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Legalese: Does filing N-400 "compel" adjudication of a pending I-751

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I know there's a (still unresolved?) debate about filing N-400 when I-751 is pending, but what do the law/regulations/case law/USCIS decisions really say on this? Does filing an N-400 really "compel" USCIS to act on the I-751? Why can't they just suspend your N-400 till a decision is made on the I-751, however long that takes?

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I filed for N400 while waiting for my I-751.  I was scheduled for the N400 interview and attended not knowing whether or not it would be a combo interview.  The IO said that before he could conduct the N400 interview, he needed to adjudicate my pending I-751.  Now, that being said, I have read posts here on VJ where the N400 was conducted, but no decision could be made until the ROC was adjudicated at a later date.  From what I see, it all depends on the office, the IO, the area...  There doesn't seem to be a concrete protocol for adjudication of these two cases.

 

I remember reading the actual statement by USCIS on this, but I can't remember where to find it. I am sure one of the more knowlegable folks here will post the link if they read your post.  It is perfectly legal and you are perfectly within your rights to file an N400 while your I-751 is still pending.  Whether it actually "compels" USCIS to act on the I-751, well, that's anyone's guess.  I have seen evidence of both yes, and no.


ROC

01/18/2017   Sent in I-751

01/26/2017   Check cashed

01/28/2017   Received NOA dated 01/20/2017

02/16/2017   Biometrics done

10/24/2017   Traveled to Minneapolis for I551 stamp

02/26/2018     Case received by Field Office - S. Paul

05/012018     Case transferred to another USCIS office for processing 

N-400

02/02/2018    Filed N-400 online

02/05/2018    NOA online - NOA letter 02/09/2018

02/21/2018     Biometrics walk-in

 

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1 hour ago, Dualie said:

I remember reading the actual statement by USCIS on this, but I can't remember where to find it. I am sure one of the more knowlegable folks here will post the link if they read your post.  It is perfectly legal and you are perfectly within your rights to file an N400 while your I-751 is still pending.  Whether it actually "compels" USCIS to act on the I-751, well, that's anyone's guess.  I have seen evidence of both yes, and no.

Thanks. Yeah, the most I could find, from the USCIS Policy Manual, has all these caveats:

 

Quote

An application for naturalization may not be approved if there is a pending petition for removal of conditions. If an applicant’s petition to remove conditions is pending at the time of filing or is filed prior to the interview, USCIS will adjudicate the petition to remove conditions prior to or concurrently with the adjudication of the naturalization application. [6] 

----

6. An officer should conduct the naturalization examination even if the petition to remove conditions is not in the CPR spouse’s A-file. The officer should follow internal procedures to request the petition. The officer must not approve the CPR spouse’s naturalization application until the officer has reviewed and approved the petition to remove conditions.

 

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To gain a larger perspective, here is a current on-going similarly-themed thread, that has been ongoing since 2017 and has close to a thousand responses:

 

While USCIS is dragging its heels, :time: It helps everyone that uses the forum.

 

Wishing you quick resolution of your immigration issues.


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

> Almost 2 years of our lives involved with the USCIS/DOS "shuffle" & worth every second of it ! <

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I'm not sure the verb "compel" is the correct verb.  You will not get a decision on your N-400 until a decision is made on the I-751.  It is supposed to happen (almost) concurrently, but recently, things have started to get bollixed up.

 

Good luck!

 

Sukie in NY


Spoiler

 

Spoiler

Our Prior Journey

N-400 Naturalization

18-Feb-2018 - submitted N-400 online, credit card charged

18-Feb-2018 - NOA1

12-Mar-2018 - Biometrics 

18-June-2018 - Notice of interview received

26-July-2018 - Interview  - APPROVED!!!

26-July-2018 - Oath Ceremony Scheduled

17-Aug-2018 - Oath Ceremony

 

 

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I have seen no evidence that filing the N-400 prior to adjudication of the I-751 causes any delays..........so my wife plans to file for Naturalization as soon as she is permitted.


                               :idea:MSC (National Benefits Center) I-751 filers- Please add your data :idea:                          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Id1duRRByZHJmhEzl9N25GqwzcnUyLCR4e4N9W6zGLg/edit#gid=0

 

Retired 20 year US Air Force Missileer

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
  • I751 mailed to Dallas PO Box: 3/28/2019
  • I-797 extension letter  for ROC dated 4/2/2019  MSCxxxxxxxxxx received: 4/6/2019
  • Biometrics apt received for 4/25/2019: on 4/12/2019
 

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USCIS field manual says I 751 must be adjucated in prior to N400 adjucation. It is cut and dry when a law maker words the law and regulation, but when it comes to enforcing it in reality, it gets tricky. Some may argue that it does not have to be concurrently adjucated because it simply means that I 751 is pending when IO is reviewing paperwork while others may argue that it forces pending I 751 to be adjucated because N400 interview was scheduled. 

 

Unfortunately, this issue is not interpreted by judicial power (such as court), and therefore until now it is really upto discretion of USCIS IO who is performing N400. If they feel nice, they can do, but if they don't feel nice, they don't have to adjucate two at the same time, which is where the gray area is and abuse can be easily taken of. Side note would be many of immigration laws never get interpreted by judicial power due to time constraints that by the time when judicial power make final judgement, it takes too long that it is no longer valid. I.e: clearly I 765 employment authorization shall be adjucated based on merit within 90 days but if one brings it to the court case to force USCIS to make decision, it takes 1-2 years by which time I 765 will be adjucated, so it is simply not worth dragging into judicial power, and since USCIS may bring it to upper court (like Appellate Court and even to Supreme Court) if they do not agree with lower court, in which cases it will take at least 3-5 years depending on specificity of the issue, what is the point of doing that? USCIS knowing exact nature of this issue, they can be bratty to its applicants showing "Mind your business, we will do our best" attitudes

 

Since there is no judicial interpretation of this clause, if it is normal organization dealing with this gray area, leadership team would provide guidance, but so far it seems that USCIS leadership teams enjoys the benefit of doubts and does not provide appropriate guidance of how IO has to do specifically.

 

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I'm unaware of anything compelling adjudication of the N-400. Many times they will adjudicate them together - I would assume it's simpler and more efficient to do so. But sometimes not both are ready for an interview at the same time, and not all IOs are qualified & trained to adjudicate both types of cases.

 

There is a provision regarding adjudication of an N-400 within 120 days from interview. See https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-b-chapter-4.

However, if they cannot confirm eligibility for naturalization, then they can request more time. A pending I-751 is a valid reason for being unable to adjudicate the N-400 since having conditions lifted is a requirement for naturalization.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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