The USCIS has released additional information clarifying its revised Background Check Policy. As previously discussed in our firm’s Immigration Update dated February 4, 2008, the USCIS has indicated that if an applicable Application is otherwise approvable, outside the normal processing time and the FBI name check request has been pending for more than 180 days, it will adjudicate the Application based upon the documentation provided and not continue to delay the adjudication for a response to the FBI name check. This revised policy only applies to Forms I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissability, Form I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident, Form I- 698 Application to Adjust from Temporary to Permanent Resident. This revised policy does not apply to Naturalization Applications. Additionally, the revised policy does not apply to these applications until a definitive FBI fingerprint check and Interagency Border Inspection Services check are completed and favorability resolved. The USCIS stated that in the event that it receives adverse information after an application is approved pursuant to this revised policy, removal proceedings may be initiated.

The USCIS stated that it currently has approximately 47,000 Form I-485 applications that are otherwise approvable but have an FBI name check pending. The USCIS anticipates that a majority of these cases can now be adjudicated and will be processed by mid-March 2008. If the applicants last had their fingerprints taken more than 15 months ago, the USCIS may send a biometrics appointment notice to the applicants prior to being able to complete the adjudication of their applications. The USCIS stated that most biometric requests are processed in approximately one week. The USCIS has requested that applicants wait at least until March 10, 2008 before inquiring about the status of their long-pending Form I-485 applications which may be able to benefit from this revised policy.