Service Center Operations Provide Updates

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has regular meetings with members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to discuss issues relevant to immigration law, policy, and procedures. Highlights of the most recent meetings between AILA and the Service Center Operations liaison follow.

Advance Parole Photographs

There have been individuals who encountered problems obtaining advance parole if the photograph submitted had an off-white background. The USCIS has indicated that they will look into why photographs with off-white backgrounds have been rejected in connection with an advance parole application. The USCIS has directed its customers to use the U.S. Department of State (DOS) guidelines for photographs, which permits off-white backgrounds in photographs. Digital photographs, however, may not be used.


It is a goal of the USCIS to process most non-Premium Processing H1B petitions within 60 days or less. This expedited timeframe, if achieved, would reduce the need to utilize the premium processing option.


The USCIS confirmed that it will continue to permit interfiling of I-485s when a person obtains two I-140 petition approvals. Interfiling is essentially the transfer of a pending I-485 application to adjust status from one I-140 petition to another filed for the same beneficiary. Examples would be when there is a successor employer, or an I-140 petition filed by a new employer or with the same employer based on a new and different job offer. This eliminates the need to re-file the I-485 in many situations, if there is a second I-140 petition to support the pending I-485.

National Interest Waivers

The USCIS confirmed that it is aware its regulations require National Interest Waiver (NIW) petitioners to file the ETA Form 750B with the NIW petitions. The ETA 750B is the foreign national’s portion of the labor certification application used under the “old” labor certification system prior to the current PERM system. Under the PERM system, the ETA Form 750B was replaced by the ETA Form 9089. However, the NIW regulations have not been changed to reflect the change in forms, and still reference and require inclusion of the old ETA 750B. Thus, there is some confusion over this matter. The USCIS Policy and Regulations Development division is reviewing this matter and is expected to provide guidance at a later date.

We at The Law Office of Sheela Murthy, P.C. appreciate these insights and clarifications even though we do not have a final resolution on the issue of the NIW filing procedures yet. It is helpful to know that the USCIS is providing us with the answers and guidance to issues raised to ensure accurate filings and, hopefully, more approvals for our clients!

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.