UPDATE: Government reissues October Visa Bulletin, rolls back 'Dates for Filing' for some visa application categories

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC We posted here about recent changes to the way the U.S. Department of State determines immigrant visa availability under the statutory system of preference categories and per-country quotas. The Department's 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.

The change makes the benefits of a pending I-485 application available to prospective immigrants sooner. Indeed, the 'Dates for Filing Applications' released in the October 2015 Visa Bulletin on September 9, 2015 led many intending immigrants to believe that they would be eligible to file their I-485 application in October.

On September 25, 2015, however, the Department of State took the unusual step of issuing a revised visa bulletin for October 2015. Many of the 'Dates for Filing Applications' are significantly retrogressed in comparison to the original bulletin issued for October 2015, including:

India EB-2 September VB: 01/01/2006 First October VB: 07/01/2011 New October VB: 07/01/2009

China EB-2 September VB: 01/01/2006 First October VB: 05/01/2014 New October VB: 01/01/2013

Philippines EB-3 September VB: 12/22/2004 First October VB: 01/01/2015 New October VB: 01/01/2010

While there are net gains in each of these categories, the 'retrogression' between the two October visa bulletins means that many intending immigrants who thought that they would be able to file their I-485 in October – some of whom will have already made plans in reliance on the first bulletin, including the scheduling of mandatory medical exams – will be disappointed. We will report further details as they become available.

By Christopher Beckerson. © Jewell & Associates, PC 2015