DOS, DHS and USCIS sued for issuing revised Visa Bulletin with retrogressed Dates for Filing Adjustment Application
On September 9, 2015, when DOS issued the Visa Bulletin for the month of October, 2015, all of us were extremely excited and happy at the same time to see a significant and long awaited development in the process for obtaining Permanent Residence in the United States. The visa bulletin introduced “Dates for Filing Employment-Based Visa Applications” and “Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored Visa Applications” whereby differentiating them from “Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Based Preference Class” and “Application Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Class”. It allows Beneficiaries with approved Immigrant Visa Petitions to make an Application for Adjustment of Status even before their Priority Date becomes current if their Priority Date falls on or before the date mentioned on the Visa Bulletin.
The change was significant because it allows the highly skilled Beneficiaries legally waiting in line to become Permanent Residents to:
- Be able to port employers (Once Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) has been pending for at least 180 days.)
- Be able to make an Application for Employment Authorization, along with their spouses.
- Be able to make an Application for Advance Parole, along with their spouses.
In order to avail all the aforementioned benefits, Beneficiaries started preparing their case to be filed on Oct 1. They hired attorneys, had their medical examinations done by certified civil surgeons, started collecting documents both from the U.S. and their native countries. It not only cost them time but a significant amount of money.
While everyone was ready to file their application on Oct 1, DOS issued a revised Visa Bulletin on Sep 25. The dates for filing had significantly retrogressed in the revised Visa Bulletin. With less than a week left for filing, the Beneficiaries were left stranded. Having invested so much time and money, USCIS and DOS tells them that they cannot file for adjustment after all.
A Class Action Suit has been filed against Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, and USCIS seeking the Court to strike down the revised Visa Bulletin and reinstating the original Visa Bulletin issued on Sep 9.