Changes to the Employment-Based (“EB”) “Dates for Filing” chart in the May 2017 Visa Bulletin have created confusion.
USCIS will NOT allow EB Applications for Permanent Residence in May using the “Dates for Filing” chart. For Employment-based cases, only the “Final Action Date” chart will be used in May 2017.
The “Dates for Filing” chart began appearing in the Visa Bulletin beginning October, 2015, and ONLY applies to people applying for Permanent Residence with USCIS while in the United States. Applicants obtaining their Immigrant Visa from outside of the U.S. should completely ignore the Dates For Filing chart.
Additionally, The Visa Bulletin’s “Dates for Filing” chart can only be used when specifically authorized by USCIS. The Employment-based “Dates for Filing” chart has appeared in the Visa Bulletin for the last 19 months, and in only 5 of those months did USCIS allow these dates to be used for Permanent Residence filing.
It will be many months before USCIS allows us to use the Employment-Based “Dates for Filing” chart.
A more general discussion on using the Visa Bulletin can be found in Understanding the Visa Bulletin.
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