The U.S. Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2014, and unfortunately, for some categories the priority dates have retrogressed.  The Priority Date cut-off for Employment-Based Third Preference workers (except India and Philippines) is currently October 1st, 2012.  However, starting June 1st, 2014, only those applicants whose Priority Dates are earlier than April 1st, 2011 will be accepted.  The cut-off date for Family-Based petitions has also retrogressed for the F2A category (spouses or minor children of permanent residents) by more than a year from September 8th, 2013 to May 1st, 2012.

How Does This Further Retrogression Affect Your Application, if Any.

I filed my Adjustment of Status application several months ago, and my priority date is after April 1, 2011. What will happen to my case?

Adjustment of Status application that are currently pending with USCIS will remain pending until the priority dates of applicants become current again.

My priority date is September 1, 2012, meaning it is current this month.  What should I do 

For those of you who have a priority date earlier than October 1st, 2012, you MUST file your Adjustment of Status application before June 1st, 2014, or you will have to wait until your priority date becomes current again which could be another year.  Especially for those of you who have already started preparing your Adjustment of Status application, it is important to complete the application paperwork and file this month, if you prefer not to repeat this process at a later date when your priority date becomes current again.

Please note, however, even if you do file before June 1st, 2014, your Adjustment of Status application will not be reviewed or adjudicated, and remain pending until your priority date is current again.  In other words, filing now versus later will not expedite the receipt of your green card.

On the other hand, when you file your Adjustment of Status application, we can simultaneously file for your Advance Parole (AP) and Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and these requests will be adjudicated within about 3-4 months of filing, regardless of the fact that the priority date has further retrogressed. Once you obtain your EAD, you may continue to work in the U.S. while your underlying Adjustment of Status application is pending without a non-immigrant visa.  However, we strongly recommend that you maintain your non-immigrant status, as there may be various risks associated with relinquishing your non-immigrant status.

Please contact our office ASAP if your priority date is current and you have any further questions and/or concerns.

My Adjustment of Status application for the F2A category was filed several months ago, and I will be going to my interview on June 5, 2014.  My priority date is September 1, 2013.  What will happen to my case?

If you received an Interview Notice from the USCIS for your Adjustment of Status application, you must show up for your interview.  If the officer approves your application at the interview, your Green Card should be granted without delay.  However, if there are any issues such as missing documents or information that prevent the officer from approving your application, your Green Card will not be issued until your priority date is once again current.

Written by H. Heidi Son
Attorney
SW Law Group, P.C.