USCIS Issuing Denials to Petitions It Suspects Do Not Contain Original Signatures - (11/20/19)
It has been made evident very recently that USCIS is now issuing a denial if it suspects signatures on paper petitions are not original. USCIS staff cite instructions for the Form I-129 that indicate on Page 3 that "Each petition must be properly signed and filed. A photocopy of a signed petition or a typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable" – while this policy for original signatures is not new, the issuing of a denial is a departure from previous instances when a service center had issued a Request for Evidence or simply returned the entire petition with the note that signatures need to be original – this was helpful in providing petitioners the opportunity to resubmit the petition with signatures in blue ink rather than black, or by some other method that might help convince USCIS the signature is indeed original, without loss of the original filing fee and a denial on record for the beneficiary in question. In affirming that issuing a denial is appropriate, staff cited a February 2018 policy memorandum that states: "If a request or other document is not properly signed at the time of submission, USCIS will not provide an opportunity to correct (sometimes referred to as “to cure” the signature)...."
Petitioners are advised to take great care in using blue ink to provide signatures on the original versions of USCIS petitions and to sign in such a way that will give the clearest appearance of conveying its originality. Original signatures are not required on the duplicate copy, but the original submissions of the form I-129 and O & P Classifications Supplement, as well as the form I-907 for petitioners seeking Premium Processing Service, must look as original as possible. Petitioners are advised to take great care when completing and signing forms and preparing petition packages for filing.