Updates on July and August 2007 AOS / I-485 Filings

The USCIS provided some updated information on the many July and August I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status (AOS) filings, at an AILA conference held in late September 2007 at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. This information should prove useful to many MurthyDotCom and MurthyBulletin readers who filed I-485 applications during that period. This will help in making travel plans and with expected dates for receiving EADs and APs, as well as other matters.

Receipt Notices Given Priority

Many are still awaiting their receipt notices for July and/or August I-485 filings, as well as for related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and/or Advance Paroles (APs). The USCIS notes that they received approximately 320,000 I-485 applications based on the July 2007 Visa Bulletin. They are prioritizing the receipting process, with a focus on the I-485s, EADs and APs. This may delay the receipting and processing of other types of cases, including naturalizations. Many naturalization cases also were filed around this period of time, enabling applicants to avoid the fee increases that went into effect on July 30, 2007.

The USCIS is aware that receipting is not proceeding in date order, and that they have cases from early July that are yet to be receipted. Large volumes of receipts are being issued by the USCIS, as evidenced by those we at the Murthy Law Firm are receiving for cases filed during that timeframe. These receipts are arriving daily.

EAD Issuance Expected within 90 Days

The USCIS says that its goal is to adjudicate EADs within 90 days, as required by regulation. This would mean that many July / August filers, who have not already, should be receiving their EADs very shortly. Some have received the EADs already, within fewer than the 90 days.

Travel without the I-485/AOS Receipt Notice

The USCIS is aware of the problem for those in H1B/H-4 and L-1/L-2 statuses who may be traveling without the I-485 receipt notice. The law requires that one have the Advance Parole (AP) in order to travel after filing the I-485. Travel abroad without the AP is regarded as an abandonment of the I-485. There is an exception to this, however, for individuals in H1B/H-4 and L-1/L-2 statuses. Such persons may travel in these statuses without abandoning the I-485, provided they also have the I-485 receipt notice. This latter portion, regarding the receipt notice, has generally not been enforced by the Customs and Border Protection at the airports or other ports of entry into the United States. The requirement for the I-485 receipt notice is still contained in the law, however. It has created uncertainty, therefore, given the number of I-485 filings, the delays in the issuance of receipt notices, and the time it is taking to obtain APs.

In order to address this matter, the USCIS is working on a regulation that would eliminate the receipt notice requirement. We at the Murthy Law Firm heartily approve of this decision on the part of the USCIS, since the requirement does not seem to serve any real purpose. Travel is increasingly a necessity in today’s world, rather than an option or a luxury. Many of our clients travel internationally for business. Of course, there are also difficult situations when individuals must travel for family emergencies.

Premium Processing for I-140 Not Expected Soon

The USCIS suspended the premium processing option for I-140 petitions on July 2, 2007. This was in anticipation of large volumes of premium processing requests. The USCIS has announced that I-140 premium processing will not be reinstated anytime in the near future. They must be able to process the many existing cases before they can promise a 15-day turnaround on I-140 petitions.


The crush of I-485 filings in July and August 2007 is having an impact on the work of the USCIS. As noted, however, many receipt notices and some EAD/AP approvals for the June, July, and August filings are coming into the Murthy Law Firm. Hopefully, the USCIS will work on receipting the older cases. It is disconcerting when one’s friends and co-workers, with later-filed cases, obtain their receipt notices first. This is not a new problem with the USCIS and it has been raised as an issue by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for bringing fairness to the system with certainty and transparency.

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.