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An Overview and Action Plan for May’s Visa Bulletin

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The federal government publishes a list of dates each month to inform immigrant applicants about when to expect notification from officials to collect and submit required documentation. 

Overview of What’s Happening

These dates in May’s Visa Bulletin determine eligibility to adjust status to lawful permanent residence with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS announced that it would follow the Department of State’s “Final Action Dates” chart published in May’s Visa Bulletin to determine if candidates are eligible to apply for an employment-based Adjustment of Status application that month. This chart can be used to determine eligibility by comparing the dates in it with an employee’s Immigration Priority Date, which is shown on any I-140, EB-1, or EB-2 petition filed by a sponsoring company.

Employers can check here for the most updated information.

An Action Plan

USCIS has adopted the “Final Action Dates” chart for May when accepting new applications for Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanence. It means a candidate can file an application with an immigration preference date earlier than the list cutoff dates for their specific category and country.

However, USCIS won’t begin processing Adjustment of Status cases that are currently pending but were filed in a group that is now behind the cutoff date. They will only begin processing these cases once the Final Action Date surpasses the Immigration Priority Date of the individual. The processing time may be delayed, but a properly submitted application will remain on the government’s list, and USCIS will continue processing related requests, like Advanced Parole or EAD cards.

It’s important for employers who have employees with priority dates in May to reach out to an immigration attorney and prepare for application submission.