USCIS: Final Action Dates to control December filing eligibility for employment-based immigrants

13 Nov 15

UNITED STATES

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that in December it will only accept employment-based adjustment of status applications according to the Final Action Dates chart – not the Dates for Filing chart – contained in the State Department’s December Visa Bulletin released earlier this week.

As a result, many employment-based immigrants will no longer be eligible to file for adjustment of status in December.

According to today’s announcement, in December 2015, employment-based immigrants must follow the Final Action Dates chart in the December Visa Bulletin to determine if they are eligible to submit their adjustment of status petitions. Family-based immigrants may, however, use the applicable Dates for Filing chart in December.

Therefore, employment-based immigrants whose priority dates are earlier than the dates in the following Application Final Action Dates chart for their preference category are eligible to file for adjustment of status in December:

Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

Preference China India Mexico Philippines Rest of World
EB-1 Current Current Current Current Current
EB-2 Feb. 1, 2012 June 1, 2007 Current Current Current
EB-3 April 15, 2012 April 22, 2004 Sept. 1, 2015 Aug. 1, 2007 Sept. 1, 2015
Other workers Aug. 1, 2006 April 22, 2004 Sept. 1, 2015 Aug. 1, 2007 Sept. 1, 2015

Under the new two-tiered system introduced in October, the State Department’s monthly visa bulletin contains the familiar Final Action Dates chart for approvals of immigrant visa applications and a new Dates for Filing chart indicating cutoff dates for purposes of eligibility to file for adjustment of status. However, in an added wrinkle, USCIS will take up to one week after the publication of the bulletin to determine and post to its website whether it will accept filings based on the Final Action Dates chart or the Dates for Filing chart.

BAL Analysis: Employment-based immigrants currently eligible under the Dates for Filing chart should file as soon as possible, as the more restrictive Final Action Dates chart will control whether they remain eligible to file in December.

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