The U.S. Department of State (DOS) recently published the Monthly Visa Bulletin for February 2017, reporting slight advancement in the “final action cutoff date” for EB-2 applicants born in China and for the entire EB-3 category. The final action dates for other employment based categories remained the same or advanced very little. Additionally, the visa availability under the EB-5 immigrant investor category is current for all areas except China, which has a final action date of April 15, 2014, and a filing date of June 15, 2014.
As a reminder, in October 2015 the DOS began including two separate cutoff dates under backlogged categories. The “filing cutoff date” represents the cutoff date for filing new Applications to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident (green card) with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS). The “final action cutoff date” represents the cutoff date for approval of pending applications. As we noted in January and now in February, the “filing cutoff dates” remain unchanged from the December Visa Bulletin. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will soon announce whether individuals may use the “filing cutoff date” of certain employment based applications for February 2017 or whether they will be required to use the earlier “final action cutoff date”.
We note that in January 2017 the CIS required the use of the “final action date” for the first time this fiscal year, and it is possible that the CIS will continue to use this earlier date for the remainder of the year.
Final Action and Filing Cut-off Dates
Contact Foster Now to Initiate New Applications
Applicants who will become eligible to file applications beginning February 1, 2017, are encouraged to contact their Foster immigration attorney now to initiate the preparation and filing of an I-485 Application to Adjust Status. By initiating new applications now, applicants can hope to file their applications as soon as they are eligible, on February 1st.
As always, Foster will continue to monitor immigrant visa availability and the procedures that allow for filing Applications to Adjust Status to permanent resident and will provide additional information in future Immigration Updates© and on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.