the online training course entitled "Fingerprint Quality for TPLS," which is located under the Biometrics tab in the Consular Application Training Center on CAWeb. 

(2)  (U) FBI Codes in Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS):  See 9 FAM 303.3-5(D)(1) for information regarding processing FBI lookouts in CLASS.

c.  (U) Assistant U.S. Attorney, Legal Attaches at Posts Overseas:  L/CA handles liaison with Assistant U.S Attorneys (AUSAs) regarding visa matters.  If an AUSA contacts you directly regarding a visa case, refer them to L/CA. Post Legatts must adhere to the procedures for referrals (see 9 FAM 601.8).  If a Legatt contacts you about a visa case in a law enforcement matter, see 9 FAM 603.2-6.

9 FAM 602.2-3(B)  (U) Department of Labor

(CT:VISA-1881;   12-14-2023)

a. (U) There are several government agencies involved with granting permission for foreign workers to work in the United States.  First, employers must seek certification through the Department of Labor (DOL).  Foreign labor certification programs are generally designed to assure that the admission of foreign workers to work in the United States on a permanent or temporary basis will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages and working conditions of American workers.

b. (U) IV Labor Certifications:  See 9 FAM 502.4-3(E) and 9 FAM 502.4-4(C) for information on labor certifications for employment-based IV cases.

c.  (U) NIV Labor Condition Applications:  DHS will also review labor certifications while adjudicating some occupation-based nonimmigrant petitions.  See 9 FAM 402.10-4(B) and 9 FAM 402.10-5(D) regarding employer requirements to file labor condition applications for H-1B nonimmigrants.  DOL  revocation of Labor Certifications for H2As is addressed in 9 FAM 402.10-8(D).

d. (U) U.S. Labor Laws:  See 9 FAM 402.10-17(A) regarding reporting possible violations of U.S. labor laws to the  DOL, requirements to inform nonimmigrant H visa applicants of their legal rights and DOL informational resources for nonimmigrant and immigrant workers.

e. (U) Evaluating Work Experience:  See 9 FAM 502.6-3 paragraph d for information on using DOL's O*Net OnLine database to evaluate a diversity visa applicant’s qualifying work experience.

f.  (U) Ineligibilities Related to Labor Certifications:  See 9 FAM 302.1-5 for general information on labor certification issues which might lead to an ineligibility finding.

9 FAM 602.2-3(C)  (U) Department of Treasury

9 FAM 602.2-3(C)(1)  (U) Department of Treasury and Visa Operations

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9 FAM 602.2-3(C)(2)  (U) Internal Revenue Service

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a. (U) Tax Administration, Tax Returns:

(1)  (U) Tax returns generally require Social Security Numbers (SSNs).  See 602.2-5(C) concerning SSN requirements for noncitizens.

(2)  (U) To apply for an SSN, applicants should visit the local Social Security Administration office or call 1-800-772-1213.  If the travelers do not have SSNs and are not eligible to obtain them, they must apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).  They should see Form W-7 and its instructions for details on how to receive an ITIN, a process that normally takes 4-6 weeks.  Those who have ITINs should enter them wherever the tax return form requests an SSN.  Those who must include another person’s SSNs on their returns must obtain ITINs for those individuals, too, if they do not have ITINs.

b. (U) “Sailing Permit” or “Departure Permit” (Certificate of Compliance) Requirements:

(1)  (U) Resident and nonresident travelers departing the United States usually have to show that they have complied with the U.S. income tax laws before departing from the United States.  They do this by obtaining a certificate of compliance, commonly called a "Departure Permit" or "Sailing Permit" from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

(2)  (U) Some foreign diplomats, employees of foreign governments, students, trainees, and exchange visitors do not need a departure permit.  Travelers can find out if they belong in this category by referring to Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

(3)  (U) Procedure When “Sailing Permit” Required:

(a)  (U) Required Forms:

(i)     (U) Individuals without taxable income, or a resident who is leaving only temporarily, should use Form IRS-2063, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Statement, to apply for a departure permit. Residents leaving the United States with no definite plans to return for the year will have to complete Form IRS-1040-C, U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return, to get a departure permit.

(ii)    (U) Nonresidents who have been in the United States more than 90 days and have earned taxable income of $3000 or more will also have to complete Form IRS-1040–C to receive a departure permit. Residents and nonresidents must pay all tax shown as due on the Form IRS-1040–C, unless they furnish a bond, or the IRS is satisfied that their leaving will not jeopardize collection of the tax.  Any tax paid counts as a payment on their final tax return (either Form 1040 or Form 1040NR) that is filed after the end of the tax year.

(b)  (U) When and Where to Apply for “Sailing Permit”:

(i)     (U) An individual who needs a “sailing permit” should apply at least two weeks in advance of their departure, but not earlier than 30 days before they plan to leave.  To get a departure permit, the traveler should visit their nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (walk-in IRS office).  If the traveler is married to a noncitizen who is leaving the country with them, the couple must go together to the IRS office.  For information on the location of the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (walk–in IRS office), travelers may call 800–829–1040, or visit the IRS website.  Taxpayers outside the United States must call 215-516-2000 (this is not a toll-free number).

(ii)    (U) Travelers should refer to Publication 519 for a list of which documents they should bring with them to apply for an IRS departure permit.

(c)  (U) Overpayments and Refunds:  If the tax computation on Form IRS-1040-C results in an overpayment, there is no tax to pay when the applicant files that return.  However, the IRS cannot provide a refund when the applicant departs the United States.  If applicants are due refunds, they must file Form 1040 or Form 1040NR as appropriate, by the tax return due date, including extensions.

(d)  (U) “Sailing Permit” Not a Replacement for U.S. Income Tax Return:  Form IRS-1040-C is not an annual U.S. income tax return.  If an income tax return is required by law, that return must be filed even though a Form IRS-1040-C has already been filed.  The taxes paid with the Form IRS-1040-C should be taken as a credit against the tax liability for the entire tax year on an annual U.S. income tax return.

9 FAM 602.2-3(D)  (U) Department of Health and Human Services

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a. (U) VO relies on the expertise of HHS regarding the public charge ineligibility as well as in medical ineligibilities of individuals traveling or immigrating to the United States.

b. (U) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  See 9 FAM 302.2-3(D) regarding the role of CDC in regulating medical examinations (used to evaluate possible medical-related ineligibilities – see 9 FAM 302.2-2(A)).  Also see 9 FAM 302.2-6 for CDC’s role in vaccinations.  

9 FAM 602.2-4  (U) working with congress

9 FAM 602.2-4(A)  (U) Overview

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a. (U) Close relations with Congress are essential to CAs’ success in meeting its mission to protect American citizens and the security of our nation.  CA takes every opportunity to strengthen that relationship and to engage and inform Members of Congress and Congressional staff about CA's work.  Consular officers based on Capitol Hill, together with the Legislative Affairs Unit in CA's Office of Policy Coordination and Legislative Affairs (CA/P), assist with constituent inquiries, facilitate briefing requests, and conduct outreach to Congressional staff via webinars and conferences. 

b. (U) CA/P closely coordinates with the Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) to promote legislative priorities that benefit citizens and enhance CA’s ability to provide prompt service to constituents.  There is a dedicated website for Members and Congressional staff as well as dedicated Congressional contacts at every overseas post, domestic passport agency, the National Visa Center, and the Kentucky Consular Center.

9 FAM 602.2-4(B)  (U) Congressional Inquiries and Correspondence

(CT:VISA-73;   03-02-2016)

(U) See 9 FAM 601.7-3 for information on handling visa-related correspondence from Congress.  See also 9 FAM 603.2-5 on sharing visa-related information with Congress.

9 FAM 602.2-4(C)  (U) Congressional Reports

(CT:VISA-1305;   06-24-2021)


9 FAM 602.2-4(D)  (U) Private Immigration Legislation

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(U) See 9 FAM 502.7-5 for information on private legislation granting immigrant status, and consular section preparation of private bill reports.

9 FAM 602.2-5  (U) Working with other United states Government entities

9 FAM 602.2-5(A)  (U) Related Statutory and Regulatory Citations

(CT:VISA-73;   03-02-2016)

(U) 50 U.S.C. App. 453.

9 FAM 602.2-5(B)  (U) Selective Service System

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a. (U) Mission and Purpose of Selective Service System:  The statutory missions of Selective Service are to be prepared to provide trained and untrained personnel to DOD in the event of a national emergency and to be prepared to implement an Alternative Service Program for registrants classified as conscientious objectors.

b. (U) Registration Requirements:  Male immigrants between the ages of 18 and 26 must register for the Selective Service. See 9 FAM 504.10-2(E)(5) regarding the notice to be given such applicants.  However, those who were lawfully admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants pursuant to INA 101(a)(15) are not required to register with the Selective Service nor are they liable for military training and service so long as they maintain a lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States. See 50 U.S.C. App. 453.

c.  (U) Ineligibility Based on Avoiding Military Service:  See 9 FAM 302.10-3 for information on Selective Service laws and records used to evaluate a possible ineligibility for individuals who departed or remained outside the United States to avoid military service.

9 FAM 602.2-5(C)  (U) Social Security Administration

(CT:VISA-1305;   06-24-2021)

a. (U) Generally, only immigrants and nonimmigrants authorized to work in the United States by DHS can get a Social Security number. Social Security numbers are used to report a person’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.  A Social Security number is needed to work, collect Social SecufFrity benefits, and receive some other government services.

b. (U) Social Security Cards, Numbers:  See 9 FAM 504.10-2(E)(4) regarding applications for Social Security Numbers for immigrants to the United States.  9 FAM 402.2-5(I) addresses the issue of nonimmigrants obtaining Social Security cards.

c.  (U) Department of Treasury “Sailing Permits”:  See 9 FAM 602.2-3(C)(2) paragraph a(2) above for a discussion of Social Security Numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers in the context of obtaining IRS “Sailing Permits.”