Favorable Update on Ability to File Adjustments
July 17, 2007
INITIAL JULY VISA BULLETIN TO BE HONORED
We are pleased to report that nationwide pressure from all fronts on our Congressional representatives and government officials has paid off. Clients should be able to file employment-based adjustment of status applications now through August 17, 2007.
The Visa Office of the United States Department of State announced this afternoon that the July Visa Bulletin issued on June 12, 2007, is in effect and should be relied on for purposes of determining employment-based visa number availability. The subsequently issued Visa Bulletin dated July 2, 2007, foreclosing the ability to file employment-based applications in all categories, has been withdrawn. In addition, although the Visa Office has announced that all employment-based preference categories will be officially "unavailable" beginning in August, USCIS has issued a press release permitting the filing of new applications through August 17, 2007.
Based on this series of announcements, we anticipate that all employment-based preference categories will be "unavailable" beginning on August 18th, and will most likely remain unavailable until October 1, 2007, the beginning of the government's next fiscal year. Predictions continue that visa numbers will move at a slow pace for many months. Unfortunately, the announcements to date provide no relief for those third preference "other workers" whose applications were rejected in late June.
What This Means
The USCIS should now officially accept for processing and issue receipts for the first, second and third preference employment-based applications for adjustment of status filed earlier this month. As these July filings were being held by USCIS in temporary "limbo" pending a resolution of the visa availability issue, we anticipate a significant backlog of data entry on these cases at USCIS and a several week delay in the actual issuance of these official filing receipts.
In addition, we continue to recommend that most eligible applicants file adjustment of status applications while they are still able to do so. As previously advised, a permanent visa must be available as of the date of the final adjudication by the Service but, even though visa retrogression appears imminent, once an application is filed, applicants for adjustment are eligible for many additional benefits.