It has been reported recently that USCIS has denied Change of Status (COS) or Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications when an applicant purchased an airline ticket to depart the U.S. but never boarded the plane and left the U.S. The denials are on the basis that the applicant allegedly left the U.S. and abandoned the COS or AOS application.
When an applicant purchases an airline ticket, the trip itinerary is uploaded in the CBP system, which is shared with USCIS. This information is displayed on the preliminary screen of the system and known as “implied departure”. The information regarding whether the applicant actually boarded the plane and left the U.S. is not reflected on the preliminary screen. Therefore, even if an applicant purchased an airline ticket to depart the U.S. but never in fact left the U.S., the preliminary screen will show that the applicant left leave the U.S. and the adjudicating officer will not be aware of this fact unlesshe or she looks further into the electronic record. As such, denial of COS or AOS applications on this basis alone is a USCIS officer training issue and should be disputed.