For the most of 2019, we have seen the administration tighten its policies on immigration through a series of policy changes and Attorney General rulings. Interestingly, though, USCIS issued a Policy Alert late last week that may be beneficial to conditional permanent residents who have now married someone else, particularly those whose residence has been “terminated” by USCIS and who are now awaiting court proceedings. Up until recently, the government has maintained that USCIS could not adjust the status of such a person, even if married to someone else and prima facie eligible to adjust, because an Immigration Judge needs to formally terminate that person’s status (and hence, officially revoke that person’s permanent residence.) This position has always created a tension with the seminal case regarding these circumstances, Matter of Stockwell, but in any case, this has been the reality for a few years now. Fortunately, USCIS appears to be relaxing this strict policy and allowing itself to adjudicate these types of cases under certain circumstances. According to the policy amendments, USCIS may now adjust the status of a conditional permanent resident whose status has been terminated by USCIS if
- the alien has a new basis of adjustment
- the alien is otherwise eligible to adjust status; and
- USCIS has jurisdiction over the adjustment of status application.
Two important notes: firstly, USCIS notes that time spent in prior conditional permanent resident status does not count towards the residency requirements for naturalization; and secondly, this guidance applies to adjustment of status applications filed with USCIS on or after November 21, 2019.
For more information on this policy change and how it may affect your situation, please contact our office for a consultation. The above is general information only. It is not specific legal advice nor intended to create an attorney client relationship. If you need advice, please consult with an attorney.