Effective immediately, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now permit individuals requesting immigration benefits to select gender markers that do not match the gender marker indicated on their supporting documentation. The update to the Agency’s Policy Manual also clarifies that people requesting benefits do not need to submit proof of their gender identity when submitting a request to change their gender marker, except for those submitting Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document. Individuals submitting this form must continue to follow form instructions.
Currently, the only gender markers available on USCIS forms are “Male” (M) or “Female” (F). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to add an additional gender marker (“X”) for another, or unspecified, gender identity. Once available, USCIS will update its forms and the Policy Manual accordingly.
Individuals who seek to change their gender marker after an initial filing should refer to the “Updating or Correcting Your Documents” page of the USCIS website.
This change results in part from an April 2021 Request for Public Input by DHS, which sought the public’s feedback on barriers to USCIS benefits and services. A number of responses indicated that the evidentiary requirements associated with gender marker changes create substantial barriers for individuals requesting immigration benefits. The policy change seeks to reduce this burden.
Should you have any questions about an application for immigration benefits, please feel free to contact Stephen Antwine, Esq. of Green & Spiegel at (215) 395-8959 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.