UPDATE: State Department changes the way it determines immigrant visa availability

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC We previously posted here about unconfirmed reports of a possible change to the way the U.S. Department of State determines immigrant visa availability under the statutory system of preference categories and per-country quotas. These changes have now been confirmed in a post on the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services website.

Instead of a single cut-off date for each country of chargeability in each preference category, the monthly State Department Visa Bulletin now provides two cut-off dates – one governing when an I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residence may be filed (“Dates for Filing Applications”) and one governing when a pending I-485 may be approved (“Application Final Action Dates”). This new system has been implemented in time for the October 2015 visa bulletin.

The net effect of this change is to make the benefits of a pending I-485 application – including portability of the permanent residence process under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) – available to prospective immigrants sooner than under the prior system.

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