Friday, November 30, 2012

I-485 Receipts May Contain Incorrect Priority Date

In permanent resident (green card) cases, each eligible family member seeking to adjust status to permanent residence in the United States must submit an I-485. In employment-based (EB) cases, the employer generally must file a PERM labor certification as well as an I-140 employer petition for the sponsored principal worker. After this, if permissible, the sponsored worker and any dependents (spouse and/or child/ren), is eligible to file an I-485 based on the principal's case. The spouse and child/ren receive the same priority date and same EB category as the sponsored worker (sometimes referred to as the principal or primary beneficiary).

In some instances, I-485 receipts for derivative spouses and children have been issued with incorrect priority dates. In these cases, the receipt notices may show the I-485 filing date, rather than the priority date. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assures that the derivative beneficiaries will be given the same priority date as the principal applicant. However, due to irregularities in the system used by the USCIS, there is no way to assign the priority date for purposes of the receipt notice on a newly filed derivative I-485. The computer system, therefore, simply inserts the receipt date into the data field where the priority date should go.

 It is important to note that the USCIS has offered assurance that the wrong date will NOT be utilized in processing or adjudicating the I-485 case for any such dependent family members.

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