VISA BULLETIN "DATES FOR FILING" RETROGRESSED FOR OCTOBER 2015 – UPDATED SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

The Department of State (DOS) issued a revised monthly Visa Bulletin for the month of October that retrogressed some of the most important categories that would have allowed thousands of immigrants to submit their green card applications next month. The newly issued Visa Bulletin supersedes the previous October Visa Bulletin that was released on September 8, 2015. It is highly unusual for the DOS to issue revised Visa Bulletins. In the revised October Visa Bulletin, the DOS does not provide an explanation as to why the priority date were being modified.

The categories affected are the following "Dates for Filing":

  1. EB-2 China from May 1, 2014 to January 1, 2013
  2. EB-2 India from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2009
  3. EB-3 and Other Workers for Philippines from January 1, 2015 to January 1, 2010

The DOS did not make any changes to the "Final Action Dates" for October. Unfortunately, many individuals relied on the initially issued Visa Bulletin and began making preparations for the filing of their and their family's green card applications. This sudden change in policy is unfortunate particularly because the DOS had indicated in statements earlier this month that it would not retrogress the "Dates for Filing" without sufficient advance warning. The Visa Bulletin for the month of November 2015 should be issued by the second week of October, providing immigrants and stakeholders with a better idea of how these dates will move in the coming months.

"Final Action Dates" = individuals with priority dates before the dates listed in the chart below have a green card available to them during the month of October, therefore, the USCIS may take final action and approve their green card application.

"Dates for Filing" = individuals with priority dates before the dates listed in the chart below are eligible to file their green card applications during the month of October. When their priority dates advance to the "Final Action Dates" the USCIS will be able to approve their green card application.

Green Card "Dates for Filing" Availability Dates

The revised dates appear in bold below.

Category

All Countries Except Those Listed

China (mainland)

India

Mexico

Philippines

EB-1

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

EB-2

Current

01/01/13

07/01/09

Current

Current

EB-3

09/01/15

10/01/13

07/01/05

09/01/15

01/01/10

Other Workers

09/01/15

01/01/07

07/01/05

09/01/15

01/01/10

4th

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

Certain Religious
Workers

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

5th Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs

Current

05/01/15

Current

Current

Current

Green Card Approval "Final Action Dates"

Category

All Countries Except Those Listed

China (mainland)

India

Mexico

Philippines

EB-1

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

EB-2

Current

01/01/12

05/01/05

Current

Current

EB-3

08/15/15

10/15/11

03/08/04

08/15/15

01/01/07

Other Workers

08/15/15

01/01/06

03/08/04

08/15/15

01/01/07

4th

Current

Current

Current

Current

Current

Certain Religious Workers

U

U

U

U

U

5th
Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)

Current

10/08/13

Current

Current

Current