Biometrics Appointments and Other Information for Pending Adjustment of Status Applications
When will I be scheduled for a biometrics appointment?
After the USCIS receives your application, the USCIS will provide you with a biometrics appointment letter with the location of the nearest USCIS authorized Application Support Center (ACS). There is no specific timeframe for scheduling of the biometrics appointments, although most are scheduled within 90-120 days of filing. Note that the results of the fingerprints are only good for 15 months, so if an I-485 is pending longer than 15 months (likely for quota backlogged cases), you will need to be re-printed. For this reason, USCIS sometimes elects to delay biometrics processing to avoid multiple visits to the Application Support Center.
Where will USCIS send the biometrics appointment notice?
The USCIS should issue two copies of the appointment letter, one which comes to our office and one which goes to your home address. However, in some cases USCIS is sending both copies to our office. Please note that as soon as we receive our copy of the appointment letter we will contact you to confirm that you have received your copy and will attend the appointment as scheduled. If you have not received your copy of the appointment letter, we will forward our courtesy copy to you. The letter will provide you with your USCIS-scheduled appointment for capturing biometrics and photographs at an ASC.
I received my biometrics appointment, but a member of my family did not. What should I do?
Due to the volume of cases USCIS processes, although a family's cases may be filed together, it is not at all unusual for notices (receipt, biometrics, approvals, etc.) to be mailed at different times. However, if more than 2 weeks have passed and your spouse/child did not receive their notice, please let us know and we can make an inquiry with USCIS.
I received my biometrics appointment, but I am scheduled to appear in a city in which I do not reside. What should I do?
Take the original appointment notice to the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to your residence on or before the your scheduled appointment date, and ask them if they will take your biometrics on a walk-in basis (without an appointment) given that the USCIS scheduled you for the wrong location.
To find the ASC closest to your residence, go to www.uscis.gov.
If your local ASC will not take your biometrics and they will not allow you to reschedule the appointment, please let us know right away so we can request that the appointment be rescheduled. Please note that the rescheduling request must be made before the appointment date has passed. Therefore, it would be best if you can go to your local ASC at least 3 business days prior to your scheduled appointment.
If you cannot or would prefer not to go to the ASC without an appointment, please let us know right away so that we may submit an official request to the USCIS to reschedule your appointment. Note that we cannot say how long it will take USCIS to reschedule the appointment.
What if I can't go to the biometrics appointment?
If you cannot go to the ASC on the date and time of your scheduled appointment, you must submit a reschedule request to the USCIS using the fingerprint notice you received from the USCIS. You CANNOT call the ASC or the CIS 1-800 number to reschedule your appointment. Please contact our office so that we can reschedule the appointment on your behalf.
I will be traveling abroad in the near future, what happens if my biometrics appointment is scheduled during the time I am abroad?
If you have not had your biometrics appointment prior to your departure from the U.S., please be sure to let us know your travel dates and give us an e-mail address you will be checking while you are abroad. We will contact you when the appointment notice comes in and ask if you plan to return for the appointment, or if we should reschedule the appointment. We will request an appointment date subsequent to your anticipated return to the U.S. USCIS will generally accommodate such requests.
Will it delay or have a negative impact on my case if I reschedule my appointment?
We do not know how long it will take USCIS to reschedule the appointment. It may be as much as several months. However, as noted above, since the results of the fingerprints are only good for 15 months, if an I-485 is pending longer than 15 months (likely for quota backlogged cases), you will need to be re-printed. Therefore, given current processing times for I-485's, in addition to quota backlogs, a delay in the initial biometrics appointment is unlikely to delay the ultimate adjudication of a case, as the biometrics will still be completed well before the I-485 is ready for final adjudication.
Although rare, it does occasionally happen that USCIS does not properly record the request for rescheduling of the appointment, and erroneously determines that you have missed your biometrics appointment. A denial notice is then generated for the I-485, stating it has been denied due to abandonment. We must then request that the I-485 be re-opened and provide proof that the reschedule request was submitted prior to the appointment date, or that the individual attended an earlier appointment. USCIS will then re-open the I-485.
Note that rescheduling the appointment more than once without valid justification could result in denial of the application.
Other Information for Pending Adjustment of Status Cases
When will I get the EAD card and advance parole document?
The USCIS is required to adjudicate the EAD application within 90 days from the date that it is received at their office. If the USCIS does not adjudicate the I-765 application within 90 days, you may be eligible to inquire at the local USCIS District Office as to the status of the application. The local USCIS office will NOT issue an interim EAD card, but rather will contact the Service Center adjudicating the EAD card application. Therefore, all requests for EAD card renewals/extensions need to be submitted to the USCIS at least 120 days prior to the expiration of the current EAD card in order to receive the EAD card in a timely manner. Currently both the Nebraska Service Center and the Texas Service Center are taking approximately three months to adjudicate an Application for Advance Parole. You may monitor processing times for both EAD Applications (I-765) and Applications for Advance Parole (I-131) on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov. Please note that once issued, both the EAD card and the Advance Parole Document will be sent by the USCIS to our office. Our office will notify you via email when the documents are received. We will either let you know when you may pick-up the documents from our office, or will forward the documents to you via Federal Express.
I want to move. Will this impact the green card case?
If you are simply moving from one residential address to another within the same metropolitan area, this should not impact your green card case. Please note that within 10 days of any change of address, even a temporary change of address, all non-U.S. citizens need to complete the Alien Change of Address Card (Form AR-11). The Form AR-11 can be completed and sent to the USCIS at the address noted on the form. A separate AR-11 must be completed for each non-U.S. citizen family member in the U.S. If it has been more than 10 days since your change of address, we still suggest that you file the AR-11. We recommend that you keep a copy of the form and send the form via certified mail/return receipt requested so that you have evidence of your compliance with the law. Form AR-11 is available on the USCIS web site. In the alternative you may also complete the AR-11 online. Further, please notify our office of any change of address so that we may separately notify the USCIS of this issue to ensure that this information is forwarded to the pending I-485 Application.
If you are moving outside of the metropolitan area, please contact our office to discuss the potential impact on your pending application.
When will my adjustment of status case be approved?
Applicants should monitor the State Department’s visa bulletin to determine whether a visa number is available based upon their priority date. If a visa number is available and the I-485 Application has been filed, the applicant should monitor the USCIS processing times at www.uscis.gov. Note that all processing times are estimated and due to a variety of factors, there is no way to know for sure when a case will be approved.
Can I change employers during this process?
Once an I-485 Application has been pending for 180 days with the USCIS, the green card may "vest" in employment-based cases (not other types) and the individual may be entitled to continue their green card case as long as they are still employed in the same or similar job or occupation, but not necessarily with the same employer. Although the USCIS has not issued regulations to describe implementation of this provision of law, the USCIS has provided written memorandum and liaison meetings answers to provide guidance on how they are currently interpreting this 180 day rule. The USCIS has stated that an approved I-140 will remain valid even if an individual changes jobs or locations as long as the I-485 Application has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more as measured from the I-485 Application receipt date. In cases in which the I-140 hasn't been approved, but the I-485 Application has been pending for 180 days or more, the USCIS is to review the I-140 petition to determine if the preponderance of the evidence establishes that it was approvable or would have been approved if adjudicated within 180 days, then the USCIS should continue adjudication of the I-485 Application under the portability provisions. However, it is recommended to have an approved I-140 petition prior to utilizing the portability provision. Please note that the provision of law is NOT available if Consular Processing is chosen.
Why is my case held for background checks? How long will the background checks take?
Each applicant is subject to background checks. The background checks are performed by various government agencies and their processing is beyond the control of the USCIS. As such, it is difficult to predict how long the background checks will take. Once they are complete, the USCIS may then take action. Please review the USCIS Fact Sheet for further information regarding this issue.
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