Alert – USCIS Announces Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability for Applicants Waiting to File for Adjustment of Status

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced that they have coordinated with the Department of State (DOS) to revise the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status (Form I-485) or Consular Processing.

This newly revised process will improve DOS’ ability to accurately predict overall immigrant visa (IV) demand and determine the cut-off dates for visa issuance published monthly in the Visa Bulletin. USCIS and DOS are trying to reduce the month-to-month fluctuations in the Visa Bulletin final action dates.

So, what does this mean?
The DOS will now publish two charts in its monthly Visa Bulletins under each category: FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE and EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE. Starting in October 2015, the first chart to appear in each category will remain consistent with prior Visa Bulletins, this chart is entitled “Application Final Action Dates.”

The second chart entitled “Dates for Filing Applications,” is intended to inform IV applicants with priority dates earlier than the cut-off date listed, that they may begin to assemble and submit the required documents to either the USCIS for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) or the National Visa Center (NVC) for Consular Processing (Form DS-260). *The NVC will notify eligible Immigrant Visa Applicants by providing specific instructions for Consular Processing.

To determine whether additional visas are available, USCIS will compare the number of visas available for the remainder of the fiscal year with: (1) qualified visa applicants reported by DOS, (2) pending adjustment of status applications reported by USCIS and (3) historical drop off rates.

Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 9/9/15, News Alert:
USCIS Announces Revised Procedures for Determining Visa Availability for Applicants Waiting to File for Adjustment of Status

Department of State, 9/9/15, Publication 9514:
Visa Bulletin For October 2015

USCIS.gov, 9/10/15, Web Page:
When to File Your Adjustment of Status Application for Family-Based or Employment-Based Preference Visas

USCIS.gov, 9/9/15, PDF:
Adjusting Status to become a U.S. permanent resident?

For more information:
USCIS Stakeholder Teleconference on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 2:00 to 3:00pm (Eastern) – USCIS invitation – visa bulletin engagement.pdf

Update: Stakeholder Teleconference has been canceled but will be rescheduled.