USCIS is issuing erroneous denials of COS and AOS applications where the foreign-national has purchased, but not used, an airline ticket to depart the U.S.

USCIS is issuing erroneous denials of COS and AOS applications where the foreign-national has purchased, but not used, an airline ticket to depart the U.S. CBP has already informed USCIS of this issue and expects a speedy resolution.

AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) has received reports from multiple AILA members who have received denials of change of status (COS) and adjustment of status (AOS) applications where the client had purchased, but not used, an airline ticket to depart the U.S. The sole reason cited in the denials is the alien's alleged departure from the United States, and constructive abandonment of the application.

CBP explained that when an alien purchases a plane ticket, this information is uploaded in its computer system, which is shared with USCIS. This is known as an "implied departure" and is displayed on a preliminary screen in the system. If the alien never actually boarded the plane and departed the United States, the USCIS officer will not be aware of this fact if he or she fails to click to a deeper level of the electronic record. The fact that aliens are being denied COS/AOS applications in these cases is therefore a simple officer training issue.