Revised Procedures for Filing Adjustment of Status Applications

THE REVISED PROCEDURE

USCIS announced on September 9, 2015 a change in the rules as to when an adjustment of status application (AOS) can be filed. Previously, the AOS applications could not be filed until the Department of State’s visa bulletin indicated the applicant’s priority date had been reached. Now, two separate charts will be issued monthly. One, like the one previously used, will determine when applications for AOS can be finalized. A separate new chart to be published monthly, will list when adjustment of status applications can be filed. This change will affect both employer sponsored and family sponsored beneficiaries. In the case of employer sponsored petitions, this will most dramatically affect Indian and Chinese applicants because their quotas have been more significantly “backlogged” than foreign nationals from other countries.

AN EXAMPLE OF SOMEONE AFFECTED BY THE CHANGE

If an Indian national filed an application for a PERM labor certification on June 1, 2010 (priority date) and the PERM and I-140 petition were approved under the EB-2 category, per the old procedure, they could not file their adjustment of status applications now because the October 2015 visa bulletin requires a foreign national to have a priority date of May 1, 2005 to be eligible to file for the AOS. Under the new procedure, the new separate chart lists a priority date of July 1, 2011 (beginning on October 1, 2015), their priority date for this purpose will have been reached and they can file for adjustment of status during the month of October. However, as mentioned above, these cases can still not be processed for final approval until their actual priority date established at the time of the filing of the PERM labor certification has been reached.

SUMMARY

The revised procedure will enable many foreign nationals who are otherwise eligible to file adjustment of status applications but for the priority date issue, to file their “green card” applications much earlier. This will also provide some people with new immigration benefits. Although this change will not be implemented until October 1, 2015, for those eligible, preparation of the applications should begin as soon as possible. As new guidelines are received from the government, we will keep you updated.

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