On September 28, 2015, several highly-skilled immigrant workers from India and China filed a federal class action lawsuit in the State of Washington against the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) over revisions to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin (Revised Visa Bulletin). A temporary restraining order was subsequently filed on September 30, 2015.
Unfortunately on October 7, 2015, the court denied the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary restraining order. The court denied the request for a temporary restraining order because it found that (1) the plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits, and (2) the revision of the Visa Bulletin did not substantially alter the plaintiffs’ rights. According to the court, the Revised Visa Bulletin only clarified a prior incorrect statement of their rights.
The immediate effect of this decision is that the Revised Visa Bulletin will remain in effect and DHS will not be required to accept Adjustment of Status applications that could have been filed under the Original Visa Bulletin but not under the Revised Visa Bulletin. The underlying lawsuit, however, is still ongoing.
Many foreign nationals who very recently found themselves one step closer to having a green card are now looking at lengthy wait times once again. A good portion of these individuals have also incurred costs associated with their anticipated applications to adjust status including legal fees, medical exams, and passport photos. We will continue to monitor the progress of the case moving forward.