New Filing Requirements Of USCIS and Immigration Court
By: Roman P. Mosqueda, Esq.
Effective April 1, 2005, and pursuant to phase two of the USCIS direct mail program, aliens residing in California must file all family-based applications for adjustment of status (Form I-485) and accompanying applications for employment authorization (Form I-765) and advance parole (Form I-131), with corresponding filing fees, at one of the following addresses:
(1) For U.S. Postal Service Deliveries: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, P.O. Box 805887, Chicago, IL 60680-4120, or
(2) For Private Couriers: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Attn: FBASI, 427 South LaSalle, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60605-1098.
A telephone call [(202)272-1001] to the Washington, D.C. Office of S. Rebecca Watson, USCIS Lockbox Project Manager, revealed that all forms related to the Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485), including the Petition for Alien (immediate) Relative (Form I-130) and the filing fee, must be also filed at the National Benefits Center (NBC) Chicago Lockbox addresses stated above.
Forms I-130ís that cannot be filed currently with Forms I-485ís for lack of visa availability under the quota system of family-based preferences, are still filed with the California Service Center for California residents.
Per Public Notice dated March 29, 2005, applications for Forms I-485, I-765 and I-131 received at the downtown Los Angeles District Office between April 1st and April 30th will be forwarded to the NBC through the Chicago Lockbox. But applications received thereat after April 30 will be rejected and returned to the applicant for proper filing.
And by USCIS Notice dated November 16, 2004, such applications forwarded to the Chicago lockbox address during the first 30 days following the effective date of this Notice will be considered properly filed when received at the Lockbox.
But after the 30-day transition period, such applications received at a USCIS location other than the Chicago Lockbox address will be returned with an explanation directing the applicant to mail or deliver the applications with the filing fees directly to the aforesaid Chicago Lockbox addresses for processing.
The adjustment interview will presumably be scheduled and conducted by the USCIS District Office where the applicant resides, or at another designated location.
The USCIS has clarified that its direct mail program and notice of November 16, 2004, do not affect nor change the 90-day requirement to adjudicate the employment authorization application (Form I-765).
For Expedited Processing
Form I-485 For Aging-Out Applicants:
The downtown USCIS Los Angeles District Office has a two-page application for expedited processing of an adjustment application due to the aging-out of an applicant. The application states the name, address, telephone number, birthday, and priority date (approval date of Form I-130 petition for alien relative) of the applicant, as well as the reason for the application or request for expedited processing.
The reason is to prevent the aging-out (becoming 21 years old) of the applicant at the interview (adjudication) date for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. Indeed, an immediate relative may age-out and fall under Family-Based 2A Preference category, or a Family-Based 2A Preference category beneficiary may age-out and fall under 2B Preference category with longer visa-availability waiting period.
But such application for expedited processing of the adjustment application cannot be filed earlier than within the 90-day period before the aging-out birthday of the applicant. So, in the case of this Authorís client who will become 21 years old on August 7, 2005, the earliest that an application to expedite processing of her adjustment application, can be filed is May 9, 2005, because May 7, 2005 is a Saturday.
Instructions Of The
A. For Asylum and Withholding Of Removal:
Also effective April 1, 2005, in addition to filing the application for asylum and/or for withholding of removal (Form I-589, no filing fee) with supporting documents with the Immigration Court, a respondent-applicant must complete the following requirements before the Immigration Judge can grant asylum or withholding of removal, by sending these 3 items to the address below:
(1) A clear copy of the first three pages only of the completed Form I-589 (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal) filed or to be filed with the Immigration Court, which must include the applicantís full name, current mailing address and alien (A) number;
(2) A copy of Form EOIR-28 (Notice of Entry of Appearance As Attorney or Representative Before the Immigration Court), if the respondent is represented; and
(3) A copy of the one-page instructions to: USCIS Nebraska Service Center, Defensive Asylum Application With Immigration Court, P.O. Box 87589, Lincoln, NE 68501-7589.
After receipt of aforesaid 3 items by the Nebraska Service Center, a receipt notice and an Application Support Center (ASC) notice shall be mailed to the applicant. The ASC notice indicates a receipt number and provides instructions to appear for an appointment at a nearby ASC for collection of biometrics (photograph, fingerprints and signature). An ASC biometrics confirmation document is given to the applicant after compliance thereof.
For Forms I-485, EOIR-40, EOIR-42A, EOIR-42B,
Likewise, effective April 1, 2005, the following requirements must be completed by the applicant before the Immigration Judge can grant relief, by sending 5 items to the address below:
(1) A clear copy of the entire application form (I-485 for adjustment, EOIR-40 for suspension of deportation, EOIR-42A for cancellation of removal for certain permanent residents, EOIR-42B for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status for certain nonpermanent residents, and I-881 for NACARA-suspension of deportation or applicant for special rule cancellation of removal), filed or to be filed with the Immigration Court;
(2) the appropriate application fee (I-485, $315 filing fee, EOIR-40, $100 filing fee, EOIR-42A, $100 filing fee, EOIR-42B, $100, I-881, $275 filing fee);
the $70 USCIS biometrics fee;
A copy of Form EOIR-28, if represented; and
A copy of the one-page instructions to: USCIS Texas Service Center, P.O.
Box 852463, Mesquite, Texas 75185-2463.
Both fees shall be in check(s) or money order(s) payable to the Department of Homeland Security.
Similarly, after receipt of the 5 items by the Texas Service Center, the applicant is sent a receipt notice with instructions to appear at a nearby ASC for biometrics collection. An ASC biometrics confirmation document is given to the respondent (and any dependent) upon compliance thereof.
And within the period directed by the Immigration Judge, the respondent shall file with the Immigration Court:
(1) the original application form;
(2) all supporting documentation; and
(3) the USCIS notice with instruction, which serves as a filing fee receipt.
Author, Roman P. Mosqueda, has personally appeared for his clients at USCIS
interviews and at Immigration Court hearings.