21 September 2016
Category News Room
21 September 2016,
 0

On September 21st, USCIS announced that it will be using the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart for the new October Visa Bulletin – this is a sharp departure from a year ago, when USCIS refused to use this chart after initially remaining silent.  USCIS’s original decision to ignore this chart resulted in a pending lawsuit and also acted to thwart President Obama as this new approach was introduced as a part of his November 2014 Executive Actions.  By way of background, since September 2015, each month the Department of State publishes two charts in the Visa Bulletin—the “Final Action” chart and the “Dates for Filing” chart. In the past, USCIS has only permitted applicants to rely on the “Final Action” chart. This recent change of heart by USCIS will now allow many additional employment-based Adjustment of Status (green card) applications to be filed this month, and in theory allow work and travel benefits to be issued early, with hopefully new green cards issued around the time people become current under the “Final Action” chart. We will reach out to employers this week with a list of employees who will be eligible to submit these applications during the month of October.

Please note, however, while the “Dates for Filing” chart will allow applicants to file for an adjustment of status early and should result in quicker issuance of a green card, it will not grant applicants a green card any earlier than the “Final Action” chart will allow. When filing pursuant to the “Dates for Filing” chart, USCIS will adjudicate the EAD and Advanced Parole applications (filed concurrently with the I-485 adjustment application), but it will not adjudicate the I-485 until the applicant is eligible for adjustment under the “Final Action” chart. Nevertheless, this is good news for applicants, as it will allow for more flexibility with regard to work and international travel.

 

** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **

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