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Articles

Immigration Alert: October Visa Bulletin

By Brian J. Coughlin on September 25, 2020


September 25, 2020

Executive Summary:
Due to significant filing date advancements in the October Visa Bulletin, many candidates for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence will become eligible to file applications for Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Residence in the coming month.

Full Summary: This week, the U.S. Department of State issued its monthly Visa Bulletin, for October 2020. That document determines applicants’ eligibly to submit an application for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence. Specifically, if an applicant is physically present in the U.S., the Visa Bulletin will determine their ability to apply for a green card via a process called Adjustment of Status.

The Visa Bulletin reflects a set of “cutoff dates,” used to determine who might be eligible to submit an Adjustment of Status application, and, who may not yet be eligible. Eligibility is organized by Country of Birth, and Immigration Preference Category. For each corresponding country/category, a cutoff date is set. For some categories, applications do not have any particular cutoff date, and may be immediately filed. Those categories are “current,” which is indicated with a “C.”

Applicants must monitor the Visa Bulletin from month to month, and compare the cutoff date set in their particular category with their own, individual Immigration Priority Date. For employment-based applicants, an Immigration Priority Date will be set at the time their initial Labor Certification or Immigrant Petition paperwork was first received by U.S. authorities. Once their cutoff date progresses past their own Immigration Priority Date, they will become eligible to file and application for Adjustment of Status.

There has been significant advancement in cutoff dates, in the October Visa Bulletin. In addition, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has chosen to use the cutoff dates shown for “Dates for Filing,” for October Adjustment of Status processing, instead of “Final Action Dates.” The latter of these has historically been used by USCIS, in accepting Adjustment of Status applications. This coming month, however, USCIS will use the “Dates for Filing,” which are much further advanced.

Please see below for an excerpt of the September Visa Bulletin, as compared with the October Visa Bulletin, which reflects the significant date advancements, across categories:

September



October



Again, many candidates will become eligible to file applications for Adjustment of Status, in the coming month. Our team will be reaching out in the coming days, to initiate any Adjustment of Status filings which may now be eligible for submission.

Please contact me or another member of our Immigration Practice Team if you have any questions, or would otherwise like to discuss.
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