AOS denied for leaving the USA when you didn’t? How does USCIS know when I leave the US?

imagesDid you ever wonder whether USCIS actually knows when you leave the country, and, if they do, how do they know?  Hopefully we can answer these questions for you in this blog post.

First, yes, USCIS does know when you leave the US.  How you may ask?  Well, whenever you as a foreigner buy a ticket, that information is sent to the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP).  CBP then sends the information to USCIS.  This is displayed on one screen in the USCIS computer system that the officer in charge of your case can access.  Once you actually board the plane, the system is again updated and the officer, by drilling down into the system can verify that fact as well as the date, etc.

This all came to light for many recently when USCIS began denying many application stating that the persons who filed the application had abandoned the application by leaving the US while it was pending (for changes of status and the adjustment of status applications, you need to remain in the US while they are pending or they can be considered abandoned).  USCIS was basing this off that preliminary screen showing that a ticket had been purchased.  Unfortunately the officer failed to drill down to see if the person actual used the ticket and boarded the plane, etc.

If you received such a denial, you should consult and attorney so that they can remedy the situation.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.


Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

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