US Department of State Announces Major Changes To Visa Bulletin

US Department of State Announces Major Changes To Visa Bulletin

USCIS

The US Department of State recently issued a visa bulletin that reflects a re-engineering of its system for determining immigrant visa availability.  The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication issued by the U.S. Department of State that provides information related to the waiting periods for immigrants that are subject to the quota system.  This change appears to be in response to President Obama’s call for a modernization of the immigration visa system when he made his announcement regarding Executive Actions on immigration in November of last year.  In the new visa bulletin for October 2015, the Department of State has created two separate categories of cut-off dates for various immigrant classifications, one for the “acceptance” of immigrant visa petitions, and one for the final processing of those petitions.  USCIS has confirmed to us that they will be following the new charts issued by the Department of State, and therefore many foreign nationals will be eligible to file their immigrant petitions sooner than under the prior system.

This is a major development in the processing of employment-based permanent residence applications, and is most welcome to nationals of India and China, who have typically faced delays of many years before they are eligible to file adjustment of status applications. If you would like any further information on how this will affect your company or your employees, please feel free to contact our immigration gro