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USCIS Updates Policy Pertaining to Adjustment of Status Adjudications

November 19, 2020 Leave a comment

On November 17, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy guidance regarding discretionary factors to consider when making a decision pertaining to adjustment of status applications. In adjustment cases, the applicants have the burden of demonstrating eligibility, including that a favorable exercise of discretion by USCIS is warranted.

If an applicant otherwise establishes eligibility and USCIS finds the positive discretionary factors in a particular case outweigh the negative factors, the officer should exercise favorable discretion and approve the adjustment application. Conversely, if the negative factors outweigh the positive factors an exercise of discretion to deny is appropriate.

USCIS considers the totality of the circumstances, which may include factors such as an applicant’s conduct, character, family or other lawful ties to the United States, immigration status and history, or any other humanitarian concerns, to determine whether the applicant warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.

The Nov 17 2020 guidance consolidates existing guidance on the privileges, rights, and responsibilities of lawful permanent residents and it the updated guidance provides a list of factors and factual circumstances for adjustment of status that officer consider when undertaking discretionary analysis.  For example, in employment-based adjustment cases – the officers could look at following (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Positive Factor: Employment history, including type, length, and stability of the employment.
  • Positive Factor: Education, specialized skills, and training obtained from an educational institution in the United States relevant to current or prospective employment and earning potential in the United States.
  • Negative Factor: History of unemployment or underemployment
  • Negative Factor: Unauthorized employment in the United States
  • Negative Factor: Employment or income from illegal activity or sources, including, but not limited to, income gained illegally from drug sales, illegal gambling, prostitution, or alien smuggling.

In family-based adjustment cases – the officers could look at following (the list is not exhaustive):

  • Positive Factor: Family ties to the United States and the closeness of the underlying relationships.
  • Positive Factor: Hardship to the applicant or close relatives if the adjustment application is denied.
  • Positive Factor: Length of lawful residence in the United States, status held and conduct during that residence, particularly if the applicant began his or her residency at a young age.
  • Negative Factor: Absence of close family, community, and residence ties

April 2020 Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

March 26, 2020 Leave a comment
Employment
Based
All Countries
Areas except Those Listed
CHINA-mainland
Born
El-Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
India
Mexico
Philippines
Vietnam
1st
01JUN19
08JUN17
01JUN19
01MAY15
01JUN19
01JUN19
01JUN19
2nd
C
01SEP15
C
25MAY09
C
C
C
3rd
01JAN17
15APR16
01JAN17
22JAN09
01JAN17
01JAN17
01JAN17
Other
Workers
01JAN17
01JUL08
01JAN17
22JAN09
01JAN17
01JAN17
01JAN17
4th
C
C
15JUL16
C
22JAN18
C
C
Certain
Religious Workers
C
C
15JUL16
C
22JAN18
C
C
5thNon-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C
15MAY15
C
01JAN19
C
C
08FEB17
5th
Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C
15MAY15
C
01JAN19
C
C
08FEB17

USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee

November 6, 2019 Leave a comment

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that beginning on December 2, 2019, it is adjusting the filing fee to request premium processing for certain employment-based petitions.  The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 from the current fee of $1,410 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

October 2019 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
You must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for October 2019.

Employment-
based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA
MEXICO 
PHILIPPINES 
1st
01JUL19
01SEP17
01JUL19
15MAR17
01JUL19
01JUL19
2nd
C
01AUG16
C
01JUL09
C
C
3rd
C
01MAR17
C
01FEB10
C
C
Other Workers
C
01AUG08
C
01FEB10
C
C
4th
C
C
15AUG16
C
C
C
Certain Religious Workers
C
C
15AUG16
C
C
C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C
01JAN15
C
C
C
C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C
01JAN15
C
C
C
C

August 2019 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

July 17, 2019 Leave a comment

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
You must use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for August 2019.

Employment- Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIP
PINES
VIETNAM
1st
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JAN15
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JUL16
2nd
01JAN17
01JAN17
01JAN17
02MAY09
01JAN17
01JAN17
01JAN17
3rd
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JAN06
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JUL16
Other Workers
01JUL16
22NOV07
01JUL16
01JAN06
01JUL16
01JUL16
01JUL16
4th
C
C
01JUL16
C
01JUL16
C
C
Certain Religious Workers
C
C
01JUL16
C
01JUL16
C
C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C
15OCT14
C
15OCT14
C
C
15OCT14

February 2019 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

January 18, 2019 Leave a comment

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
You must use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for February 2019.

Employment- Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
El SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
VIETNAM
1st
01DEC17
08FEB17
01DEC17
08FEB17
01DEC17
01DEC17
01DEC17
2nd
C
01OCT15
C
06APR09
C
C
C
3rd
C
01JUL15
C
22APR09
C
01AUG17
C
Other Workers
C
01AUG07
C
22APR09
C
01AUG17
C
4th
C
C
01MAR16
C
01SEP17
C
C
Certain Religious Workers
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C
01SEP14
C
C
C
C
15JUN16
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
U
U
U
U
U
U
U

December 2018 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

November 14, 2018 Leave a comment
Employment- Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
El SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
1st
01JUN18
01OCT17
01JUN18
01OCT17
01JUN18
01JUN18
2nd
C
08SEP15
C
22MAY09
C
C
3rd
C
01DEC15
C
01JAN10
C
01AUG17
Other Workers
C
01JUN08
C
01JAN10
C
01AUG17
4th
C
C
01MAY16
C
C
C
Certain Religious Workers
C
C
01MAY16
C
C
C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C
01OCT14
C
C
C
C
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C
01OCT14
C
C
C
C

March 2017 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment
Employ-
ment
based
All Charge-
ability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 15NOV12 C 15APR08 C C
3rd 01OCT16 01OCT13 01OCT16 22MAR05 01OCT16 15OCT11
Other Workers 01OCT16 01DEC05 01OCT16 22MAR05 01OCT16 15OCT11
4th C C 15JUL15 C 15JUL15 C
Certain Religious Workers C C 15JUL15 C 15JUL15 C
5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)
C 15APR14 C C C C
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
C 15APR14 C C C C
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