Immigration Litigation US Citizenship and Immigration Services

USCIS agrees to pause its “blank spaces” rejection policy


According to counsel for the plaintiffs in the Vangala v. USCIS lawsuit, USCIS has communicated its intent to stop applying its “blank spaces” policy starting December 24th. This policy, which USCIS used to reject many applications that left form spaces blank, has been criticized as wasteful, discriminatory, and unlawful.

USCIS frequently applied this policy to applicants for “U Visas” which benefit victims of criminal activities. According to many practitioners, blank spaces in many minor and even irrelevant spaces would result in a rejection of a case. Some practitioners indicated that leaving an apartment number space blank would trigger a rejection even if the address was not an apartment. Applicants were forced to annotate every single field with “none” or “N/A” in order to avoid rejections. The policy was likely to be expanded to all immigration forms.

USCIS has indicated to counsel for plaintiffs that it would discontinue this policy on December 24th, making it effective on December 28th when the federal government resumes business. At this time, there is no official statement from USCIS or filing with the court. The USCIS website continues to warn individuals not to file with blank spaces.

Attorney Mary Kenney has indicated that anyone who receives a rejection after the date of implementation should reach out to the plaintiffs in this lawsuit at