Immigration Lawyer Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man

Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.

What happens if the USCIS officer does not have my whole file at the time of my green card (I-485) interview?

QUESTION: I am a US citizen. I filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for my mother, and then separately filed an I-485 Application to Adjust Status green card application for her. She was interviewed for her I-485 application in March. We received the approval for her I-130 petition in April. But we are still waiting for the approval of her green card. It looks like the two applications were not connected to each other. What do I need to do?

(Photo by Bill Smith,,

THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: If the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and the I-485 Application to Adjust Status (green card application) were not properly connected to each other, then the USCIS adjudicating officer would not have the applicant’s entire file at the time of the interview. This is not uncommon, especially when the I-130 and I-485 are filed separately, or where the applicant has older previous applications that were filed with USCIS. When this happens, the adjudicating officer will usually tell the applicant that they are missing part of their file and must request the missing file(s) from another USCIS office before making a decision on their I-485 application.

If the interviewing officer told your mother that they were missing part of her file at the time of the interview, then you will need to wait until the officer is able to have the file sent to them. The USCIS officer is not supposed to approve the I-485 application without having the applicant’s entire file to review at the time they approve the application. When this happens, it is common for it to take a month or two (sometimes longer) for the  adjudicating officer to obtain the missing part(s) of the applicant’s file and to adjudicate the application. Sometimes the officer needs to schedule a new interview. But often times a new interview is not required for the officer to adjudicate the application once they receive the missing part(s) of the file.


Published 5/12/2020 by attorney Ari Sauer.

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Submit questions to Ari Sauer – The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to Questions submitted by email may be posted on this site, without personal information, unless the email specifically requests that we not use the question for this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation appointment with attorney Ari Sauer. Sending in a question by email or any other means does not create an attorney-client relationship. * This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing, and the rules stated may not be current or apply to your particular situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer rather than relying on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.


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