New Cut Off Date on Visa Bulletin Brings Welcome Relief for Immigrants

The  recent changes, to  the State Department’s Cut Off Date system for determining who can file their adjustment of status applications and when they can be filed, announced in the October 2015 Visa Bulletin brings welcome relief to many categories of immigrants who often wait in long queues before they are able to submit their adjustment of status applications.

Going forward, the Visa Bulletin will now include a two-tier system that sets cut-off dates for both family-based and employment-based preference categories. USCIS has also provided extensive information on the new system. 

Tier 1 – Application Final Action Dates: These are the latest priority dates being adjudicated for immigrant visa or adjustment of status (AOS) application approvals; and

Tier 2 – Dates for Filing Visa Applications: These are the earliest priority dates indicating when applicants may file their I-485 AOS applications.

These changes mean that many more immigrants will be able to file I-485 applications prior to when their priority date is actually available. This is a huge benefit to these applicants, as they are able to obtain work authorization for dependent spouses and children, as well as travel documents that are less restrictive that the cumbersome non-immigrant visa process.

Duane Morris Immigration attorneys are busily preparing I-485 applications for all eligible clients so that they can be submitted on October 1, 2015.  Note that this is only the first day to apply, not the last. It is likely that this new group of eligible applicants will not face retrogression of their eligibility as in the prior priority date system.  For more information on this welcome change, contact your Duane Morris Immigration attorney or give us a call at 215 979-1000.


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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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