You may recall a few months back the U.S. Department of State (DOS) started bifurcating the monthly visa bulletin into “filing” and “final action” tables. This was an interesting new development that has caused great confusion since its release.
Earlier this week DOS released the August visa bulletin and, while the “filing” date for EB-2 All Countries is current, the “final action” date for EB-2 All Countries is retrogressed to 01FEB14. Just this afternoon, USCIS confirmed that, in harmony with past practice, it will not honor DOS’s August “filing” date which would permit EB-2 All Countries to continue to file applications for permanent residence, even though DOS is only retrogressing EB-2 All Countries “final action” date. Instead, starting August 1, USCIS is only accepting applications for permanent residence for EB-2 All Countries with a priority date before 01FEB14.
If you fall into the EB-2 All Countries category, what this means to you is one of three things:
- If you are currently eligible to file your application for permanent resident status in EB-2 All Countries, you must submit your application to USCIS to arrive no later than Friday, July 29th.
- If you become eligible to file your application for permanent resident status on or after August 1, you are no longer able to file in August unless your priority date is before 01FEB14. You must wait until this category has immigrant visa availability based on your priority date.
- If you have a pending I-485, USCIS will not adjudicate your case unless you have a priority date prior to 01FEB14. USCIS will instead hold your case in abeyance until immigrant visa numbers again become current, or, until availability reaches your priority date.
DOS expects that EB-2 All Countries will become current again in October 2016, when the federal fiscal year starts anew, but we won’t know until mid-September when DOS issues the October Visa Bulletin. Please contact SPS Immigration to discuss this development should you have questions.