New Change LIMITS Early Filing of Adjustment of Status Applications

Today, October 14, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will limit when applicants may file an early I-485 Adjustment of Status application, i.e., before the visa has become available, in advance of the applicant’s priority date becoming current. (For an explanation of how the priority date system works, please see our September 16, 2015 blog post.)

On September 9, 2015, USCIS had announced that it would allow I-485 applicants to take advantage of new charts on its monthly Visa Bulletin: “Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored Visa Applications” and “Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications”. (See our previous blog post on this announcement.) Using these charts, applicants in certain family-based and employment-based preference categories would be able to file their I-485 applications early, in advance of their priority dates becoming current.

Now, starting in November, USCIS will announce online at http://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo whether, for the coming month, applicants may take advantage of those “Dates for Filing” charts in order to file their I-485 applications early.

If USCIS does NOT announce that early filing is possible for the coming month, then I-485 applicants cannot take advantage of the “Dates for Filing” charts. Instead, they must wait for their priority date to become current according to the “Application Final Action Dates” chart.

The Department of State publishes the monthly Visa Bulletin online at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html.