THE NEW VISA CHARTS – A PRIMER IN INTERPRETING THEM, HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE, USE IN FORECASTING DEMAND, HOW THE NEW SYSTEM WILL WORK, AND THEIR ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO ALL. - Part 2 of 5.

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Visa Bulletin - October 2015

A. Application Final Action Dates for
Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

B. Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored
Visa Applications

Family-Sponsored

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA – mainland Born

INDIA

MEXICO

Philippines

Family-Sponsored

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA – mainland Born

INDIA

MEXICO

Philippines

F1

15JAN08

15JAN08

15JAN08

22NOV94

01JUN01

F1

01MAY09

01MAY09

01MAY09

01JUL95

01SEP05

F2A

15APR14

15APR14

15APR14

01MAR14

15APR14

F2A

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

01MAR15

F2B

15JAN09

15JAN09

15JAN09

01AUG95

01OCT04

F2B

01JUL10

01JUL10

01JUL10

01JAN96

01JAN05

F3

22MAY04

22MAY04

22MAY04

08JUN94

01OCT93

F3

01APR05

01APR05

01APR05

01OCT96

01AUG95

F4

08FEB03

08FEB03

08FEB03

22MAR97

01MAY92

F4

01FEB04

01FEB04

01FEB04

01MAY98

01JAN93

A. Application Final Action Dates for
Employment-Based Preference Cases

B. Dates for Filing Employment-Based
Visa Applications

Employment-Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA – mainland Born

INDIA

MEXICO

Philippines

Employment-Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA – mainland Born

INDIA

MEXICO

Philippines

1st

C

C

C

C

C

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

01JAN12

01MAY05

C

C

2nd

C

01MAY14

01JUL11

C

C

3rd

15AUG15

15OCT11

08MAR04

15AUG15

01JAN07

3rd

01SEP15

01OCT13

01JUL05

01SEP15

01JAN15

Other Workers

15AUG15

01JAN06

08MAR04

15AUG15

01JAN07

Other Workers

01SEP15

01JAN07

01JUL05

01SEP15

01JAN15

4th

C

C

C

C

C

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

U

U

U

U

U

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers

C

08OCT13

C

C

C

5th Targeted Employment Areas/Regional Centers

C

01MAY15

C

C

C

5th Pilot Programs

U

U

U

U

U


Part 4 -How The New System Will Work

The Visa Office will indicate in the visa bulletin for each month whether U.S.C.I.S. is willing to accept adjustment of status applications in the upcoming month in accordance with the new “B” charts. If so willing, applicants whose priority dates are before the cutoff dates in the preference categories will be able to file I-485 applications. Since the time that they will be filing will generally be well in advance of when final action can be taken on their cases, U.S.C.I.S. will be able to pre-adjudicate their cases ahead of or at the time that final action can be taken and their cases can actually be approved. In the American Immigration Lawyers Association “Check-In with DOS’s Charlie Oppenheim” of September 15, 2015, Mr. Oppenheim revealed that when U.S.C.I.S. receives the I-485 case, it will pre-adjudicate it and request a visa number from the State Department; that if the “Final Action Date” is current, the State Department will issue the visa number; and that if the “Final Action Date” is not current, the case will be placed in the Visa Office’s “pending demand file.”

Such a system allows the State Department to better assess the demand coming in from U.S.C.I.S. It would prevent the recent China EB-2 category situation in which the Visa Office rapidly advanced the preference only to violently retrogress it from an availability date of December 15, 2013, in the visa bulletin for August 2015, to January 1, 2006 for September 2015. In the check-in with Mr. Oppenheim in mid-July 2015, he had been optimistic in stating that based on current demand, the EB-2 China date of December 15, 2013, for August was likely to either move slightly or remain the same for September.

With such a new system, however, there exists the possibility of expiring documentation. U.S.C.I.S. changed its rule on the validity of medical examinations on June 1, 2014, limiting the validity period for all Forms I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to one year from the date of submission to U.S.C.I.S. This writer notes that although medical examinations are traditionally submitted with I-485 applications, applicants filing under the “B” charts may decide to take their medical examinations when asked in a request for evidence (RFE) by U.S.C.I.S. Medical examination submission is not mandatory with an initial filing. With the longer time lag between filing and final adjudication, this writer anticipates that there will be more RFE’s by the agency to update documentation such as employment letters and affidavits of support.

(Part 5 will follow and describe the additional benefits that all will enjoy with implementation of the “B” charts).

Part 1 can be found here.

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Reprinted with permission.


About The Author

Alan Lee, Esq. the author is an exclusive practitioner of immigration law based in New York City with an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory for 20+ years, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, on the New York Super Lawyers list (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-2015), and recognized as a New York Area Top Rated Lawyer. He has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Epoch Times, Pakistan Calling, Muhasba and OCS; testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings; and is a regular contributor to Martindale-Hubbell's Ask-a-Lawyer program. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004; his 2004 case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged Legacy INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof, although its central holding that the government had to notify approved immigrant petition holders of the revocation prior to the their departure to the U. S. for the petition to be able to be revoked was short-lived as it was specifically targeted in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (which in response changed the language of the revocation statute itself). Yet Firstland lives on as precedent that the government must comply with nondiscretionary duties established in law, and such failure is reviewable in federal courts. His 2015 case, Matter of Leacheng International, Inc., with the Administrative Appeals Office of USCIS (AAO) set nation-wide standards on the definition of "doing business" for multinational executives and managers to gain immigration benefits.


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