The Department of State issued a revised visa bulletin today with many visa filing dates significantly retrogressed in comparison to the original bulletin issued on September 9, 2015. Specifically, the revised bulletin includes the following adjustments:
|Category||(9/9/15) Filing Date||NEW (9/25/15) Filing Date||Difference|
|EB-2 China||5/1/2014||1/1/2013||1 year, 5 months|
|EB-2 India||7/1/2011||7/1/2009||2 years|
|EB-3 Philippines||1/1/2015||1/1/2010||5 years|
|FB-1 Mexico||7/1/1995||4/1/1995||3 months|
|FB-3 Mexico||10/1/1996||5/1/1995||1 year, 5 months|
As is clear from the chart, this revised bulletin has significant effects for many applicants, particularly those who had already begun preparing to file for Adjustment of Status. As of now, there has been no official explanation and it is unclear what prompted the revision given the serious impact it has on the many individuals who would have been eligible to file on October 1st, under the previously issued Visa Bulletin dates.
USCIS had previously announced that, in conjunction with the Department of State (DOS), it was revising the procedures for determining when an application for adjustment of status may be filed, thus implementing part of President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions on immigration. Starting with the Visa Bulletin for October 2015, there will be two important dates listed on the monthly Visa Bulletin: the “filing date,” which determines when individuals can submit their permanent residence applications, and the “final action” date, which indicates when DOS or USCIS can make a decision on the applications. This means that certain eligible foreign nationals can now apply for adjustment of status prior to their category being current.
The revised October Visa Bulletin can be found here. Please note that the Department of State has not yet updated the web version of the bulletin so the revised Visa Bulletin can only be found by viewing as a pdf.
We are monitoring this situation and will provide updates when they are available. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney if you feel you may be affected by these changes.