Q. Why is the new (October) Visa Bulletin different?
A. The visa modernization initiative announced by President Obama last year is the reason for this change. As part of this initiative, the USCIS and Department of State have formulated a process of determining visa eligibility.
Q. Why are there two grids with dates on the October Visa Bulletin?
A. The two grids represent the move to decouple “final adjudication” from “filing of Adjustment Applications”; so, you will now find two grids:
A. APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES
|Family-Sponsored||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA-mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
A. APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES
|Employment- Based||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA – mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
|Certain Religious Workers||U||U||U||U||U|
(C5 and T5)
(I5 and R5)
B. DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS
B. DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS
and Pilot Programs
Q. How do I decide whether I am eligible to file my Application to Adjust Status?
A. For filing purposes, you must use “Grid B”. If your priority date (For Family Cases: date the Immigrant Petition was filed and for Employment Cases: date the labor certification application was filed) is earlier than the date for that particular visa category and country, you should be eligible to file an Application to Adjust Status commencing October 1st.
Q. What happens to my Adjustment Application that has been pending with the USCIS?
A. For those applicants who already have an adjustment application pending, the relevant portion of the Visa Bulletin is “Grid A”. Unfortunately, those dates have not moved significantly and under this new process, you must wait for your priority date to go past that particular visa category and country to become a permanent resident. In other words, this new process benefits first time filers, but offers no relief to those whose applications are currently pending.
Q. Am I able to file an Application for Employment Authorization (EAD) and Travel Document (Advance Parole)?
A. Yes, you may concurrently file both Forms I-765 and I-131 with the Application to Adjust Status (Form I-485)
Q. Does this allow me take advantage of the portability rule under AC21?
A. Yes, 6 months after the filing of the Application to Adjust Status, you become eligible to “Port”. Please see USCIS page on Questions about occupational classifications under AC21 act for additional details.
Q. My priority date is not current on the current Visa Bulletin. Is there any possibility dates will continue to move?
A. It is apparent that this new procedure will provide the Department of State and USCIS with better data for determining overall visa demand which should allow the State Department to make better predictions regarding future backlog movement. However, it is very difficult to predict if and when dates are likely to move beyond where they are at this current stage.
Q. What is your Firm doing to ensure my Application to Adjust Status is filed on time?
A. We have already started pulling a report of everyone that is current based on the October Visa Bulletin (Dates for Filing) and we will contact you early next week to initiate I-485 processing. We will work very closely with you to ensure your Application (and that of your dependents) is filed on time.
Q. I am on an H-1B and have been receiving extensions of my status beyond the 6th year based on §104(c) of AC21 (one time protection because priority date is not current, or available) for a three-year period. Will this new Visa Bulletin change anything?
A. It should not because we believe “Grid A” represents the “true” Visa Bulletin and the dates have not moved significantly. We will continue to use this to seek further extensions of the individual’s H-1B status.
Q: What do I do if I don’t have a birth certificate?