News & Resources

Publications & Media

“USCIS Revises October Visa Bulletin Dates”

By Peter F. Asaad

Earlier this month, as part of President Obama’s executive actions, the Department of State (DOS) at the direction of – and in coordination with – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), had provided earlier dates for when an applicant may apply for adjustment of status under new procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file the employment-based or family-sponsored Application for Adjustment of Status, I-485.

The Department of State, “following consultations with the Department of Homeland Security,” just pulled those dates back in a revised October Visa Bulletin. For instance, under EB-2 India, the cut-off dates have been pulled back by two years.

The following is a more complete list of those categories and respective persons it impacts who will be effected by today’s revised Visa Bulletin:

 EB2 China: Moved from 5/1/2014 to 1/1/2013 (1 year 5 months)
 EB2 India: Moved from 7/1/2011 to 7/1/2009 (2 years)
 EB3 Philippines: Moved from 1/1/2015 to 1/1/2010 (5 years)
 FB1 Mexico: Moved from 7/1/1995 to 4/1/1995 (3 months)
 FB3 Mexico: Moved from 10/1/1996 to 5/1/1995 (1 year 5 months)

Today’s actions “following consultations with the Department of Homeland Security” counseling the Department of State to revise the Visa Bulletin to pull back the October 1, 2015, green card (I-485) filing dates, will prevent many immigrants from applying for their green cards and keep them in backlog purgatory.  It runs counter to the stated intentions of the Executive Action announced on November 20, 2014.  Further, although some at DHS might argue that the revised cut-off dates are more appropriate, this Visa Bulletin revision fiasco is self-created.  Indeed, the back-and-forth is their own doing and could have been avoided.  This will now cost companies and individuals unnecessary expenses including medical examinations and legal fees for services undertaken in reliance on the earlier published October Visa Bulletin.  There are real people impacted by these decisions; the back-and-forth is inexcusable.