AFM Now Incorporated Into USCIS Policy Manual

Last Updated

June 22, 2020

For several years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has maintained two separate compilations of internal agency guidance: the USCIS Policy Manual and the Adjudicator’s Field Manual, or AFM. While the multi-volume Policy Manual is intended to be the centralized online repository for all USCIS immigration policies, it is still a work in progress and several of its twelve volumes are still incomplete.

For this reason, practitioners still turn to the AFM to locate USCIS guidance on many issues not yet addressed in the Policy Manual. For example, the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility, VAWA self-petitions and the affidavit of support are all examples of issues addressed in the AFM but not yet included in the Policy Manual.

On May 21, USCIS announced that it is retiring the AFM and incorporating all the AFM content into the USCIS Policy Manual. During this transition period, the AFM text has been moved to the related Policy Manual sections. For example, the AFM text on the unlawful presence is now included in Volume 8 of the Policy Manual, which addresses inadmissibility issues; the AFM guidance on Cuban adjustment is included in Volume 7.

While this new system makes it harder to find the AFM guidance, USCIS created a crosswalk between the AFM and the Policy Manual to help identify where the AFM guidance has been relocated.