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Now that many of the eligible Employment-Based applicants who were yoyo’d because of the July visa bulletin scandal have filed or will soon file their I-485 – Applications to Adjust Status, they want to know what will happen next.
For those who applied for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and/or a Travel Document (Advance Parole), these should arrive within 90 days of filing. The USCIS will schedule a fingerprint and biometrics appointment for EAD applicants. This will take place at a USCIS Support Center.
If interim benefits are taking too long, applicants can request an InfoPass appointment at their local district office online. In Boston, where I practice, the current procedure allows those who have been waiting more than seventy days to inquire (which usually results in expediting the application) by making an InfoPass appointment. However, these policies vary by district and are subject to change somewhat frequently. Usually immigration lawyers are aware of such changes and will advise clients of the current policy if they inquire. In light of the volume of applications the USCIS will be receiving by mid-August, I suspect there will be delays.
Both the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole are renewable annually (for a fee) until the I-485 application has been adjudicated. The EAD allows the holder to work for any employer and Advance Parole allows the applicant to travel internationally while his or her I-485 application is pending.
At this point it is impossible to accurately predict how long the process of obtaining permanent residence will take. Given the high volume of applications the USCIS is expected to receive by mid-August and the limited availability of visa numbers, it will likely take several years. Hopefully Congress will act to at least temporarily make additional numbers available.
Immigration law is fluid and everything is subject to change with little notice. I will do my best to update you with important developments as I learn of them.