Arthur Lee, Esq. Q&As published on the World Journal Weekly on May 19, 2024: 1. If USCIS made a mistake on the SOC code, your best solution would be to directly contact USCIS 2. Can EB category I-485 use 245K to exempt family members from being out of status for 180 days?

1. If USCIS made a mistake on the SOC code, your best solution would be to directly contact USCIS

A reader asks:
I was about to file I-485 when I discovered the I-140 approval notice from a few years ago. But the SOC code is wrong, it should be 151132, but the notice says 111132. I don’t know if USCIS made a mistake or if the law firm applied for it and filled in 111132 incorrectly, this SOC code does not exist at all. What should I do next? If USCIS made a mistake, can I apply for I-485 and I-140 correction at the same time? If an error occurs when applying to a law firm, how should this be handled?  

Arthur Lee Esq. answers,
It is largely up to you and your law firm (if you are represented) whether to move forward with the I-485 filing at this time if your priority date is current. The error appears to be minor. However, if you wish to make the correction before filing, we suggest the following: If USCIS made a mistake on the SOC code, your best solution would be to directly contact (or have your attorney directly contact) USCIS to have them correct the mistake on your I-140 approval, possibly by placing an erequest—by going online to, clicking the option “Typographical Error” then filling out the form fields with your information. Then where it asks “what has the typographical error?” you respond with “notice.” Where it states: “please describe the error” you respond: “On the I-140 approval *your receipt number*, the SOC code was mistakenly entered as 111132.” On “please enter the correction” you may state: “The SOC code should be entered as 151132. I understand that this approval was issued a few years ago, but neither me nor my attorney caught this mistake. If you can correct this typo that would be helpful and greatly appreciated.” Please note that this may or may not work due to the fact that your approval was issued a few years ago, and is not too recent. You could also have your attorney directly call (or you could directly call) USCIS Contact Center to explain the mistake and have them change it—the phone number is 18003755283. Please note that it is not a guarantee that this correction would come within the timeline that you want to file your I-485. If the correction does not come on time, you or your attorney (if represented) could file your I-485 with a detailed explanation on the error on the I-140 approval supplementing this with some of the pertinent evidence on the I-140, as well as a copy of your I-140 form that was submitted in obtaining the approval. Also, many I-140 approvals nowadays list not only the SOC code, but the occupational title on the approval. So if the SOC code does not match your job, but the occupational title does, this error may be relatively easy to explain and get corrected. It may also help that the SOC code listed on your approval is not even a valid code.

2. Can EB category I-485 use 245K to exempt family members from being out of status for 180 days?

A reader asks:
The work visa extension has not yet been approved. My wife’s I-485 has been submitted and the schedule is current. If the extension is approved, it will definitely be no problem, but if it is not approved, I don’t know what will happen? The wife is not a citizen. I saw a saying that EB category I-485 can use 245K to exempt family members from being out of status for 180 days. I wonder if there are any risks.

Arthur Lee Esq answers:
I answer this question under the assumptions that your wife is the principal applicant and that her I-485 application is employment-based. I also assume that you will also file an I-485 based upon your wife’s employment. In such a case, INA 245(k) applies assuming that she came into the United States on a visa rather than parole. Normally, a noncitizen is ineligible to adjust status if he/she engages in unauthorized employment, violates the terms of his/her nonimmigrant status, or fails to maintain status. However, under INA 245(k), an employment-based I-485 applicant (including dependent immediate relatives of the principal applicant who also submit an I-485) who engages in authorized employment or fails to maintain lawful status or otherwise violates the terms/conditions of his or her nonimmigrant visa following his/her most recent admission is exempted from ineligibility to adjust status as long as the aggregate period of the violations is 180 days or less. In your case, you can work for up to 240 days while your extension is pending. If your case is approved, of course as you mentioned there is no issue. If your extension is denied, the days that you work prior to the denial (while your case was pending) are authorized, but the days that you work after your date of denial will be unauthorized. Another issue in case of denial is that the number of days of unauthorized stay prior to filing your I-485 application (i.e. the number of days between your last day of authorized stay and your I-485 filing) will be counted toward that 180 for 245(k) purposes. You should ensure that the total number of days worked unauthorized + days that you did not maintain legal status does not exceed 180 days at the time you file your I-485. Your stay in the United States after I-485 filing are quasi-legal (and typically recognized as authorized) while your I-485 case is pending, but such does not apply to employment unless it is authorized.