USCIS Policy to Give Deference to Previous Decision

On April 27th, USCIS released a policy guidance in their USCIS Policy Manual, which is used by immigration officers in their duties, to give deference to prior decisions when analyzing extension requests. Deference will only be given when it involves the same parties and the same facts. Deference will not be given if there was a material error, material change, or new material facts.

This policy is a return to the 2004 guidance, which was rescinded in 2017.According to the Department of Homeland Security, this policy change is in line with President Biden’s executive order to provide more fair and efficient adjudications of immigration processes. For immigrant and non-immigrant applicants, this policy can be beneficial. For example, those who seek to renew visas will likely have an easier time as USCIS officers will give deference to the previous decision to give the visa in the first place. However, for those applicants who were denied and are seeking to overturn the denial, this policy will negatively impact their chances.

Here at Zhang and Associates, we have successfully represented thousands of non-immigrant and immigrant visas cases. We also understand that during this hectic time, your immigration needs are extremely important. If your needs are neglected, there can be very serious consequences that might disrupt your life. We also understand the importance of keeping up with the latest immigration news and law. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any immigration related issue, our seasoned staff will be happy to help. For a free evaluation on your case or situation, please email us at

Former U.S. Consular officer and
Visa Officer , Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He uses his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past over twenty years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

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