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  Finance | Financial advice | Immigration | Special Needs | Accounting | Business | Labor Law | Asset Protection

IMMIGRATION

SPECIFIC IMMIGRATION CASES PENDING FBI CHECKS MUST RECEIVE GREEN CARDS BY 03/15/2008


Gail S. Seeram
By GAIL S. SEERAM

In February 2007, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a change in their FBI background check policy. This change in background check policy applies to I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility; I-687, Application for Status as a Temporary Resident; and I-698, Application to Adjust from Temporary to Permanent Resident. If the applicants’ background check for the following types of applications have been pending for more than 180 days and their petition is otherwise approvable, then USCIS will adjudicate the pending petition and issue a “green card” by mid March 2008. Although a “green card” will be issued, the FBI background check will still be conducted. In the unlikely event that the Department of Homeland Security, (DHS) receives actionable adverse information from the FBI background check after the application is adjudicated and “green card” issued, DHS may detain the applicant and initiate removal proceedings.

USCIS estimates about 47,000 applications are otherwise approvable and pending FBI background checks for more than 180 days. It is important to note that this change in FBI background check policy does not apply to pending naturalization or citizenship applications.

Q: Why is this policy being implemented?

A: This policy change responds to a 2005 DHS Inspector General recommendation that USCIS better align its background check screening policies with those of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Q: Is this policy consistent with the national security priorities of USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security?

A: Yes. Applications for lawful permanent residence will not be approved until a definitive FBI fingerprint check and Interagency Border Inspection Services (IBIS) check are completed and resolved favorably.

Q: How has USCIS changed its national security requirements?

A: USCIS has not changed its background check policies for naturalization applications. Though adjudication of these petitions must occur if FBI checks pending more than 180 days, no application for lawful permanent residence will be approved until a definitive FBI fingerprint check and Interagency Border Inspection Services (IBIS) check are completed and resolved favorably.

Gail S. Seeram, an immigration attorney, handles cases involving family petitions, business/investors visas, citizenship, deportation, asylum, work authorization, and extension of status. Call her office toll free at 1-877-GAIL-LAW (1-877-424-5529), send an email at gail@go2lawyer.com or visit her Web site at www.go2lawyer.com.



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