USCIS confirms acceptance of adjustment applications from filing-eligible foreign nationals in November

Consistent with newly announced procedures, USCIS has confirmed that it will accept adjustment applications in November from foreign nationals with a priority date that makes them eligible for application filing according to the State Department’s November Visa Bulletin.

Under the reformed Visa Bulletin, the State Department lists two sets of cut-off dates for each backlogged immigrant visa preference category:

(1) an “application final action date,” the cut-off date for final processing of a green card application, which has always been announced in the Bulletin; and

(2) a “date for eligibility to file visa applications,” the cut-off date for eligibility to submit an application for adjustment of status with USCIS or an immigrant visa with the State Department.

USCIS recently revised its process for notifying the public whether it will honor the second set of priority dates each month.  After the Visa Bulletin is released by the State Department, USCIS will take up to a week to determine whether there are more immigrant visa numbers available than known applicants.  If so, it will accept applications for adjustment and related work and travel benefits from those with a priority date that makes them eligible for application filing in the forthcoming month.  Otherwise, it will accept adjustments only from those with a priority date that makes them eligible for final action.

What This Means for Foreign Nationals and Employers

The new USCIS process means that prospective adjustment applicants and their employers will need to monitor both the State Department Visa Bulletin and the USCIS adjustment acceptance notice to determine whether they can submit applications.

Because the State Department did not advance cut-off dates for filing eligibility from October to November, no additional foreign nationals will be able to submit an adjustment application under the second set of priority dates next month, but those who are eligible will have through November 30 to prepare and submit their applications to USCIS.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK