As we previously reported, the Department of State released the February 2016 visa bulletin several days ago. Today, USCIS finally determined which dates (the “final action date” or the “dates for filing” can be used. Their decision is:
Family Based Cases
You may use the “dates for filing” table to determine if you can file the AOS application.
Employment Based Cases
You must use the “final action dates” table to determine if you can file your AOS application.
While the above is not a surprise, as it is the same decision the made last month, it is unfortunate that USCIS is still not allowing employment based applications to use the “dates for filing” table. First, it is clearly more advantageous for individuals to be able to file their adjustment applications earlier. Second, it would also be advantageous to USCIS as they would be able to get a better handle on how big the backlog is which, in turn, would help make the dates for the visa bulletin more accurate. Instead, USCIS is more concerned with people being able to file the adjustment “early”, which is short0-sighted on their part.
We will, of course, update you next month as to the March, 2016 visa bulletin.
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.