USCIS Issues Policy Memo Disallowing Concurrent Filings for Special Immigrant Religious Workers
In January 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a policy memorandum dated November 9, 2010, which states that any Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) where the underlying basis for adjustment is an I-360 petition for a special immigrant religious worker must be filed based on an approved I-360 petition. USCIS service centers and offices (including the lockboxes) must reject any Forms I-485, I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization), or I-131 (Application for Travel Document) filed concurrently with or based on a pending I-360 petition seeking the special immigrant religious worker classification.
The new guidance was issued pursuant to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, No. 09-35734 [9th Cir. Aug. 20, 2010]). The memo (PDF) notes that any I-485 based on an I-360 religious worker petition filed before November 9, 2010, will be accepted and adjudicated pursuant to the guidelines established in an earlier memorandum issued on August 5, 2009 (Memorandum HQDOMO AD09-45, “Clarifying Guidance on the Implementation of the District Court’s Order in Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, No C07-1881RSL [W.D. Wash. June 11, 2009]”).