Ruiz-Diaz v. United States
On October 13, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a mandate overturning the permanent injunction ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington which allowed special immigrant religious workers to file their Form I-485s, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, concurrently with the organizations' Form I-360s, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Ruiz-Diaz v. USA, No. 09-35734 (9th Cir. Aug. 20, 2010). After further appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued a mandate on November 28, 2012, dismissing the case.
Effects on Religious Workers
As of November 8, 2010, USCIS no longer accepts any Form I-485 applications which are concurrently filed with or based on pending Form I-360 petitions from individuals seeking classification as special immigrant religious workers. This also includes Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
Before November 8, 2010
Any properly filed concurrent Form I-360, Form I-485, Form I-765, or Form I-131 seeking benefits for special immigrant religious workers which were submitted before November 8, 2010, will be processed in accordance with the guidelines established in the August 5, 2009, Memorandum HQDOMO AD09, "Clarifying Guidance on the Implementation of the District Court's Order in Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, No. C07-1881RSL (W.D. Wash. June 11, 2009)."
On or After November 8, 2010
Any Form I-485, Form I-765, and/or Form I-131 submitted on or after November 8, 2010, where the underlying basis is a Form I-360 petition seeking the classification of special immigrant religious worker, must be filed with evidence of an approved I-360 petition or it will be rejected.
From June 11, 2009 to November 7, 2010, USCIS accepted concurrently filed special immigrant religious worker petitions and adjustment applications pursuant to the injunction issued against USCIS by the District Court. To comply with the District Court's injunction, USCIS revised its procedures. This order was reversed by the Ninth Circuit, vacating the injunction, and became effective on October 13, 2010. USCIS modified these procedures again to be consistent with the Ninth Circuit's decision and mandate. The operational changes took effect on November 8, 2010.
The materials linked below are provided as part of an order in the case of Ruiz-Diaz v. United States.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/22/2013