Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Friday, September 25, 2015

EB-3 Philippines Early Adjustment Filings Take A Hard Hit Before Program Even Begins

In the October Visa Bulletin, USCIS began a new program that allows many people to file their applications for Permanent Residence before their priority dates become current.  This benefit will allow many future Permanent Residents to obtain early employment and travel authorization. 

That same October Visa Bulletin published a “Filing Date” chart.  If an applicant’s Priority Date was earlier than the Filing Date, the applicant could file their early application for Permanent Residence, beginning October 1, 2015.

Today, only sixteen days after the October 1 Filing Dates were published, USCIS advanced the October 1 Filing Dates for five immigrant groups, greatly reducing the number of potential early applicants eligible to file on October 1st.

EB-3 Philippines is the group most harmed by this change. 

The Visa Bulletin published on September 9 allowed any adjustment-eligible EB-3 Filipino (and their derivative applicants) to file for Permanent Residence if their priority dates were priority dates were before January 1, 2015.  Today, the EB-3 Philippines filing date was changed to January 1, 2010 – disqualifying hundreds of potential early adjustment applicants.

There is no explanation for this change other than USCIS error in calculating the visa demand.  And there is nothing for those harmed by this action to do but to wait to see what happens next!

Although Philippines EB-3 took the hardest hit today, four other immigrant categories were also adversely effected by today's announcement.  Those categories (and the duration of their Filing Date regression) are:

EB-2 China                1 year, 5 months

EB-2 India                  2 years

EB-3 Philippines       5 years

FB-1 Mexico              3 months

FB-3 Mexico              1 year, 5 months

This change is very disappointing to those who believed October 1 would mark a major step towards their dreams of permanent residence. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

USCIS Allows Early Permanent Residence Filings!

Beginning October 1st, USCIS will allow many applicants to file for permanent residence before their priority date is current! 

This exceptional change means that applicants (and their derivative family members!) can now get the extra benefits available to those with an Application for Permanent Residence pending, such as travel and employment authorization.

From the October Visa Bulletin for the Philippines:

                        Actual                    File for Permanent 
Category        Priority Date         if Priority Date Before:

FB1                 Jun 1,2001                 Sep 1, 2005

FB2A              Apr 15, 2014             Mar 1, 2015

FB2B              Oct 1, 2004                Jan 1, 2005

FB3                 Oct 1, 1993                Aug 1, 1995

FB4                 May 1, 1992               Jan 1, 1993

EB1                All                                All

EB2                All                                All

EB3                Jan 1, 2007                Jan 1, 2015
EB3 OW         Jan 1, 2007                Jan 1, 2015

If you are legally eligible to ask for permanent residence without the need to leave the United States, AND if your Priority Date is earlier than the date shown in the far right column, you can file your application for Adjustment of Status on or after October 1, 2015.

BUT REMEMBER, you will not be granted Permanent Residence until your priority date actually becomes current.  Also remember that if you do file early, as allowed under this new procedure, you will later have to update your permanent residence application (i.e. tax returns, new medical) before residence is granted.

Check back later for updates!

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