INTRODUCTION

On July 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the August 2017 Visa Bulletin. The monthly Visa Bulletin contains final action dates and filing dates for the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories. Three days later, on July 14, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that those seeking adjustment of status based on an approved family-sponsored or employment-based immigrant visa preference petition must use the final action dates from the DOS visa bulletin in August 2017.

In this article, we will reproduce the family-sponsored and employment-based final action date charts for your convenience. We will also examine news and notes from the DOS visa bulletin pertaining to things that we can expect in the coming months.

FAMILY-SPONSORED CASES

The USCIS determined that beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored preference petitions must use the final action dates from the August 2017 Visa Bulletin in determining their eligibility to file for adjustment of status. The beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored petition who is seeking an immigrant visa through adjustment of status may file for adjustment in August 2017 if his or her priority date is earlier than the applicable final action cutoff date for his or her preference category and chargeability area.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED CASES

The USCIS determined that beneficiaries of approved employment-based preference petitions must use the final action dates from the August 2017 Visa Bulletin in determining their eligibility to file for adjustment of status. Similar to family-sponsored cases, the beneficiary of an approved employment-based petition who is seeking an immigrant visa through adjustment of status may file for adjustment in August 2017 if his or her priority date is earlier than the applicable final action cutoff date for his or her preference category and chargeability area. Please note that in employment-based cases where labor certification was required, the priority date is the date on which the labor certification application was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor (DOL). 

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE AUGUST 2017 VISA BULLETIN

The August 2017 Visa Bulletin includes one note regarding the Employment-based second preference category (E2).

The DOS noted that in the May 2017 Visa Bulletin, it advised readers that a final action cutoff date would likely be imposed at some point for E2 worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines. The DOS was required to institute final action dates for the E2 category in these chargeability areas in August 2017 due to high demand for visa numbers for adjustment of status applicants. The establishment of the final action date was required in order to keep the E2 number use within the annual worldwide limit. Please note that India and China (mainland born) already had final action dates in the E2 category prior to August 2017.

The E2 date for worldwide, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines will once again be current for the October 2017 Visa Bulletin, which will be the first visa bulletin of fiscal year 2018.

CONCLUSION

Whether an individual is seeking an immigrant visa through consular processing or through adjustment of status, he or she is well advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the process. Regarding the visa bulletin, it is especially important for those planning to apply for adjustment of status to stay abreast of movement in the visa bulletin in order to be prepared to apply for adjustment of status when an immigrant visa number is available.

Lawyer website: http://myattorneyusa.com/immigration-blog/august-2017-visa-bulletin

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