***FAQ***- Please check this thread before posting a question.


Registered Users (C)
Expedite Request

Sample Letter - Courtesy vidongre

Here's the format - I'd sent a detailed letter like this. You can add/remove any pieces as per your case details. I had also faxed the I-485 receipts along with the fax. Don't send more than 6 pages including fax cover sheet.

I sent a fax on March 1st. I received a response in mail on March 10th saying I do not fall under expedite category. Also, I should not fax such request as I had sought congressional help.

I didn't do anything after that. Our cases were approved on April 1st.

Your name
Your address

Vermont Service Center of USCIS

Subject: Expedite Request for I-485 application with receipt date {RD}

Dear Sir/Madam,

{My husband/wife and} I have our I-485 applications filed at VSC since {RD}. Ours is an employment based (EB-2) application and I am the primary applicant.

According to the processing times published by USCIS, VSC is currently processing EB2 applications with RD ... Whereas our RD is {RD}

We received a request for evidence on.... and we replied and the website shows the updated status on .... [expand this para]

Further to that, we completed our 2nd FP on {2nd FP date}. However the online case status does not reflect any information abour our 2nd FP.

So far we have initiated {3} status queries through NCSC and we have never receievd any response from USCIS. [This was true for us so I wrote]

The NCSC phone enquiries have resulted in asking us to wait for 30-60 days since October 2003.

This been said, I do not know if there's some kind of center error that is causing the delay/backlog in the adjudication of our I-485 applications.

I understand that VSC processes thousands of applications every day and processing times could vary case by case. However, as our cases are backlogged and as I have failed to receive any clear communication from USCIS, I would like to present this fax request to review our applications and expedite the adjudication of our cases.

I would also appreciate if you could suggest an estimated processing time for the adjudication of our applications in your reply. [This statement is important]

Here is my contact information for any further communication -

And here are our case details -

[In table format]

Applicant Name
Type of application - I-485[EB2]
Receipt Number

Thank you very much for reading this request and hoping to hear from you soon.

{Your Name}




Registered Users (C)


Registered Users (C)
fbi name check phone #

In response to the increasing number of name checks being delayed the FBI has set up a public enquiry phone #

it is 202 324 2399

I think you should only call this # when your application has been adjuducated and is pending FBI namecheck for approval.

ie, if you have had an interview, or have done a status check due to big delay and you have been told that all that is needed to get approval is your FBI name check to clear, then call FBI.

it will not make your name check happen any faster but it will let you know if

1 if/when FBI recieved request

2 if/when FBI cleared your name

3 if /when FBI sent info to USCIS

if there is a bureaucratic problem at any of these stages-- is FBI didnt get it, USCIS didnt send it, etc etc you can address it

do not call this # just out of curiosity, or this # will become useless to those who need it.

FYI here is my understanding of the name check process.

When officer opens your file, to adjudicate it, they submit the FBI name check, which is done "electronically".

Most [85%] of names clear electronically in 2-3days and there is no delay to adjudication

however, If there is a hit on your name as a potential security risk, the FBI checks your name manually, which is where the delays occur.
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Registered Users (C)
Reasons for issuing RFE

There is no way anyone here will be able to tell you why you have received RFE. You would have to wait for the RFE from CIS to know the reason. RFE will be sent to your lawyer , so keep checking with your lawyer. Generally you would have 3 months to reply to an RFE (Request for Evidence) or one month if it is a NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny).

Following are the most common reasons

-- Employment Verification Letter (EVL) , Paystubs, W2s
-- Date of Birth verification
-- Marriage Verification
-- Improper medical results
-- Incorrect Photos
-- Qualifications and Experience verification ( Mostly for I140)

Wish you all the best with your RFE response.
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Registered Users (C)
Security Checks

Courtesy : lz25888


Here is some information I get from my experience (some conclusion are deducted, might not be true)

Whole security check includes two portions: FBI name check (outside CIS) and IBIS check (CIS internal). (exclude fp check, as it's so smooth, rarely does anyone have issue with it)

IBIS check has validity of 35 days, FBI name check is one time deal (or valid for a long time).

IBIS takes minutes to finish, FBI name check takes days if you are clean, take couple monthes if there are someone in their database has similar name/background, take years if FBI forget about your case

Before 2002 Oct, CIS officer could go ahead with the adjudication of I485 after waiting FBI for 120 days. After 2002 Oct, case cannot be processed without feedback from FBI.

I-485 is adjudication-ready ONLY after the name check is cleared. (fp check as well, but again it's easy)

Based on FBI testimony, 85% case is done in 72 hours, 99% is done in 120 days.

FBI name check is handled by name check department; it’s not the same department for finger print check. Unlike fingerprint check department, which is smooth and easy, name check department seems to be not as efficient and have issues on the order how they process name checks. Sometimes they simply forget to pick up the request for a long time. (That’s what happened on my case: FBI forgot about my name check for the whole 2003! the lady returned my inquiry call was nice and gave my name check to an analyst right away and it’s done in two days!)

To give CIS credit, they did send 8 requests to FBI for my name check.

it looks like if CIS doesn’t get name check feedback from FBI after certain amount of time, they will send the request again.

Seems to me even though FBI holds major responsibility for the messed-up name check cases, CIS could do better to prevent it happen. Afterall I fixed the problem by a simple call to FBI.

If your local office doesn’t have long line, you could try stop by and ask if your name check is cleared. They have this information. (That’s where I found out my name check was the issue)

If your case is stopped at name check, congressman/senator/AILA can do nothing.

For my case, even though FBI said early Mar that my name check was done, it’s not until end of Apr. did I find from local office that my security check was all clear.


Registered Users (C)
Here is a document about FBI namecheck. I got this earlier from some post in these forums. Cant recollect or gather the link. I thought this should be in this important FAQ. Credit goes to the original poster of this document.


Registered Users (C)
Before you ask...

Before asking a question, please take some time to see if it has already been asked and answered previously.

If the forum maintains a FAQ (frequently asked questions) thread, check in there. For example, there is an excellent FAQ thread in the I-140 forum (http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?t=123975) and see also http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?t=137574 for general information on the VSC.

Altnernatively, use the search facility to search for key words (e.g. name check) in the I-485, I-140 or the forum that is the most relevant to your question.

Some of the questions which seem to keep coming up include:

Name check questions (what is it, how do I check the status etc.). See http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?p=951223#post951223 for one place where this is explained.

I got an RFE -- what could this be? Usually they want to verify your employment (e.g. they might want copies of your W2's), education etc. Usually, this is nothing to worry about and shows that they might be almost ready to approve your case (once you respond to the RFE). Wait until you / your lawyer gets the notice to know exactly what the RFE is about.

My status message says "...we responded to your request..." -- what does this mean? Read the message carefully -- "*we* responded to *your* request" -- either you or your lawyer contacted the USCIS to check on the status of the case or to change your address etc.

My XXX hasn't been received / approved yet -- what should I do?. Again, do some research. Check the latest trackers at http://immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?p=951217#post951217 (2003) and http://immigrationportal.com/showthread.php?p=951203#post951203 (2004) to see if lot's of others are in the same situation. You could also check the various "samping scans" that people have done at http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?p=950378#post950378 or even the database that rupnet maintains (http://www.rupnet.com/immigration/reports/approvaltrack.asp?place=100&predefined=1&mplace=1). The VSC's published dates tend to be somewhat bogus so take these with a grain of salt -- the information in the above-mentioned trackers is a much better indicator of where things stand so you might want to hold off on initiating an inquiry with the USCIS.

Do they want the old (ADIT) style or the new (passport) style photos for my EAD renewal / GC stamping / other?. The ADIT style photos are obsolete (even though some docs / notices still ask for them). You should supply passport style photos (http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/04_08_02photo_release.pdf).

All of these question have already been answered (in some cases probably a dozen times).

Moderators: could we maybe make this thread a sticky?

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Registered Users (C)
Well said ETA_GC. I also think we should make this a sticky. I am particularly irritated and amused by the number of postings of people who are confused by the message '..we responded to your request..'.