U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify that, effective immediately, USCIS will accept the self-identified gender marker for individuals requesting immigration benefits. The gender marker they select does not need to match the gender marker indicated on their supporting documentation.
The update 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. The guidance in this Policy Manual section does not currently apply to Form N-565, and individuals submitting this form must continue to follow the form instructions.
Benefit requestors seeking to change their gender marker after their initial filing should refer to the Updating or Correcting Your Documents webpage. Currently, the only gender markers available are “Male” (M) or “Female” (F). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working on options to include an additional gender marker (“X”) for another or unspecified gender identity. USCIS will update its forms and the Policy Manual accordingly.
In April 2021, DHS published a Request for Public Input seeking the public’s feedback on barriers to USCIS benefits and services. Responses to this request indicated that the evidentiary requirements associated with gender marker changes created barriers for individuals requesting immigration benefits. Through subsequent listening sessions with DHS, stakeholders have further highlighted how this policy change will remove barriers and reduce burdens for applicants and petitioners, in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. In addition, this furthers DHS efforts under Executive Order 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, and Executive Order 14091, Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
The new guidance can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual. Visit the Policy Manual Feedback page to comment on this update. USCIS welcomes feedback on this guidance and will consider any comments received in future updates.