USCIS Revises Procedures for Applicants Waiting to File for the Green Card

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, together with the Department of State (DOS), is revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status.

DOS has created two categories of cut-off dates, both of which are reflected in the monthly Visa Bulletin beginning next month, October 2015. The first, "Application Final Action Dates," determines when an adjustment application or immigrant visa application may be approved. The second, "Dates for Filing," determines when an adjustment of status application may be filed.

This is an important change as it potentially allows foreign nationals to obtain ancillary benefits available to green card applicants, such as employment authorization documents, advance parole (travel) documents, and employer portability. This is of particular importance for Indian and Chinese nationals with approved I-140 petitions as the demand is highest for these countries in the most commonly used Employment Based preference categories. As a result, many have awaited the opportunity to file their applications for years. The newly issued procedures will allow some of these workers to file as much as six years earlier.

We will monitor this topic and post additional guidance in the Breaking News Section of our website and on our Facebook page. Should you have questions on how this topic may affect you, your family, or friends, please contact the attorney assisting with your case or schedule a consultation here.

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