September 15, 2015

Together, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Department of State have announced revised procedures for determining immigrant visa availability, per a press release from USCIS. The new two-track system allocates one set of dates showing applicants whose priority date is Current-To-File, and a separate set of dates for already-pending applicants whose priority date is Current-for-Final-Approval.

The new bifurcated system can be seen in the upcoming October Visa Bulletin, which provides two charts each for Family-Based and Employment-Based applicants. If you are not certain which chart applies, the Department of State provides a handy Priority Date Checker.

This new system for allocating immigrant visa numbers will allow more people to file for adjustment of status or immigrant visas sooner. For adjustment of status applicants in the United States, this will mean they and their dependents can get unrestricted work authorization sooner. However, it may mean longer wait times for final green card approval, especially for those whose I-485 adjustment of status applications are already pending.