Department of State Changes Visa Bulletin to a Two Tier System for October
Recently, the U.S Department of State released the first Visa Bulletin of the 2016 fiscal year. This October Visa Bulletin is dramatically different with the introduction of both an approval and filing cutoff dates. This two tier system will allow adjustment of status applicants to apply despite the lack of an available visa number. In some cases, applicants will be able to apply years before their approval cut off dates.
This change will substantially affect those applicants from oversubscribed countries such as China and India which extended cut off dates. Although applicants cannot receive an approval from their I-485 until the extended approval cutoff date, applying earlier will allow these applicants to qualify for certain benefits such as advance parole authorization and employment authorization.
It should be noted that this two tier system does not guarantee a current filing cutoff date or might be available in the subsequent months. It is written on the October Visa Bulletin website that “USCIS has determined that this chart may be used this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.”
For the October 2015 Visa Bulletin Employment Based filing cutoff dates, EB-1 filing cutoff dates are current for all, and EB-2 all is current except China (May 1, 2014) and India (July 1, 2011).
To view the October 2015 Visa Bulletin for Filing Cutoff dates and to learn more about the recent changes, please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin/2016/visa-bulletin-for-october-2015.html .
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