The NVC will now consider the filing of an I-601A Hardship waiver for processing with USCIS to be a valid form of “contact,” and as such, will no longer send termination letters to applicants with pending immigrant visa cases at the National Visa Center. In the past, if the NVC did not hear from an applicant for 1 year, it would automatically send out a Termination Inquiry Letter advising applicants to notify them if they still wish to continue with visa processing. If they do not hear from the applicant, the case is automatically terminated and USCIS is notified of the termination. This could lead to the revokation of an approved I-130 Petition requiring applicants to file new I-130 Petitions to begin the process all over again. The NVC would also send the termination letters to those applicants with pending I-601A Hardship waivers with USCIS. This new policy will stop the issuance of those letters for those who filed a I-601A Hardship Waiver application with USCIS preserving the I-130 Petition approval while the I-601A is being adjudicated. The NVC further advised its system will be updated to “reset the one-year clock” when the I-601A is approved or denied.
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