USCIS Retracts RFEs on I-485s for Dependents05 Jul 2013
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a large volume of notices retracting many previously-issued requests for evidence (RFEs) on pending applications for adjustment of status (I-485) cases. These notices instruct derivative / dependent spouses and children to ignore the RFEs that were intended for principal I-485 applicants.
Background: Identical RFEs Issued to Derivatives
As explained in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Influx of RFEs on Pending I-485s (21.Jun.2013), the Texas Service Center (TSC) issued a large number of identical RFEs seeking information and documentation from selected I-485 applicants. The RFEs all stated that the recipients were employment-based (EB) principal applicants, but many of them were actually derivative applicants.
USCIS Acknowledges Error, Issues Correction Notices
The USCIS intended to issue the RFEs only to principal applicants in EB cases. The USCIS has acknowledged that sending these RFEs to derivatives was an error. In an effort to rectify this situation, the USCIS has issued documents entitled “Notice to Applicant” to many of those individuals who previously received the erroneous RFEs.
The notices contain identical language, advising the recipients that the USCIS sent standard RFEs to applicants who may be impacted by the expected cutoff date movement in the upcoming August and September 2013 Department of State (DOS) visa bulletins. [See MurthyDotCom‘s July 2013 Visa Bulletin: EB Cutoff Date Movement Predictions (14.Jun.2013)]. The notices further state that the USCIS has become aware that RFEs intended only for principal applicants were erroneously mailed to derivative applicants.
Notice Instructs Response on Other Potential Issues
The notices instruct recipients that, if they are derivative applicants, they should disregard the RFEs that state, “You are an Employment Based Principal Applicant”. The notices assure the derivative recipients that their applications will not be denied for failure to respond to these RFEs. However, the notice clarifies that derivatives are still required to answer any other RFEs that may be addressed to them.
Clarifications and Suggestions
The notices do not apply to individuals who are the principal applicants in an I-485 case. Thus, principal applicants who received one of the identical RFEs in June 2013 still need to address the matters raised in those requests. The same holds true for derivative applicants who have received one of the RFEs, but who do not receive one of the notices. Those who receive the notices and plan to rely on them should retain these documents carefully, in a safe location.
No explanation has been offered for this particular mix up. The Murthy Law Firm appreciates the prompt efforts of the USCIS to acknowledge this error and take steps to remedy the matter. MurthyDotCom will update readers if there are any further developments related to this incident.
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