Identical requests on Adjustment of Status applications have been issued specifically to EB-2 applicants chargeable to India.
On June 13, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) began issuing a substantial number of identical Requests for Evidence (RFEs) on pending employment-based I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. The RFEs are dated June 13 and June 14, and applicants and their attorneys have now begun to receive hard copies of the RFEs.
The RFEs all appear to have originated from the USCIS's Texas Service Center and have been issued specifically to EB-2 applicants chargeable to India. The RFEs request the following: (1) evidence of continuous employment authorization in the United States from the date of filing through the present and (2) a currently dated verification of employment letter.
In some cases, these requests have been issued to derivative applicants whose eligibility for adjustment does not necessitate an employment offer or valid work authorization.
Continuous Work Authorization
The RFEs request proof of an applicant's continuous employment authorization in the United States from the date that the I-485 application was filed through the present. The nature of the requests suggests that the USCIS is closely scrutinizing whether adjustment applicants have been employed without authorization during the time that their I-485 applications have been pending. Accordingly, applicants and their attorneys should ensure that a complete history of employment authorization is provided with each RFE response.
Verification of Employment Letter
The RFEs also request a currently dated employment verification letter from the applicant's original employer or, in the case of adjustment portability applicants, from the applicant's new employer. The employment verification letters must include the applicant's title, job duties, minimum education or training requirement, dates of employment, and salary offered. In addition, the letters must be printed on company letterhead and bear an original signature by a person authorized to confirm an offer of permanent employment.
In some cases, these RFEs have been issued to derivative adjustment applicants and have included the following erroneous language: "You are an Employment-Based Principal Applicant" and "A valid job offer may be required for your adjustment." Derivative applicants in receipt of these RFEs are being asked to provide proof of continuous work authorization and verification of employment letters. Often, derivative applicants (particularly dependent children) have never applied for work authorization. Moreover, neither of these items is required for adjustment eligibility for derivative applicants under the regulations. It is unclear what the USCIS's reasoning was in issuing these RFEs to derivative applicants; the USCIS may have simply utilized an identical template without regard to context.
For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following attorneys:
Lisa Stephanian Burton