USCIS Guidance on Retrogressed Green Card Applications

Over the last year, immigrant visas have gone back and forth between being available and retrogressing. There are still many unanswered questions as to what this situation means for Adjustment of Status applicants, but USCIS has finally provided some answers. 

Some of the most important information USCIS has released includes:

What information can a regressed applicant expect to receive after their interview?

So long as the officer determines that the Form I-485 would be approved and the only roadblock is that there are no immigrant visas available, he or she will give the AOS applicant a Notice of Interview Results. This document will detail why the application is being continued. 

How soon after the visa becomes available again USCIS will resume adjudication of the AOS application?

Processing will be finalized based both on cut-off dates from the Visa Bulletin of the current month and the individual’s priority date. Often, cases require updated evidence.

Additionally, the first date of each month frequently sees a high number of immigrant visa numbers become available. Because of this, it is common for USCIS to take months to complete adjudication.

Will USCIS notify you when a visa number becomes available?

No. If you wish to know when a visa that matches your priority date, country of chargeability, and category becomes available, as well as the visa cut-off date for the current month, you may:

  • Take a look at the current Visa Bulletin
  • Call the Department of State at 202-663-1541.

Where will various types of cases be held until a visa becomes available again?

Employment-based cases

  • If your case was received before March 6, 2017, it will be held at the Texas Service Center (TSC).
  • If your case was received on or after March 6, 2017, it will be held at the National Benefits Center (NBC).

What’s the best way to follow up with USCIS on these applications once a visa becomes available again?

The USCIS Contact Center offers a variety of ways to get in contact and follow-up on your retrogressed application. However, they ask that people refrain from making status inquiries until at least 120 days have passed after a visa becomes available.