The Department of State (DOS) released the visa bulletin for February of 2016. The Visa Bulletin shows when the person who is the beneficiary of a family-sponsored or employment-based immigrant visa petition may file a Form I-485 for an immigrant visa.
An alien may file for adjustment of status once his or her priority date is after the cutoff date listed on the Visa Bulletin.
For family-sponsored petitions, the priority date is when the immigrant visa petition was filed. For employment-based petitions, the date the labor certification application (where applicable) was accepted for processing serves as the priority date. For employment-based petitions (including for self-petitioners) where no labor certification was needed, the date the petition was filed serves as the priority date.
For February of 2016, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that beneficiaries of family-sponsored petitions may use the filing date whereas for employment-based filings, the final action dates must be used.
The following are the dates for filing family-sponsored adjustment of status applications:
|Family-Sponsored||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA-mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
The following are the application final action dates for filing employment-based preference cases:
|Employment-Based||All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA — mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPPINES|
|Certain Religious Workers||C||C||C||C||C|
(C5 and T5
(I5 and R5)
Please note that “C” stands for “current,” and means that the Form I-485 may be filed immediately.
Finally, the USCIS news release contains a chart that provides a simple overview of the entire process from the filing of a petition to using the Visa Bulletin to determine when an immigrant visa is available. We have reproduced the chart for your convenience:
Resources and Materials:
USCIS, “When to File Your Adjustment of Status Application for Family-Sponsored or Employment-Based Preference Visas: February 2016, (Jan. 13, 2015), available at https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletin-feb-16