Green Card on Hold: Process of Retrogressed I-485 Applications
In December 2019, USCIS answered questions submitted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) regarding what happens after an I-485 interview when the applicant is affected by visa retrogression.
Visa retrogression occurs when more people apply for a visa in a category than there are visas available for that month. If that happens, after your interview with USCIS, the officer will provide the Adjustment of Status (AOS) applicant with a Notice of Interview Results.
Generally, the Field Office does not hold employment-based AOS cases where an immigrant visa category has retrogressed. The Field Office will forward the case either to the National Benefits Center (NBC) or the Texas Service Center (TSC). Employment-based visa retrogressed cases received prior to March 6, 2017, are routed to the TSC; cases receipted on or after March 6, 2017, are routed to the NBC. Family-sponsored visa retrogressed cases are held at the NBC upon completion of the interview and other processing steps.
It is important to remember that USCIS will not notify the AOS applicant of an immigrant visa becoming available. Applicants may visit the current Visa Bulletin maintained by the Department of State (DOS), which informs the public of the current month’s visa cut-off dates and to monitor when a visa becomes available to them based on their category, country of chargeability, and priority date.
As soon as the visa becomes available, USCIS will finalize processing the case based on their priority dates and the cut-off dates in the current month’s Visa Bulletin. Due to the number of immigrant visa numbers that become available, the process may take several months to be complete.
If a case was transferred to the TSC or NBC to wait for a priority date to become current, please allow USCIS for no less than 120 days after a visa has become available before making a status inquiry.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any immigration related questions or concerns as we are happy to provide free initial consultations.
The Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles is an experienced Los Angeles based U.S. immigration law firm and has been practicing immigration law since 2013. Our background makes us uniquely well suited to help you with any type of issue relating to your immigration needs.
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