A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Contact: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Updated Info Regarding I-485J, I-485 Case Status and Medical Reports

The USCIS Ombudsman's Office has provided the following updates regarding Employment-based (EB) I-485 Application to Adjust Status, including Form I-485 Supplement J Receipt Notices, Case Status, and Medical Records (Form I-693). 

The Ombudsman's Office has received numerous inquiries regarding EB I-485 applications for adjustment of status.  The Office confirms USCIS' strong desire to speed up processing of the pending EB I-485s in order to use up all available visa numbers. The following are some helpful updates:

1. Confirmation of receipt of I-485 Supplement J form requesting transfer of the case to a different EB categories

The I-485J form is filed with the Western Forms Center, which experienced some delays in issuing receipt notices.  However, as for now, the Western Forms Center is processing receipt notices within two weeks. 

Please note that receipts will only be issued if the request is filed using the J form.  Otherwise, applicants will not receive a receipt notice.  We also remind clients to be sure to submit evidentiary proof that they meet the requirements for EB transfers to avoid last-minute denial. 

2. USCIS’ Case Status Online tool’s “temporary pause” message

If you see the following messages from the Case Status Online tool, do not be alarmed. 

We are temporarily pausing work on your application because an immigrant visa number is not immediately available to you. Once an immigrant visa number becomes immediately available to you, we will resume processing of your application.”

Applicants will continue to see this message.  This is not a USCIS error, according to the Ombudsman's Office.  USCIS does not change the online status after receipt of the I-485 J form.  USCIS confirms that this message about visa availability will remain in place until USCIS takes action on your Form I-485 (i.e., a request for evidence (RFE), decision, or notice transferring the application between offices). 

3. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

The Ombudsman's Office does not recommend submission of a Form I-693 to USCIS without an RFE request. USCIS does not issue confirmation for receipt of the I-693 form.  However, our office still recommends that applicants affirmatively submit the I-693 form if one has not been submitted yet. Although USCIS does not issue confirmation for receipt of the I-693, submission of the medical form before an RFE should still speed up the adjudication process in general.

4. Forms I-485 pending outside published processing times 

The Ombudsman's Office has received requests for assistance regarding I-485s pending outside USCIS processing times.  This is understandably a concern for applications.  However, the Ombudsman's Office explains that they are not currently able to provide assistance in this regard.   Based on our experience, applicants and their attorneys may still submit requests to USCIS directly to inquire about cases that are pending outside the normal processing times.  It should help speed up the adjudication process in general. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule a legal consultation.) 

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