USCIS to begin using restricted delivery service for secure documents

8 May 18

UNITED STATES

What is the change? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that the agency will begin to use the U.S. Postal Service’s Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service to mail specified secure documents.

What does the change mean? USCIS will integrate the service in phases. The first phase was implemented April 30 and only affects documents that USCIS must re-mail because they have been returned as non-deliverable. Phase two will expand the use of the service to include the initial mailing of documents, and is slated for late 2019.

When USPS attempts to deliver a document using the Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service, the recipient listed on the mailing envelope must show ID (a valid driver’s license, state identification or passport) and sign for the mail in order to receive the document. If USPS cannot deliver the document, a notice will be left at the address explaining that delivery was attempted. The recipient has 15 days to claim the mail at the local post office indicated on the notice.

If the mail is not claimed within 15 days, it will be returned to USCIS. After the mail is returned to the agency, the recipient has 60 days to contact USCIS to provide a new address. If the recipient does not contact USCIS within that time frame, the document will be destroyed.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. Phase two is scheduled for next year.
  • Who is affected: Applicants who did not receive the secure document on the first regular mail delivery attempt.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards), Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Refugee Travel Documents (booklets) that have been returned to USCIS as non-deliverable. In phase two, the service will also be used for the initial mailing of secure documents.
  • Impact on processing time: If the mail is not claimed within 15 days and is returned to USCIS, the recipient has 60 days to contact the agency and to provide a new address. If the applicant does not contact the agency within that period of time, the document will be destroyed.
  • Next steps: If they have moved, applicants should file form AR-11 with USCIS to ensure that their address is up to date with the agency and confirm that they have the valid identification necessary to sign for the mail (a passport or a state-issued driver’s license or ID). Through the USPS Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service, recipients have the option to designate someone to sign on their behalf using PS Form 3801 or PS Form 3801-A (for apartments, hotels, etc.). Applicants are also encouraged to sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to receive delivery status notifications.

BAL Analysis: Applicants are encouraged to follow the next steps outlined above to ensure their documents are delivered or picked up before they are again returned to USCIS as non-deliverable. BAL will continue to track developments on this program, particularly as the agency looks to expand to the initial mailing of secure documents in phase two.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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