USCIS Answers FAQs on Pending I-485 Adjustment Applications

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published answers to a list of frequently asked questions related to pending employment-based (EB) adjustment of status applications (form I-485). The FAQs provide information on steps the USCIS is taking to maximize the use of employment-based immigrant visa numbers for fiscal year 2022, which runs through September 30, 2022. The published list also includes practical instructions for I-485 applicants hoping to secure lawful permanent resident status before the end of the fiscal year. A summary of some of the key points is provided here for the benefit of MurthyDotCom readers.

Steps Taken to Maximize Use of Employment-Based Visa Numbers

The USCIS lists a number of steps taken to use as many of the employment-based immigrant visa numbers available for the current fiscal year as possible. Some of these steps include:

  • Applying risk-based interview waiver determinations for EB I-485 applications, resulting in most applications being adjudicated without interview
  • Prioritizing the adjudication of underlying immigrant visa petitions (e.g., form I-140) for beneficiaries who may receive immigrant visas during the current fiscal year
  • Reusing biometrics for certain I-485 applicants
  • Establishment of a new process and a dedicated single mailing address for interfiling requests
  • Proactively identifying applications that lack a valid report of medical examination and vaccination record (form I-693) and issuing requests for evidence (RFEs) in those cases
  • Temporarily waiving the requirement for the rest of the current fiscal year that the civil surgeon sign the form I-693 no more than 60 days before the applicant files the I-485 application

Advice for I-485 Applicants Who Filed Without Submitting Form I-693

If a foreign national filed an I-485 application without a form I-693, the USCIS recommends against submitting the medical report until the USCIS contacts the applicant to request it. The USCIS notes, if an I-693 is submitted unsolicited, it likely would be difficult to match the I-693 with the individual’s pending I-485 application. If a foreign national submitted an I-485 without including the I-693, and the person’s priority date is current, the USCIS recommends that the individual proactively obtain the signed I-693 from a civil surgeon but wait for the USCIS to issue an RFE on the medical report and then promptly submit it. Note that, if the I-485 has already been filed, the I-693 generally remains valid for two years from the date it is signed by the civil surgeon.

Transferred Files and Processing Times

The USCIS explains that, if a person receives a notice indicating the I-485 has been transferred, this generally means the case is “moving toward adjudication.” Conversely, if a person has not yet received such a notice, the USCIS notes that these efforts are ongoing.

Also, the USCIS recognizes that many applicants are concerned over the lengthy processing times indicated on the USCIS website for I-485 applications pending at the Texas Service Center (TSC) and the Nebraska Service Center (NSC). As explained by the USCIS, however, this chiefly is a product of having moved a significant number of these cases to the National Benefits Center, leaving a disproportionate number of outlier cases at the TSC and NSC.


With only a few months left of the current fiscal year, the hope is that the USCIS will speed up its processing of all pending I-485 applications. In the meantime, those with pending I-485 applications should keep close watch for any other USCIS instructions on steps necessary to complete the adjudication process.


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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.