Adjustment of Status for Alien Immediate Relatives Admitted Under the Visa Waiver Program – All Cases must be approved, January 2012 Update!

Following our updates on the Visa Waiver Adjustments, here is a summary from USCIS Headquarters Liaison Meeting. We report some good news for many Visa Waiver Overstay clients that are married to US Citizens.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association presented the following question to the Service:
Members continue to report inconsistencies in the treatment of these cases. AILA requests that USCIS remind the field that immediate relatives admitted on a visa waiver are eligible to adjust and to release that guidance to the public, so that AILA members and stakeholders in general can address issues that may arise in field offices that are not adjudicating applications in a manner that is consistent with the guidance.

The USCIS Representative had this to say:
All field offices have been instructed to adjudicate I-485 applications filed by immediate relatives who last entered the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and overstayed on their merits UNLESS the potential beneficiary is the subject of an INA section 217 removal order.

Additionally, field offices have been instructed to hold in abeyance all VWP adjustment applications for applicants who have been ordered removed under INA section 217. USCIS is in the process of drafting final guidance including an AFM update on this topic.

So there you have it, unless you are subject to a removal order, you can Adjust your status, even after a Visa Waiver overstay. We have been filing Appeals, talking to the Media and lobbying to make it happen. I am so pleased this unjust policy coming from the San Diego Office as well as other locations is now going to come to an end. Please share your stories with us if your district is still denying such cases.