Stay Ahead of the Game: USCIS Policy Update for Asylee and Refugee Adjustment of Status


February 2, 2023, marks a significant change in USCIS policy for asylee and refugee green card applications. The USCIS has updated its Policy Manual to mandate the physical presence of the applicant for Form I-485, during the decision process of their application, not during filing. The updates apply to all applications submitted on or before February 2, 2023.

In addition to the mandatory physical presence requirement, the USCIS has also relaxed its eligibility criteria for asylee and refugee green card applicants. The 2-year requirement to adjust status for asylees and refugees with previously tagged nonimmigrant status (J1 and J2) has been waived. Furthermore, the USCIS has also removed Form I-291 as a reference for refugee applicants seeking waivers of inadmissibility.

The USCIS Policy Manual updates provide a more streamlined and accessible path to obtaining asylee and refugee green cards. These updates will impact all individuals seeking to adjust their status in the U.S. and are a positive step toward improving the green card application process for asylees and refugees

The USCIS Policy Manual update affects both Form I-485, Applications for Adjustment of Status, and N-400, Applications for Naturalization. This means that not only will asylees and refugees be affected by the updated physical presence requirement during the decision process of their adjustment of status, but also individuals seeking naturalization through Form N-400.

Individuals need to stay informed about the status and process of their applications. To ensure a smooth and successful outcome, staying up-to-date on the latest policy updates and requirements is crucial. Our pages for the I-485 and N-400 provide valuable information and resources to help individuals navigate the USCIS policy changes and stay informed about their application status. By staying informed, individuals can make informed decisions and increase their chances of success in their naturalization or adjustment of status applications.

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