Because of the new format of the Visa Bulletin, it will be easier for me to break these updates into two sections: Section 1 will discuss the Final Action Date; and, Section 2 will discuss movements in the Dates for Filing section.
Final Action Date Movements:
Family Based: Most categories moved forward somewhere between 1-2 months. Some of the categories for the Philippines, etc. moved forward a little more than that (up to six months) but that was only in a couple of categories.
EB-1: Still current for everyone
EB-2: Big move in China (which we had indicated could happen as early as October) from 2006 to January 1, 2012. Unfortunately, India went the opposite way – from January 1, 20016 to May 1, 2005.
EB-3: Most of the world stayed at August 15, 2015, however there was movement for certain countries. China, once again, moved forward rapidly to October 15, 2011 (from 2004) and the Philippines moved from December 22, 2004 to January 1, 2007. Unfortunately, once again, India retrogressed somewhat, going from December 22, 2004 to March 8, 2004.
Other Workers: Again, most of the world stayed at August 15, 2015, the Philippines and India saw the exact same movement in this category as was stated above for the EB-3 category. China progressed from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2006
Dates for Filing
As this is the first month for this new section, we will just look at what the dates are. Also, every month at the beginning of this section I will indicate whether USCIS is accepting Adjustment of Status Applications based upon this date (they are going to make this decision on a monthly basis). It is also important to remember that the dates in this category are based upon the Department of State’s prediction of where the Final Action Dates will move within the next year.
For the Month of October USCIS will accept I-485 application based upon this date.
Family Based: Most categories have a Date for Filing about 1 year or so ahead of the Final Action date. A good example is the F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents). The Final Action Date is April 15, 2014 and the Date for Filing is March 1, 2015.
EB1: As with the Final Action Date this is current for all countries
EB2: This is more interesting. While most countries are current, India and China are backlogged in this category. China, for the final action date, is in 2012, but the Date for filing is at May 1, 2014. So anyone from China with an approved or pending I-140 in the Eb-2 category with a priority date on or before May 1, 2014 (and in the US legally) can file their I-485 come October 1, 2015.
More interestingly, India, which saw their Final Action Date actual go backwards to 2005, has a Date for Filing of July 1, 2011. As stated above, this means that the DOS feels that they will be getting close to this date in the next year or so.
EB3 and Other Workers: This is at September 15, 2015 (about 1 month ahead of the Final Action Date) for most of the world. Exception are India, which is at July 1, 2005 (meaning there will not be much movement in this category for India over the next year), China, which is at October 1, 2013 for the EB3 category and January 1, 2007 for the Other Worker Category, and the Philippines, which is at January 2, 2015 for both categories (again, foreshadowing that there will be good movement in the Final Action date in these categories for the Philippines in the next year).
Check in With Charlie Oppenheim
The American Immigration Lawyers Association had its monthly check in with Mr. Oppenheim, the person at the DOS who is in charge of setting the above dates. Basically, they just reviewed the new format of the Visa Bulletin with him. However there was one item worth mentioning. When discussing what, if any impact, the Dates for Filing would have on the Final Action Dates, Mr. Oppenheim felt there would be little change except that By having USCIS allowing the filing of the I-485 based upon the Dates for Filing will give the DOS a better grasp of the actual numbers of applicants out there waiting for immigrant visas. This will result in less wild swings in the dates and more steady movements forward (hopefully).
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.