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Changes to Visa Bulletin and Permanent Residence Applications

The Department of State and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have recently made a joint announcement that concerns immigrants and their families all across the country. They have reached a decision that will allow people caught in family- and employment-based immigrant visa backlogs to start their visa paperwork before their priority (or filing) date. Those seeking to adjust their status may also be eligible to file earlier as well.

Based on how many immigrants seem to be waiting on approval, this may allow hundreds – if not thousands – of people to get a welcome head-start on a process that has been keeping them waiting.

Major Changes Worth Mentioning

  • Immigrant Visa Applicants: The National Visa Center will notify them when they can assemble and submit documentation before the originally posted priority date (or filing date). A final decision will still require the priority date, however. This means that paperwork can be filed and processed well in advance but the final result will still occur on the original date.
  • Adjustments of Status: The USCIS will notify applicants looking for an adjustment if they can use the “filing date” instead of the “final action date”. In many cases, this will save applicants months or more.

The changes are scheduled to begin this upcoming bulletin of October 2015. It is estimated that most family-based immigrants should see a benefit of up to two years sooner to file. There is no guarantee, however, that adjustment applicants will benefit at all from being able to file on a priority date, rather than a final action date.

If you are an immigrant or know a loved one dealing with the complicated immigrant process, you need to familiarize yourself with these changes. For the professional guidance and support necessary, call toll-free at 888.223.8176 to speak to a Washington D.C. immigration lawyer from The Patel Law Group today. You can even fill out an online case evaluation form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.