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How to Use the Dates of Filing Applications for Form I-485 Adjustment of Status?

Hi William:

In the
U.S Department of State's Visa Bulletin, there are newly added "Dates for Filing Applications". How to use the dates listed to file USCIS Form I-485 inside United States, for employment-based Green Card applicants' Adjustment of Status?


The procedures regarding immigrant visa availability have changed by U.S. Department of State, for the benefit of intending U.S. permanent resident (i.e., greencard) applicants. These changes are reflected in the Visa Bulletin which may be viewed at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html

The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS’s) monthly Visa Bulletin will now include two charts per visa preference category for Family-based and Employment-based applicants as
"Application Final Action Dates", and "Dates for Filing Applications." In Sections 4.B. (Family-Sponsored Preference Cases) and 5.B. (Employment-Based Preference Cases), “Dates for Filing Applications” are listed.

The chart for "Dates for Filing Applications" reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file applications, regardless of priority date

For many
employment-based Green Card applicants' Adjustment of Status using USCIS Form I-485 inside United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will use the “Dates for Filing Applications” chart (in lieu of the “Application Final Action Dates” chart in paragraphs 4.A. and 5.A.) to determine when an application for adjustment of status (USCIS Form I-485) may be filed.  Adjustment applicants may also visit "www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo" for more information. 

The statement in Visa Bulletin is consistent with USCIS’s announcement that each month it will “monitor the visa numbers and post the relevant DOS Visa Bulletin chart” on its website under “When to File”.  An intending greencard applicant can then use this information to determine when to file an adjustment application (Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status).  The “Dates for Filing Applications” chart may be used only when USCIS determines that additional immigrant visa numbers are available.  Otherwise, per USCIS guidance, the “Application Final Action Dates” chart must be used by intending Adjustment of Status applicants. 

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