NewsFlash! Exciting Change May be Coming to Visa Bulletin Process

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is reportedly working to implement a significant change to the monthly visa bulletin system, as part President Obama’s push to streamline the U.S. immigrant visa system. According to an article published in The National Law Review, the DOS plans to begin including two separate cutoff dates for each employment-based preference category. One would be an approval cutoff date, dictating when a pending adjustment of status (I-485) or immigrant visa application may be approved, based on the case’s corresponding priority date (PD). The other would be an acceptance cutoff date, indicating when an I-485 may be filed by the beneficiary, again based on the case’s PD.

The acceptance cutoff dates would presumably be significantly later dates than the approval cutoff dates in the oversubscribed visa categories, such as the employment-based, second preference (EB2) and employment-based, third preference (EB3) categories for beneficiaries born in China or India. This would allow such foreign national workers to file their respective I-485s – and make them eligible for the corresponding benefits – much earlier in the immigration process. Such benefits include the ability to apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) and, once 180 days have passed, the option to port the underlying I-140 to a new position or employer, pursuant to the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21).

While this report is intriguing, it is important to understand that it has yet to be officially confirmed. Further, even if it is entirely accurate, the only timeline provided is that the proposal may be unveiled in the “near future.” The Murthy Law Firm will continue to closely track these developments and report any updates on MurthyDotComSubscribe to the free MurthyBulletin  to remain informed on this exciting news.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.