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Pilot Program in Texas Speeds Some Green Card Decisions


Kweku from New Jersey just submitted a question about a pilot program at the USCIS Texas Service Center, which makes decisions in employment-based green card applications from residents of the Eastern United States:

I read about a PLUS Pilot program employed at the Texas service center (TSC) under which the entire I-140 and I-485 package is reviewed by one officer? Does this translate into faster processing times for the I-485 especially if your PD is current?

The aim of TSC’s PLUS Pilot Program is to adjudicate concurrently filed I-140/I-485 petitions within 90 days.  To accomplish this, the same officer is adjudicating both the I-140 and the I-485.  However, we have been told that the I-140 and I-485 units have not been merged, and not every concurrently filed petition is adjudicated under “the Plus.”

In our experience, only about 50% of concurrently filed petitions tend to receive this expedited review, which can result in a decision on permanent residence only three to four months after filing.

Readers are also well advised to consider that the faster decision may not be a grant, but may be a Request for Evidence, and that the purpose of the PLUS program is to make a fast decision whether to RFE the I-140 so as to avoid giving the applicant an employment authorization document and advance parole document if the officer is not sure that the I-140 can be approved.

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