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On September 9, 2015, the Department of State and USCIS announced changes to the Visa Bulletin to allow individuals who are waiting for a family-based or employment-based immigrant visa to become available, to begin their immigrant visa paperwork or apply for adjustment of status (AOS) before their priority date becomes current. Beginning in October, there will be two charts listing dates for each preference category and country of chargeability: the “Final Action Date” chart and the “Filing Date” chart. This impacts immigrant visa applicants and AOS applicants in the following ways:

Individuals abroad with priority dates earlier than the date listed on the “Filing Date” chart for their preference category and country of chargeability will be notified by the National Visa Center that they may submit their documentation and begin the immigrant visa application process. However, the USCIS will not make a decision on their application until the priority date is current on the “Final Action Date” chart. Individuals in the U.S. must use the current priority date listed on the “Final Action Date” chart to determine when they may submit their adjustment of status applications, unless the Visa Bulletin indicates that they may use the “Filing Date” chart, instead. The October 2015 Visa Bulletin allows both family- and employment-based immigrants to use the “Filing Date” chart to file AOS applications with the USCIS for the month of October. For example, the employment-based category most impacted due to this new procedure is EB-2 India, where the “Filing Date” is July 1, 2011 and the “Final Action Date” is May 1, 2005. Therefore for the month of October, individuals from India in the EB-2 category may file their AOS applications if their priority date is on or before July 1, 2011.  For additional information, please feel free to contact [email protected]