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02 September 2016
The Department of State issues a visa bulletin each month to inform the public of the priority dates which will be effective for various immigrant visa (ie, US Green Card) preference categories.(1) Each foreign national sponsored for an immigrant visa is assigned a priority date. The priority date is the date on which the foreign national's immigrant visa case was initiated, based on the filing of a Programme Electronic Review Management Labour Application or immigrant visa petition on behalf of the foreign national. The priority dates listed in the visa bulletin informs the foreign national of his or her place in line for eligibility to receive an immigrant visa. Once the visa bulletin lists the foreign national's priority date as effective, he or she can move forward with the last step of the immigrant visa application process, which involves either the filing of an Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (Form DS 260) or an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). It is often difficult to predict which priority dates will become effective or move up, since the visa bulletin is published only on a monthly basis by the Department of State. However, the Department of State occasionally provides some predictions with respect to the movement of priority dates on future visa bulletins. Some recent priority date predictions for the employment-based immigrant visa preference categories are as follows:
The priority dates listed on the visa bulletins issued each month are determined by the number of immigrant visas issued by the Department of State in the proceeding month and/or past months and the number of Form I-485 applications approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the preceeding month and/or past months. In addition, the Department of State may use other factors to move priority dates up or down on the visa bulletin.
For further information on this topic please contact Matthew Morse at Fakhoury Law Group PC by telephone (+1 248 643 4900) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Fakhoury Law Group website can be accessed at www.employmentimmigration.com.
(1) This bulletin may be viewed at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html.
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Matthew C Morse