USCIS announced that it will begin issuing RFEs immediately for over 10,000 Alien Fiance(e) Petitions (I-129Fs) on hold at the Service Centers to comply with the International Marriage Brokers Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA), which requires that petitioners disclose relevant criminal background information to DHS/CIS and that DHS provide this information to the foreign fiance(e) or spouse. Under IMBRA, DHS had until March 5, 2006 to begin asking K-1 fiance(e) petitioners for their criminal background information but failed to meet this deadline. RFEs will follow a template approved by OMB.
On a related note: DOS recently issued a notice to all diplomatic and consular posts regarding the DHS SCOPS Unit's recall of 1,100 K-1 fiance(e) petitions with priority dates on or after March 6, 2006. While the notice stated that most cases covered by the new IMBRA requirements were held at Service Centers pending development of a new Form I-129F, some petitions filed after the deadline were approved in error and sent to posts via NVC for processing.