On February 14, 2022, USCIS issued new guidance on recognizing informal marriages of refugees and asylees. Under the new guidance, USCIS will recognize an informal marriages in some types of applications when a refugee or asylee could not lawfully marry because of discriminatory laws or practices or because they were fleeing from persecution.
If you are a refugee or asylee and you want to know if the new guidance may affect your case, you can review IRAP’s guide on the new USCIS policy here, and IRAP’s updated guide on refugee and asylee family reunification here. These applicant guides are available in English, Arabic, Spanish, Farsi/Dari, and Pashto.
If you are a legal representative, IRAP has prepared a practice advisory to explain the new guidance and how legal practitioners can assist impacted refugee and asylee families. IRAP also has a practice guide on how marriages are recognized in immigration proceedings and other resources on our legal practitioner resource page.