Power of Attorney Signatures No Longer Accepted by USCIS

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that forms submitted by applicants and petitioners who are seeking immigration benefits need to have a valid signature and that they will longer accept signatures from power of attorneys.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that the new policy, which will come into effect from 18 March, is an effort to safeguard and protect the immigration system of the US, and those who benefit from it. The final policy memorandum is an update of an interim memorandum, which summarized the definition of a valid signature, and which allowed entities that were responsible for the filing of petitions with the agency to be able to use power of attorney to provide a signature. But this has now been reversed due to worries about the program integrity and consistency.

The statement from US Citizenship and Immigration Services also states that an authorized person now has to sign any form filled in by a legal entity, such as a corporation.

The decision has no impact on signatures that are used on behalf of minors under the age of 14, or for people with disabilities. Other changes in the final memorandum include that the authorized signatory must be in the employ of the practitioner and that a form with a faulty signature may be rejected by USCIS without offering the chance to rectify the mistake.