USCIS Encourages Candidates To Change Status
In today’s blog update, we will discuss why the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is asking individuals to change the underlying basis of their Adjustment To Status applications.
The U.S. Department of State’s July 2022 Visa Bulletin implies an extensive advancement for Indian citizens in the second preference category for employment-based (EB-2) visas.
On February 18, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made public a policy alert encouraging qualified applicants to consider making a request to change the basis of their adjustment of status application to the first employment-based preference category, EB-1 – ‘Priority Workers’, or second preference category, EB-2 – ‘Noncitizens In Professions With Advanced Degrees Or With Exceptional Ability.’ USCIS noted that there is an exceedingly high number of employment-based immigrant visas available in these classes during this financial year of October 2021 through September 2022, which is double the amount compared to usual.
To make a request to transfer an adjustment of status application from one basis to another, USCIS requires the following conditions to be fulfilled:
- The candidate has continuously preserved eligibility to adjust status prior to submitting the transfer request.
- The adjustment of the status application based on the original Form I-140 is still pending.
- The candidate is qualified for the new immigrant category.
- A visa is immediately available, e., the priority date is current in the new immigrant category.
In the February 2022 policy alert, USCIS stated that I-485 Supplement J is needed if one is making a request to transfer the underlying basis to a previously submitted and approved Form I-140. The aim of the I-485 Supplement J is to verify the legitimacy of the job offered in the immigrant petition used as the basis for the transfer request. The federal agency has established the USCIS Western Forms Center, which is a new centralized place for receipt of transfer requests along with a Supplement J. During September 30, 2022, a person may submit the transfer request, along with a Supplement J, to the address provided in the description box. (Address: Attn: I-485 Supp J, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS Western Forms Center, 10 Application Way, Montclair, CA 91763-1350).
USCIS will provide notices confirming receipt but only for requests of transfer with Supplement J. The processing duration of those receipt notices is not specified. USCIS also has advised that all employment-based transfer requests which are not submitted with a Supplement J be written to the USCIS office with authority over the pending Form I-485, and transfer requests with a newly filed Form I-140 be sent to the normal filing location for the Form I-140.
USCIS highlighted that a medical examination report should not be submitted with the request when making a request to transfer the underlying basis. If a medical examination report is needed, USCIS will ask for evidence.
Changing the basis of the adjustment of status application restarts the 180-day adjudication clock for portability qualification depending on the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act (AC21). If USCIS awards the transfer request, the candidate is not allowed to withdraw the request or request transfer of the adjustment of status application to a third basis at another time, with the exception of possible transfers between the first three employment-based categories.
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