December Visa Bulletin update: Dates for Filing chart to determine filing eligibility for employment-based applicants

14 Nov 16

UNITED STATES

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that in December it will accept adjustment-of-status applications for employment-based preference categories 1 through 4 according to the priority cutoff dates in the Dates for Filing chart published in the State Department’s December Visa Bulletin.

Applicants in the employment-based 5th preference category must use the Final Action Dates chart. Family-based adjustment-of-status applicants can use the Dates for Filing chart for family-sponsored applications.

Key points:

  • Those whose priority date is earlier than the date in the applicable category in the Dates for Filing chart below are eligible to file their adjustment of status application in December.
  • There is no movement in the Dates for Filing chart in December compared to Dates for Filing chart honored by USCIS in November.
  • Therefore, employment-based applicants who are eligible to file according to the Dates for Filing chart in November who do not do so in November will still be able to file for adjustment of status in December.

Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications:

Preference China India Mexico Philippines All Other Countries
EB-1 Current Current Current Current Current
EB-2 Mar. 1, 2013 April 22, 2009 Current Current Current
EB-3 May 1, 2014 July 1, 2005 Current Sept. 1, 2013 Current

Background: Under the two-chart Visa Bulletin system, the State Department publishes a Final Action Dates chart and a tentative Dates for Filing chart every month. USCIS then determines whether there are enough visa numbers available to honor the Dates for Filing chart; if there are not enough visas, the priority cutoff dates in the Final Action Dates chart control filing eligibility. USCIS adjudication of the adjustment of status application will be governed by priority dates listed in the Final Action Dates chart.

B·A·L Analysis: The filing eligibility dates benefit employment-based green card applicants in several backlogged categories, including China and India EB-2 and EB-3, and all EB-3 categories. Those who are eligible to file according to the Dates for Filing chart in November are strongly encouraged to apply in November if possible and no later than December, as there is no guarantee that USCIS will continue to accept the Dates for Filing chart in subsequent months.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@balglobal.com.

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