Musings on Immigration

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Important Change in Priority Date Filing Process in October Visa Bulletin

In a surprising move (more for the speed with which they did it, rather than the actual act) USCIS and the Department of State (DOS) announced that beginning with the visa bulletin effective October 1, 2015, USCIS will now accept for filing I-485 adjustment of status applications to adjust status to Permanent Resident according to a separate filing date chart, even though the priority date is not current 

This new filing date chart is published in DOS’s Visa Bulletin alongside the usual chart outlining which Priority Dates are current and eligible for actual adjudication that month. This change applies to both Family Based (“FB”) and Employment Based (“EB”) immigrant visa cases. The adjudication of all adjustment of status applications will still be subject to the same per country and per category quotas, and therefore backlogs for those oversubscribed countries and categories will still exist.  BUT, this new adjustment of status filing policy will allow many FB and EB principals and their qualified dependents (spouses and minor children) who have approved immigrant petitions to file their adjustment of status applications and the normal accompanying applications for employment authorization and travel authorization NOW, instead of waiting several more years for their actual priority dates to become current.  But, not everyone will be able to file now. People will still have to wait until the priority date reaches the allowed filing date, BUT there are tens of thousands of people who will benefit by this.

For example, beginning October 1, those chargeable to India with approved EB-2 I-140 petitions and their qualified dependents may file I-485 applications if they have a Priority Date earlier than July 1, 2011, even though adjudication of such an I-485 in October requires a Priority Date earlier than May 1, 2005.  This new policy will provide relief to those facing crushing backlogs in the adjustment of status process.

If your want to see what priority dates are current, you can click on this month’s Visa Bulletin

If you priority date is now acceptable for filing we would love to help.  Contact us now to obtain your login and password to completeyour online adjustment of status questionnaire (for each member of your family), and provide us the items on this list by uploading them to the database (or emailing or faxing them to us):  http://www.immigration.net/family-based-immigration/aos-through-employment.html


We look forward to getting this next stage in the green card process done!

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