The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its policy guidance on how individuals can self-select their gender on forms and documents. The new guidance, effective immediately, allows individuals to select their gender marker based on their gender identity, rather than just their biological sex. This means that individuals can choose to identify as male or female despite whether it matches the gender indicated on supporting documents. 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. The change comes in response to a growing demand for more inclusivity and recognition of gender diversity in the United States.
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. See 8 CFR 103.2(a)(1).
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.
Read the full press release at USCIS.
About the Author
Elizabeth L.A. Garvish founded Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC in 2011 after practicing immigration law in small boutique firms, big law and nonprofits. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker and presenter on entrepreneurship and U.S. immigration topics around the world. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves on various national committees and is the Past Chair of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA. Elizabeth is also a certified member of the EO Global Speakers Academy.