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How to File a Nunc Pro Tunc Request to Restore Status

Learn how this discretionary USCIS measure may be helpful as a last-ditch effort to restore your visa status

What is a “Nunc Pro Tunc” Request?

“Nunc pro tunc” — a Latin phrase that means “now for then” — is a legal term that is used to describe a request to have a court or administrative agency retroactively grant approval or recognition to an action or decision that was taken earlier but was not properly documented or recorded at the time.

A nunc pro tunc request is typically made when there is a clerical error or oversight that needs to be corrected, or when there is a need to have an action or decision applied retroactively to a specific date.

Overall, the purpose of a nunc pro tunc request is to ensure that the official records accurately reflect what actually took place, even if there was an administrative or clerical error that initially prevented the proper recording of the action or decision.

In the context of U.S. immigration, a nunc pro tunc request refers to a petition or application filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request that an immigration benefit or action be approved retroactively to an earlier date. This type of request is typically made to correct a filing error or to address an oversight that occurred during the immigration process.

U.S. immigration can be complex and confusing. Boundless is here to help. Learn more.

When to File a Nunc Pro Tunc Request

In the U.S. immigration system, a nunc pro tunc request can be filed with USCIS for various reasons. In general, nunc pro tunc requests can be filed in order to restore lawful immigration status if it lapses or an applicant fails to renew or extend their existing visa status before it expires. Requests can also be submitted if a visa holder believes that USCIS has rescinded their visa status in error or without proper cause.

Here are some of the most common scenarios when it may be possible to file this kind of request:

  • Late Filing: If an applicant missed a deadline to file a particular application or petition due to circumstances beyond their control, they may submit a nunc pro tunc request to have the application considered as if it was filed on time.
  • Correction of Errors: If there was an error or omission in a previously filed application or petition that needs to be rectified, a nunc pro tunc request can be filed to request the correction and have the application considered as if it was filed correctly from the beginning.
  • Retroactive Approval: In certain cases, an individual may have engaged in a particular activity or met the eligibility criteria for an immigration benefit before submitting the corresponding application. A nunc pro tunc request can be made to have the benefit approved retroactively to the earlier date when the eligibility was met.

Will my Nunc Pro Tunc Request be Approved?

It’s important to note that filing a nunc pro tunc request does not guarantee approval. Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and USCIS considers various factors, including the reason for the delay, the impact on the agency’s operations, and the individual’s circumstances.

USCIS may approve a nunc pro tunc request under certain conditions, including:

  • The applicant or petitioner must demonstrate that the delay in filing was caused by exceptional circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or a family emergency, and the length of the delay is reasonable given the circumstances.
  • The applicant must not have violated the conditions of their nonimmigrant status in any other way.
  • The applicant must not be facing deportation or removal proceedings.

How to File a Nunc Pro Tunc Request

Filing a nunc pro tunc request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) involves a specific process. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant documentation that supports your request for the nunc pro tunc approval. This may include evidence of the circumstances that caused the filing delay or error, documentation of your lawful status during the relevant period, and any other supporting materials.
  2. Draft a Cover Letter: When completing your application, it may be helpful to prepare a cover letter that explains the reason for the nunc pro tunc request and provides a detailed explanation of the circumstances leading to the delay or error. Include a clear and concise request for retroactive approval and specify the date to which you are seeking the approval.
  3. Complete the Appropriate Form: Depending on the type of benefit or action you are seeking, you may need to complete and submit a specific USCIS form. This could be a form to renew or extend your existing visa status, or an application for another type of immigration benefit.
  4. Prepare Supporting Documents: Compile all the necessary supporting documents and evidence to accompany your nunc pro tunc request. This may include copies of previously filed applications or petitions, relevant government notices or correspondence, and any other relevant documentation.
  5. Submit the Request: Submit your nunc pro tunc request, along with the completed form and supporting documents, to the appropriate USCIS office.

Helpful tip:

If you believe your situation warrants filing a nunc pro tunc request, it may be helpful to seek guidance from an immigration attorney. They can assess your situation, determine if filing a nunc pro tunc request is appropriate, and guide you through the process. Boundless’ Ask My Attorney (AMA) program can help connect you with an experienced independent immigration attorney instantly and provide you with unlimited legal consultations. Check your eligibility and learn more about the program here.

The specific requirements and procedures for filing a nunc pro tunc request may vary depending on the type of immigration benefit or action involved. Consulting with an immigration attorney will help ensure that you comply with the specific requirements and increase your chances of a successful outcome.