Andrew Wizner Speaks at 2013 Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
On June 29, Andrew Wizner, one of the partners of Leete, Kosto & Wizner, spoke in San Francisco at the 2013 Annual Conference of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is an immigration bar comprised of approximately 14,000 member attorneys. He also co-authored an article on his topic, the USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual.
The Adjudicator's Field Manual is a 1,400 page agency publication defined as the “comprehensive 'how to' manual detailing policies and procedures for all aspects” of USCIS adjudications. While it is “intended only for training and guidance of USCIS adjudications, and does not create substantive or procedural rights or benefits,” it is considered 'policy' and as such is binding on all USCIS personnel.
AILA invited Mr. Wizner to speak at the conference in early December 2012. Soon thereafter, USCIS announced that it would be transitioning from the Adjudicator's Field Manual to the new Policy Manual over the course of the next years. The USCIS Policy Manual will be a single repository for all USCIS guidance documents and it will be rolled out in volumes. USCIS has already published a volume on Citizenship and Naturalization, which replaces six chapters of the Adjudicator's Field Manual. USCIS has announced that it will publish the next volume on Customer Service in August 2013. Future policy in these areas will now be updated online through the Policy Manual instead of through individual memoranda.
Attorney Wizner's presentation focused on a comparison of the Adjudicator's Field Manual to the new Policy Manual and the policy making process at USCIS in general. He also offered advice on how immigration practitioners can use agency guidance, whether in the Adjudicator's Field Manual or the Policy Manual, to present their cases more persuasively.
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