In the past, the USCIS has required that all FBI name checks be completed and resolved before any positive adjudication can occur on certain types of cases (examples: Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status; Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility). Some applicants have been waiting years for their FBI background checks to be processed, even though their petitions are otherwise approvable. To help alleviate this problem, the USCIS has determined that where an application is otherwise approvable and the FBI name check request has been pending for more than 180 days, the adjudicator shall approve the I-485, I-601, I-687, or I-698 and proceed with the issuance of a permanent resident card.
Recently, the FBI allocated additional funds and resources to its name check backlog and has stated that it is committed to providing name check results within the 180-day timeframe. (See Harrison Alo "Update on FBI Name Check Backlog" article).
Previous regulations have prevented immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) from granting benefits to aliens before all FBI background and security checks have been completed. The revised FBI name check policy allows immigration judges and the BIA to grant immigration benefits when deemed appropriate. In the event an FBI name check reveals information after an immigration judge grants an alien permanent resident status, the Department of Homeland Security reserves the ability to detain and initiate removal proceedings against the permanent resident and, if cause is found, rescind an alien's adjustment of status.
There is no change in the requirement that FBI fingerprint check, IBIS check, and FBI name check results be obtained and resolved prior to adjudication of an Application for Naturalization.
Are you waiting on an FBI name check that you believe has taken too long? There are measures that can be taken to inquire into your case's delay. The attorneys at Harrison Alo, Attorneys at Law, have handled several of these kinds of cases and are available to discuss your concerns.