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SIJ: After You File

This page gives you information on:

Receipts, Fingerprints & Photographs

Receipt

After you file any form, USCIS will either:

  • Send you a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, which is your receipt showing the official filing date and receipt number
    OR
  • Return your form(s) and supporting documents to you

If your forms are returned to you, USCIS will include a notice explaining why the forms were returned.

  • Read the notice carefully and correct all the mistakes before you file again.

Fingerprints & Photographs

After you file the Form I-485:

  • If you are 14 or older, USCIS will send you a notice for an appointment to give fingerprints take photographs (which we call biometrics) at an Application Support Center (also referred to as the ASC)
  • You must bring a state-issued photo ID, or a passport issued by your country of birth to the appointment
  • If you also file a Form I 765, we will send you an appointment notice for that form
    • Remember to bring BOTH notices to the ASC.  Bringing only one can delay processing of your green card or your work permit
    • If you cannot make the appointment, follow the instructions on the appointment notice to ask for a new date and time

IMPORTANT!

If youThen
Cannot make your appointmentFollow the instructions on the appointment notice to ask for a new date and time
Do not come to your interview, and do not ask AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for a new appointmentYour I-485 might be denied!

 Interview Scheduling & Interview Waivers

Scheduling the Interview

 As a rule, we interview all SIJ petitioners. If you think you should not be interviewed, please see “Waiving the Interview”, below.

  • We will interview you in order to make a decision on the Form I-360 and the Form I-485 you file.
  • We will send you a notice for an interview at your local USCIS field office.
  • You will have your interview within 180 days of your official filing date.
    • If you file both forms in the same envelope, we will interview you only once.
  • Follow the instructions on the appointment notice to ask for a new date and time.

Waiving the Interview

We may waive the interview for special reasons, such as:

  • An approval after your 18th birthday will mean you would lose a place to live;
  • You cannot get critical medical care until you get a green card; or
  • You will lose a scholarship if you do not get your green card in less than 180 days; or
  • Coming to the USCIS interview would be so extremely difficult that it would be a hardship to you;
    OR
  • Other reasons that you may need an expedited decision.
  • If you are under 14, we will consider your age when we decide whether or not to waive your interview.
  • The more complete your petition is, the more likely we are to be able to decide to waive the interview.

At the Interview

At the Interview:

  •  You can bring your attorney or representative with you.
  •  Your attorney or representative must bring a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative (if it was not already sent with your petition).

We will interview you to:

  • Confirm the information in your I-360 and I-485,
  • Answer questions about your criminal history, if any (such as citations, arrests, or convictions),
  • Explain any other part of your petition that is not clear to us.
  • If you do not speak English well, you must bring a translator with you.
  • You must bring a state-issued photo ID, or a passport issued by your country of citizenship.
  • Anyone you want to come into the interview with you must also have a state-issued photo ID, a U.S. government-issued ID, or a passport issued by their country of citizenship.

IMPORTANT!

If youThen
Cannot make the appointmentFollow the instructions on the appointment notice to ask for a new date and time
Do not come to your interview, and do not ask AS SOON AS POSSIBLE for a new appointmentYour I-360 or I-485 might be denied!

 The Decision

USCIS will make a decision on your I-360 within 180 days from your official filing date. The 180 days begins on the receipt date on your I-797C, Notice of Action.

  • The 180 days does NOT include the days:
    • Between the day you miss an appointment and the day of your new appointment;
    • Between the day we send you a request for evidence (or for a Form I 601) and the date we get the evidence or form.
  • If a field office interviews you, USCIS will make the decision at the interview, unless:
    • USCIS has to wait for a clearance, or
    • You need to submit additional evidence, or
    • You need to file a Form I 601.

I-360

  • If USCIS approves your Form I-360 without a Form I 485, USCIS will send you a Form I-797, Approval Notice.
  • If USCIS denies your Form I-360, USCIS will send you a written decision telling you why we denied it. 
  • USCIS will also tell you how you can appeal the denial.

I-485

  • If USCIS approves your I-360 petition and I-485 application, USCIS will send you an approval notice, or put a temporary green card stamp in your passport
  • USCIS will mail you your green card (also called a Permanent Resident Card) in approximately 90 days
  • If USCIS denies your I-485 application, USCIS will send you a written decision telling you why we denied it
  • USCIS will also tell you how you can ask USCIS to reconsider the decision.

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/12/2011