On June 9, 2005, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, effective July 1, 2005, it will cease adjudicating I-485 immigrant petitions for foreign nationals applying as skilled workers, professionals or other workers who are not members of a profession holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability (EBP-3 workers), until visa numbers are replenished in the new fiscal year (beginning October 1, 2006). This retrogression—already in effect for EBP-3 applicants from specific countries—will now be expanded to include nationals of all countries applying in this category. As a result, all pending I-485 applications in the EBP-3 category will remain unadjudicated until new visas are issued, and no new EBP-3 I-485 applications will be accepted at this time. Employers with employee petitioners awaiting I-485 adjudication should advise their employees regarding this delay.
For questions on this or other employment and immigration matters, contact the authors listed above.