Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CIS reverses policy on overdue name checks

USCIS has reversed its policy of allowing I-485 (Adjustment of Status) applications, and some other applications, to be approved if the FBI name check was taking longer than 180 days. In February 2008, CIS announced a policy whereby adjudicators could automatically approve adjustment applications where an FBI name check had been pending for more than 180 days and if there were no other reasons to deny the case.

At the time this policy was introduced, security clearance was very slow, sometimes taking months or years. Now, CIS says that the FBI is processing name checks in less than 90 days in many cases. Because so few name checks take over 180 days, according to CIS, they are rescinding last year's policy. If a name check is still pending after 150 days now, adjudicators must contact CIS headquarters, who will ask the FBI for the reason for the processing delay. Depending on the FBI's response, the adjudicator might be allowed to approved the case.

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