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What to Do If I Suspect My I-485 May Be Denied Due to Abandonment?

I Traveled Abroad Without Valid AP or H-1/H-4/L-1/H-2 Status and Visa:  What to Do If I Suspect My I-485 May Be Denied Due to Abandonment?

Given the significant case volumes, it is possible that a USCIS adjudicators may not take the time to thoroughly review all aspects of an I-485 application, including check for possible abandonment as a result of international travel post-I-485 filing.    As a result, it is possible to obtain I-485 approval even when the application should have been denied.

Erroneous I-485 green card approvals like this are very unfortunate and extremely difficult to correct; We recommend taking proactive steps if it is clear that I-485 has been approved in error; not doing anything may cause significant issues in the future, including getting the green card rescinded and facing a Notice to Appear (NTA) as part of removal proceedings.

If a I-485 applicant ends up traveling abroad (and returning to the US) without either a valid advance parole before their US departure or valid status and visa stamp, also before their US departure, then they will need to understand that their pending I-485 application is subject to denial due to abandonment.

The next steps and options are extremely situation and case specific so we encourage seeking legal guidance However, the options may be to:

  • Withdraw the pending I-485 and file a new I-485 application.   Not suitable if there is no current priority date allowing I-485 filings or if the applicant is not in valid nonimmigrant status (such as H, L, K).   Also not suitable if the candidate has changed employers from the I-140 petition or if the I-140 sponsored position has changed significantly.   Depending on the circumstances, this may require a new H-1 or L-1 petition filing and possibly H-1B stamping abroad for a new US reentry on H/L status.
  • Withdraw the pending I-485 and seek NVC/consular processing.    May be suitable if the applicant is planning to spend time outside of the US. May also not be suitable if the applicant is no longer employed by the I-140 sponsoring employer.

While it may be tempting to do nothing and hope for USCIS error in approving the pending I-485 application even when it should be denied, we certainly do not recommend doing so.      Our office is ready to help analyze a possible abandonment situation and provide suggestions and options.  

Read More: Cilawgroup

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