Immigration and firm news

DOS Revises Visa Bulletin and Rolls Back Some Early Filing Dates

In a prior blog post, I reported on the new State Department and USCIS policy permitting early filing of some adjustment of status and immigrant visa petitions in advance of the quota being current.  However, on September 25, 2015, the State Department revised its October 2015 Visa Bulletin. In particular, it rolled back both Final Adjudication and new Filing Date priority dates for certain applicants from India, China, the Philippines, and Mexico.  (See also the USCIS announcement about the revised Visa Bulletin.)  This means that in the last few weeks, individuals and families who thought they could file early come October 1, now cannot.

The differences between the September 9, 2015 announced version and the September 25 version of the October 2015 Visa Bulletin concerning the Dates of FILING can be seen here. Those primarily affected by this major disappointment are:

EB-2 China – rolled back one year and five months;

EB2- India – rolled back two years;

EB3- Philippines – rolled back five years;

FB-1-Mexico – rolled back three months;

FB-3 Mexico – rolled back one year and five months.

(Worldwide EB-3 actually moved forward a month.)

A more comprehensive view of all the differences for all categories including Dates of Final Action (decision) can be seen here.

These rollbacks have surely come to disappoint many who may have invested time and money for legal fees, medical exams, and more to prepare cases for filing on October 1, 2015.  The American Immigration Lawyers Association and other immigration advocates are pressing the State Department for a return to the September 9, 2015 version of the October 2015 Visa Bulletin. Some are referring to this debacle as another “VisaGate,” or “government ineptitude” and more.