The recent changes, to the State Department’s Cut Off Date system for determining who can file their adjustment of status applications and when they can be filed, announced in the October 2015 Visa Bulletin brings welcome relief to many categories of immigrants who often wait in long queues before they are able to submit their adjustment of status applications.
Going forward, the Visa Bulletin will now include a two-tier system that sets cut-off dates for both family-based and employment-based preference categories. USCIS has also provided extensive information on the new system.
Tier 1 – Application Final Action Dates: These are the latest priority dates being adjudicated for immigrant visa or adjustment of status (AOS) application approvals; and
Tier 2 – Dates for Filing Visa Applications: These are the earliest priority dates indicating when applicants may file their I-485 AOS applications.
These changes mean that many more immigrants will be able to file I-485 applicationsprior to when their priority date is actually available. This is a huge benefit to these applicants, as they are able to obtain work authorization for dependent spouses and children, as well as travel documents that are less restrictive that the cumbersome non-immigrant visa process.