INTRODUCTION: VISA BULLETIN FOR JULY 2017

On June 9, 2017, the United States Department of State (DOS) released the “Visa Bulletin for July 2017” [PDF version]. The July 2017 Visa Bulletin contains dates for filing and application final action dates for the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories in July of 2017. On June 13, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that both family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa beneficiaries must use the final action dates contained in the July 2017 Visa Bulletin [PDF version].

In this article, we will reproduce the relevant charts for family-sponsored and employment-based beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions who are waiting to file for adjustment of status. This post will also include news and notes from the DOS’s July 2017 Visa Bulletin. To learn about how to use the immigrant visa bulletin if you are an adjustment of status applicant, please see our full article [see article]. Please see our article on the differences between filing dates and final action dates as well [see article].

Please see our full article for all of our posts on 2017 Visa Bulletins [see article].

FAMILY-SPONSORED CASES

The USCIS determined that beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions must use the final action dates in July 2017 for purpose of filing for adjustment of status. The beneficiary of such an approved petition may file for adjustment of status in July 2017 if his or her priority date is earlier than the applicable final action date for his or her preference category and chargeability area. The following are the final action dates for family-sponsored preference cases in July 2017 [see here].

The USCIS determined that beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions must use the final action dates in July 2017 for purpose of filing for adjustment of status. The beneficiary of such an approved petition may file for adjustment of status in July 2017 if his or her priority date is earlier than the applicable final action date. Please note that a final action date of “C” means that the date will be current in July 2017. This means that any beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition in that preference category and chargeability area will be able to file for adjustment of status in July 2017. The following are the final action dates for employment-based preference cases in July 2017 [see here].

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE JULY 2017 VISA BULLETIN

Each edition of the Visa Bulletin contains trends and forecasts from the DOS. In the subsequent sub-sections, we will review the DOS’s notes in the July 2017 Visa Bulletin.

OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CATEGORIES

In the June 2017 Visa Bulletin [see article], the DOS advised that it would be necessary to impose a final action date no later than August on China-mainland born beneficiaries in the Employment-based third (E3) preference category. Because of the continued high level demand for E3 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants, the DOS established a final action date for the China E3 preference category. The DOS created this final action date in order to hold immigrant visa number use to within the fiscal year 2017 annual limit annual limit.

The DOS also advised in the June 2017 Visa Bulletin that it would be required to establish final action cutoff dates for the India Employment-based fourth (E4) and Certain Religious Workers (SR) preference categories due to high demand in both. The DOS imposed final action dates for E4 and SR India in the July 2017 Visa Bulletin in order to hold worldwide number use in both categories under the fiscal year 2017 annual limit.

The final action dates for China E3 and India E4 and SR will once again be current for the October 2017 Visa Bulletin, which will be the first Visa Bulletin for fiscal year 2018.

CONCLUSION

Petitioners and beneficiaries of preference petitions should stay abreast of month-to-month developments in the DOS Visa Bulletin. Beneficiaries who will file for adjustment of status should consult with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the entire process.

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