As we first alerted clients yesterday, the DHS and DOS have confirmed that I-485, Applications for Adjustment of Status, will be accepted until August 17. Attendent documents, such as EADs (Employment Authorization Documents) and APs (Advance Parole travel authorization), will also be accepted until that date. The CIS is also suspending the forthcoming filing fee increase until August 17 for I-485s, EADs, and APs. Filing fees for all other cases will go into effect on July 30.
Many clients are asking questions about a variety of fact patterns. While we urge all clients of HLG to contact their attorney to specifically discuss their case, we are offering this FAQ, which may answer many common questions:
Who can file an I-485 Adjustment of Status?
Several types of nonimmigrants may file an I-485. Keep in mind that applicants need to be in valid nonimmigrant status — such as F-1, H-1, H-4, TN, B-1/B-2, L-1 and O-1. If the applicant has been out of nonimmigrant status for fewer than 180 days, the applicant is generally allowed to file an I-485.
These are the most common types of nonimmigrants who will file I-485s:
1. Anyone who has an approved I-140.
2. Anyone who has an I-140 pending with the USCIS.
3. Anyone who has a Labor Certification that has been certified by the Department of Labor may file a concurrent I-140 and I-485.
4. Anyone who is considering filing an I-140 that does not require Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. Schedule A workers — Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists — do not need to obtain the certification and can therefore also file the I-140 and I-485. Multinational Managers/Executives, Persons whose are seeking National Interest Waivers, and Extraordinary Ability foreign nationals also do not need Labor Certifications and may therefore file a concurrent I-140 and I-485.
What is the most important thing that I can do right now?
Complete your medical examination. To obtain the name of a CIS doctor in your area you may call 1-800-375-5283. You will need to bring in a medical examination form. To obtain a medical examination form, go to http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-693.pdf
What is the second most important thing I can do right now?
Send HLG all of the items on our Step-By-Step Guide.
Where can I find the HLG Step-by-Step Guide?
If I have already sent HLG my packet of documents from the HLG step by step guide do I need to re-send these items?
No. If you have sent us documents within the last 30 days, you do not need to do anything. We will pull the file and immediately begin completing the necessary forms and letters. Please make sure that you have had you medical examination.
What are the filing fees for the process?
I-140: $195 (until 7/30). The press release is unclear if I-140, Petition for Immigrant Workers filing fees should be filed at the increased fee price. For now, HLG believes that the I-140 filing fee will increase to $475, effective 7/30. Note that only the principal beneficiary will file an I-140.
I-485: $395, adults 14+
I-485: $225, children under 14
I-131 (AP): $170, per family member
I-765 (EAD): $180, per family member
I want my case filed today so that I do not run the risk of my case getting rejected and/or put further behind in the queue after cases filed after mine. Is this OK?
There is no benefit whatsoever to filing your case today. All cases filed between now and 8/17 will be treated entirely identically. HLG understands that all applicants have a lot of anxiety about the process — which was surely multiplied as a result of this month’s conflicting announcements. Still since no cases will be prejudiced at all, HLG will guarantee a filing by 8/17 if all of our instructions are met.
Should I call HLG to confirm receipt of my documents or to find out about the progress that you are making in processing my documents?
No. We are extremely busy right now. If you want to confirm receipt of documents, please contact the overnight courier tracking service that you have used. If you must contact us, we prefer to be contacted by email.
Should I call HLG to discuss legal issues about my case?
If you have a legal issue about your case, we prefer that you send an email to the attorney or Legal Assistant working on your case. Thereafter a phone conference can be set-up at a mutually convenient time if one is necessary.
Should I file for an EAD and/or AP?
Generally yes. There is rarely any reason not to file for either document.
When will my EAD / AP be approved?
Traditionally it takes the USCIS about 90-120 to approve these cases. HLG cannot say for sure if these timelines will hold true in light of the expected massive volume of cases that will be filed in the next 30 days. Temporary EADs can be issued in some cases whose processing times extend beyond 90 days.
When will my Green Card be approved?
This is impossible to say. It could be several months or many years depending on how many cases are filed between now an 8/17.
Can I internationally travel while the I-485 is pending?
If you have a valid nonimmigrant visa stamp you generally may travel if your visa status is L-1 or H-1. All others should not internationally travel until their AP is approved.
I am engaged to marry. How does this impact my future spouse?
If you are engaged to marry, we strongly urge you to immediately do so. If you do not marry and do not have your spouse’s I-485 filed prior to 8/17, the future spouse will be ineligible to file an I-485, perhaps for several years. This means that you will need to maintain your underlying nonimmigrant status so that your spouse can obtain derivative status.
I am overseas. How will this impact my Consular Processed case?
Virtually no impact. Visa appointments for July will continue. Anyone with a July Visa appointment should present to their consulate as instructed. All documents must be taken — employment letters, Visa Screen, etc. If any documents are missing, the Consulate may delay your appointment. If the Green Card is not issued by 7/31, then the cases will likely be ineligible for a green card, perhaps by months or even years. All other people awaiting Consular cases — such as people at the Packet III stage — will have their cases put back into retrogression, effective 8/1.