7 FACTS REGARDING THE REVISED VISA BULLETIN

by


On Wednesday September 9, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) announced revised procedures for determining visa availability for individuals waiting to file adjustment of status applications in the U.S.

Here are 7 things to know about the revised Visa Bulletin:

  1. The Visa Bulletin now includes two charts per visa preference category:
    • Application Final Action Dates (listing “approvalcut-off dates when an adjustment of status application may be approved); and
    • Dates for Filing Applications (listing “acceptancecut-off dates when an adjustment of status application may be filed).
  2. Each month the Visa Bulletin will indicate whether individuals seeking to file adjustment of status applications may use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts (in lieu of the “Application Final Action Dates” charts) for determining when they can file such applications. If so, an individual will be able to file an adjustment of status application if his or her priority date is earlier than the listed “acceptance” cut-off date in the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts.
  3. Previously, an individual could only file an adjustment of status application if his or her priority date was earlier than the listed “approvalcut-off date (in what is now referred to as the “Application Final Action Dates” charts).
  4. The Visa Bulletin for October 2015 indicates individuals seeking to file adjustment of status applications may use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts (in lieu of the “Applicant Final Action Dates” charts) for determining when they can file such applications. Therefore, an individual will be able to file an adjustment of status application in October 2015, if his or her priority date is earlier than the listed “acceptance” cut-off date in the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts.
  5. The “acceptancecut-off dates listed in the Visa Bulletin for October 2015 are in most cases significantly earlier than the “approval” cut-off dates. This will allow a very large number of nationals from China, India and the Philippines (countries most affected by the employment-based immigration cut-off dates) to file adjustment of status applications with USCIS during the month of October 2015.
  6. Filing adjustment of status applications based on the new “acceptance” cut-off dates will result in the same benefits as filing adjustment of status applications based on the pre-existing “approval” cut-off dates, e.g., eligibility for an EAD (work permit), Advance Parole (travel document), INA §204(j) portability (changing jobs under certain conditions without restarting the green card process), Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protection that provides assistance to derivative children who will turn 21 years old).
  7. The guidance allows the filing of an I-140 immigrant petition concurrently with an adjustment of status application, if the petition is current based on the new “acceptance” cut-off date.

  8. This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    Joseph J. Shepherd

    Joseph J. Shepherd is a mid-level associate in the firm's Santa Monica office. Mr. Shepherd advises employers, institutions, investors, individuals, and families regarding all aspects of U.S. immigration and nationality law. Mr. Shepherd currently serves as a Member of the 2015 - 2016 AILA National ACES (Athletics, Culture, Entertainment, and Science) Committee and previously served as a Member of the 2014 - 2015 AILA National LGBT Immigration Issues Working Group. Mr. Shepherd has authored numerous articles published by AILA and Bender's Immigration Bulletin, including in such distinguished AILA publications as Immigration Options for Artists & Entertainers, 2nd Ed. and the Inside Immigration Monograph Series. Mr. Shepherd is licensed in Massachusetts and practices exclusively immigration and nationality law. Mr. Shepherd may be contacted at jshepherd@wolfsdorf.com.


    Gerry Tzekova

    Gergana A. Tzekova is a licensed attorney in the state of New York and practices exclusively in immigration and nationality law. Ms. Tzekova advises clients on winning strategies for permanent residence issues with a focus on processing PERM-based labor certification applications. She has extensive experience in all aspects of U.S. immigration, including L-1, H-1B, TN and E-3 nonimmigrant visa petitions, employment and family-based permanent residency applications. Prior to joining Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP, Ms. Tzekova assisted in providing legal services to battered women residing in New York. Ms. Tzekova holds an LL.M. degree in Banking, Corporate and Finance Law from Fordham University, School of Law in New York, and a Master of Law degree from South-West University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Ms. Tzekova is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is fluent in Bulgarian and can be reached at gtzekova@wolfsdorf.com.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.