I-485 Receipts May Contain Incorrect Priority Date12 Nov 2012
Questions have arisen surrounding some recent applications for adjustment of status (I-485) cases filed for derivative (dependent) beneficiaries. The receipt notices issued for some of these cases reflect the date of the I-485 filing in place of the correct priority date. The USCIS has explained why this has occurred and that it is not a cause for concern.
Background: Family Members File I-485s Based on Principal
In permanent resident (green card) cases, each eligible family member seeking to adjust status to permanent residence in the United States must submit an I-485. In employment-based (EB) cases, the employer generally must file a PERM labor certification as well as an I-140 employer petition for the sponsored principal worker. After this, if permissible, the sponsored worker and any dependents (spouse and/or child/ren), is eligible to file an I-485 based on the principal’s case. The spouse and child/ren receive the same priority date and same EB category as the sponsored worker (sometimes referred to as the principal or primary beneficiary).
System Incorrectly Assigns I-485 Filing Date as Priority Date
In some instances, I-485 receipts for derivative spouses and children have been issued with incorrect priority dates. In these cases, the receipt notices may show the I-485 filing date, rather than the priority date. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assures that the derivative beneficiaries will be given the same priority date as the principal applicant. However, due to irregularities in the system used by the USCIS, there is no way to assign the priority date for purposes of the receipt notice on a newly filed derivative I-485. The computer system, therefore, simply inserts the receipt date into the data field where the priority date should go.
It is important to note that the USCIS has offered assurance that the wrong date will NOT be utilized in processing or adjudicating the I-485 case for any such dependent family members.
We at the Murthy Law Firm appreciate USCIS clarification of this matter. Given the importance of priority dates, both as to eligibility for I-485 filing and for I-485 approval, there is natural concern when one’s date is identified incorrectly in any official document. According to the information provided, the USCIS confirms that there is no need for concern and that there should be no need to seek a correction if the error is limited to the I-485 receipt notices for derivative beneficiaries of the principal applicants in such cases.
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