USCIS has majorly reconfigured how it is handling I-485s based upon I-140s. For all I-485s based upon I-140s EXCEPT Employment Based Category 4 cases (religious workers and some other special immigrants), USCIS is transferring the I-485 cases from the Texas Service Center and the Nebraska Service Center, where they are currently handled, to the National Benefits Center.
Here is what AILA has learned of the process:
EB Form I-485 cases already with officers will continue to be adjudicated at the NSC and TSC, as will Requests for Evidence (RFEs) that have already been issued. NSC management has not provided a timeframe for how quickly individual cases will be transferred to NBC, but they informally indicated that approximately a thousand cases per week are already being shipped and that the number is expected to rise sharply. Members are reporting that they have started to receive transfer notices for their clients’ I-485 applications followed by the online case status update. This is described as a long-term jurisdictional change directed by USCIS-HQ, and NSC, TSC and NBC are all in the process of implementing it.AILA Practice Alert: AILA Doc. No. 22040104 | Dated April 1, 2022
Will this actually work to bring down processing backlogs and shorten the time frames for cases? Certainly it should help with I-140 timeframes, as it frees up TSC and NSC to adjudicate more of those cases. In terms of the I-485 cases, that will remain to be seen – but it is a hopeful move that they are consolidating these cases, both for the speed of adjudication and for consistency in adjudication. However we will need to wait and see what happens. We will keep you updated.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.