The visa bulletin will now include two charts per visa preference category:
The first one is the Application Final Action Dates chart (listing “approval” cut-off dates when an adjustment of status application may be approved).
While the other is a Dates for Filing Applications chart (listing “acceptance” cut-off dates when an adjustment of status application may be filed).
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
Previously, an individual could only file an adjustment of status if their application was submitted prior to the “approval”cut-off dates.
Now individuals seeking to apply for an adjustment of status may use the Dates for Filing Application charts as an indicator for submitting their application. The dates for filing or “acceptance” chart will often be earlier than those under the final action or “approval” chart. The cut-off dates for filing will guide applicants on when to file their application and while the “approval” cut-off dates will determine when they can expect a decision.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
With the addition of a chart, individuals who are filing adjustments in highly impacted countries, such as China, India or the Philippines (countries most affected by the employment-based immigration cut-off dates), may refer to the Dates for Filing Applications chart in lieu of the Application Final Action Dates chart when applying for certain visas.
WILL I LOSE BENEFITS FROM FILING UNDER DATES FOR FILING APPLICATIONS?
When an individual files for adjustments of status based on the “acceptance” cut-off date, they will receive the same benefits as pre-existing “approval” cut-off dates, e.g., eligibility for an EAD (work permit), Advance Parole (travel document), INA §204(j) portability (changing jobs under certain conditions without restarting the green card process), Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protection that provides assistance to derivative children who will turn 21 years old).
ANY OTHER NEWS THAT I SHOULD KNOW?
You may submit a I-140 petition concurrently with an adjustment of status application, if the petition is currently based on the new “acceptance” cut-off date.