Immigration Background Check Delays - New Policy Affecting I-485 and -601 Applications

February 28, 2009
US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced today background check policy update affecting adjustment of status and waivers of inadmissibility cases delayed by long-pending background checks.  While USCIS has not changed its national security requirements, they did modify their existing guidance for some procedures that will affect the detention and removal of people.   

USCIS reported that nearly 50,000 applications for permanent residence are approvable but just awaiting an FBI name check which has taken more than 180 days.  Applicants with long pending cases can contact the USCIS through the 1-800-customer service number (1-800-375-5283) or make an INFOPASS appointment to visit their local CIS office.  The USCIS press release states that they will begin prioritizing these long delayed cases, requesting additional definitive FBI fingerprint checks.  Applicants who are unable to go to an INFOPASS appointment may also hire an immigration visa attorney to conduct the status check for them.

For many people awaiting final adjudication of their petitions, expect that USCIS may contact you to request that your fingerprints be taken again at a local application support center.  Keep in mind that the Department of Homeland Security may initiate removal proceedings if negative information is received through an adverse background check.