As a direct result of the Ruiz-Diaz religious worker litigation, the USCIS announced this week that religious workers should file their I-485 applications for adjustment of status by the end of this month.
The USCIS issued this statement to remind religious workers to file for adjustment of status if they have pending or approved I-360s. The reason for this comes from the fact that the employment-based fourth preference category will become unavailable beginning September 1, 2009. The USCIS will only accept adjustment of status applications from those ministers or non-minister religious workers if they have a pending or approved I-360.
Filing an adjustment of status application will toll or protect the worker from accruing unlawful presence. Religious workers or religious organizations that have questions regarding this should call Fong & Aquino as soon as possible to ensure that they protect their workers and/or their organization from employer sanctions or other immigration penalties. –ecf