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US Visas and Immigration: What Is the USCIS Field Officer's Manual?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing USCIS and we are discussing US Immigration specifically.  I made this video to discuss the Field Officer's Manual for USCIS and I made this contemporaneously with a video on the Foreign Affairs Manual.  The two should not be confused. They pertain to two different sets of government agents. The USCIS Field Officer's Manual pertains to exactly who it sounds it pertains to, that is Officers within the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service under the auspices of Department of Homeland Security. The Foreign Affairs Manual pertains to Officers at US Embassies and Consulates abroad.

Now both Manuals can have an impact on the overall US visa and immigration process because the USCIS Field Officer's Manuel has the guidelines and rules which shall dictate the conduct and the adjudicatory methodology of Officers under Department of Homeland Security's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Concurrently, the Foreign Affairs Manual currently pertains to Consular Officers who are dealing with adjudication matters of immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas at United States Embassies and Consulates outside of the United States.

The purpose of this video is to focus on the USCIS Field Officer's Manual and again, these are the guidelines, these are the rules under which these folks need to adjudicate various issues associated with the granting of immigration benefits inside the United States or petitions for immigration benefits which may result in a visa application occurring outside of the United States.  This document changes over time and it is not sort of a set-in-stone document. The rules and guidelines that these USCIS Officers have to operate under, they change over time. For example we recently had changes with respect to the so-called Public Charge Rule in the United States associated with petitions for Immigrant Visa benefits, adjustment of status to Green Card status especially in the context of adjustment from a K-1 Fiancée Visa over to a green card subsequent to marriage in the United States. The USCIS Manual does not necessarily pertain to matters outside of the US. Again the Foreign Affairs Manual deals with those who are applying abroad so that is not really the scope of the USCIS Field Officer's Manual although USCIS does, it is my understanding still have officers outside the United States although far fewer than they once did. For example, here in Bangkok we used to have a USCIS Office; we now no longer have such an office but I believe there is still one in Asia and I think there is one in Europe. That being said, yes those Officers have to operate under their Field Officer's Manual.

So it is basically just guidelines for dealing with the rules that emanate from the law pertaining to US Immigration and how those Officers have to conduct themselves with respect to adjudication for Immigration benefits in the United States for petitions pertaining to applications that may occur later outside the United States.