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(#138-11/01/00)

CONSULAR PROCESSING UPDATE


The US Department of State Visa Office has issued a 2-pronged cable that should help in the movement of employment-based adjustment of status cases to consular processing. The first prong of the cable requires posts to directly accept for consular processing a case where an I-140 was approved for adjustment of status and an I-824 requesting consular processing has been filed for an individual who was last resident in the post's jurisdiction, provided the following are provided:

1. Original I-797 approval notice for I-140;
2. Copy of I-140 petition asfiled with support documents - no need to be certified;
3. Copy of theI-824 filing receipt.

The second prong of the cable authorizes posts to accept on a discretionary basis the cases discussed above for persons not considered resident in that consular district, using the same documentation. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has already noted its willingness to accept such third country national cases. It should be noted, however, that any post accepting such discretionary cases may cease to do so at any time, and is likely to stop accepting the cases if the volume becomes too high.

IMPORTANT REMINDER. People should be mindful of possible accruals of "unlawful presence" when determining whether to take advantage of this procedure.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS UPDATE

The California Service Center set a goal to adjudicate 18,000 I-485s(adjustment of status applications) by September 30, 2000. Once the CSC receives the fingerprint clearance from the FBI, in general it can take an additional 4 to 5 weeks for final adjudication of the I-485 application from the date the CSC receives the results. Attorneys can check with the FBI when fingerprints were sent to the California Service Center and can then inquire with the INS about an I-485 application after the 5 weeks have passed. Attorneys can also request a fingerprint appointment for those who have not received one or if the fingerprints previously submitted have expired.

Now is a good time to contact your attorney to make sure that these new procedures are being followed with your case.

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