Suggestions from Beacon Readers
Over the past few weeks, readers have written in with a number of comments. We wanted to take a moment to address five of the most frequent suggestions.
1) Combine EAD and AP into one document and issue for 3 years.
USCIS is in the process of developing a combination work authorization (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) card. An announcement regarding this combination card will be made later this year.
2) Allow people with approved immigrant petition to file an I-485.
The regulations at 8 C.F.R. 245.1(a) prohibit a beneficiary of an approved I-140 or I-130 petition from filing an I-485 until a visa number is available.
3) Do not count the dependents against visa numbers.
The requirement to count dependents against available visa numbers is statutory. This is not something that USCIS is able to change on its own; it would require new legislation to be enacted by Congress in order for this to happen.
4) Publish all the backlog data including that of district offices.
USCIS is currently developing an inventory spreadsheet, similar to the one for employment-based inventory, for family-based cases awaiting visa numbers. This spreadsheet would include information about the number of cases at field offices awaiting visa numbers.
5) Publish visa numbers that have been used to date in the current year.
Unfortunately, USCIS is not able to do this, because USCIS is not the only agency that uses visa numbers (the Department of State also uses visa numbers). Accordingly, publishing USCIS’s visa number usage would not be an accurate representation of the numbers used and the numbers remaining. To determine where you stand in the visa number queue, please review the Visa Bulletin.