Confused as to when you may file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status?
Beginning with the October 2015 State Department Visa Bulletin additional information appears pertaining to when an intending immigrant may file an application for adjustment of status. This is specifically relevant to those for whom a visa number is not immediately available, such as those in the EB-2 Category from China or India, or those in the EB-3 Category from China, India, Mexico or the Philippines, among others.
In particular, the Visa Bulletin now includes “Dates for Filing” along with “Application Final Action Dates”. (Please see my blog post, “October 2015 Visa Bulletin Includes New “Dates for Filing of Visa Applications”; Immigrant Visa Availability Procedures Revised to Permit Possible Earlier Filings” for details.)
The Immigration Service (USCIS) stated from the outset that it “may” (not “will”) use the Dates for Filing Applications to determine when an application for adjustment of status may be filed. But, what does this mean? How can one tell when the Immigration Service will permit an I-485 filing based on the Dates for Filing of Applications? The answer can be found on the Immigration Service’s website at http://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo.
Here is a summary of the information:
- Unless “otherwise stated” on the USCIS website, plan to use the Application Final Action Date.
- The “otherwise stated” information will appear on the USCIS website in the following charts, which USCIS anticipates updating within a week of the State Department’s release of each months’ Visa Bulletin):
- Current Month Adjustment of Status Filing Chart, and
- Next Month Adjustment of Status Filing Chart.
Currently, both of these charts contains a statement noting that USCIS has determined that one may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. So, for October 2015 and November 2015, the Dates for Filing Applications may be used.
Of course, these dates were significantly rolled back from the originally announced October 2015 dates. (See my blog post, “October 2015 Visa Bulletin: Dates for Filing Revised, Rolled Back,” for details.)
Perhaps December’s Dates for Filing Visa Applications will be favorable.
Ms. Wadhwani is a partner in the Immigration Practice Group at Fox Rothschild LLP. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.