As part of President Obama’s executive actions the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) have been working to streamline the family and employment-based immigrant visa processes. Now applicants with approved immigrant visa petitions who are subject to visa retrogression (backlosg) will, under specified circumstances, be able to file their adjustment of status (green card) applications BEFORE their priority dates are current.
In a monumental change, the Department of State and the USCIS have changed their process for accepting I-485, Applications for Adjustment of Status. Adjustment of Status applications will now be accepted earlier than when the priority date is current.
The Department of State will now publish two Employment-based Visa Bulletin charts each month: (1) Application Final Action Dates (dates when visas may finally be issued); and (2) Dates for Filing Applications (earliest dates when applicants may be able to apply).
There are many benefits for Foreign nationals and employers
- Applicants can file for their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) concurrently with their I-485.
- Spouses of applicants can apply for both EADs and APs. This allows spouse’s work authorization.
- Applicants can file for their Advance Paroles (APs) concurrently with their I-485. This allows Applicants to travel without having to obtain a new visa stamp.
The new October 2015 Visa Bulletin States :
A. APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES
B. DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS
Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date in the chart may:
- Consular Applicants: assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions.
- Adjustment of Status Applicants: file Adjustment of Status, EAD and APs.
If you are an employer or an employee who can now file an I-485, please call us so that we can prepare and file your I-485.