September 6, 2007
USCIS has reported that as of 8/31/07, the Nebraska Service Center has issued receipt notices for I-485 cases filed on or before 7/26/07, and that the Texas Service Center has issued receipt notices for I-485 cases filed on or before 6/30/07.
Despite this report, it is widely believed that Nebraska Service Center has not completed case intake for cases filed on or before 7/26/07, as numerous cases filed before that date have yet been issued a receipt notice. Therefore, we do not believe there is reason to be concerned for applicants who filed prior to 7/26 and have yet to receive a receipt notice.
The continuing delay in issuing receipts is a problem for applicants who need to travel internationally as federal regulations provide that an individual with a pending I-485 application may be deemed to have abandoned his/her I-485 application, constituting grounds for denial of the I-485 application, by leaving the US without attaining Advance Parole (AP), or for applicants in H or L status, by re-entering the US with a valid H or L visa without providing the original I-485 receipt notice (I-797).
At this time, there has been no guidance from USCIS whether the I-485 receipt notice requirement will be waived or if other documentations can be used as substitutes (e.g. FedEx delivery confirmation, cleared filing fee checks, affidavit from the attorney). Therfore, we continue to recommend that I-485 applicants refrain from leaving the US unless they can wait to return to the US only after they have received their I-485 receipt notice.