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Gateway to a Brighter Future

Updated Instruction for Using the DOS Visa Bulletin

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that beginning with the November 2015 Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin, if USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, they will state on that applicants may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. Unless otherwise stated on their website, the Application Final Action Date chart will be used to determine when individuals may file their adjustment of status applications.

According to USCIS, they anticipate making this determination each month and will post the relevant chart on their website within one week of DOS’ publication of the Visa Bulletin.

About the Visa Bulletin

The DOS publishes current immigrant visa availability information in a monthly Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available to prospective immigrants based on their individual priority date.

  • The priority date is generally the date when the applicant’s relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on the applicant’s behalf with USCIS. If a labor certification is required to be filed with the applicant’s immigrant visa petition, then the priority date is when the labor certification application was accepted for processing by Department of Labor.
  • Availability of an immigrant visa means eligible applicants are able to take one of the final steps in the process of becoming U.S. legal permanent residents.

To learn more about adjustment of status and the Department of State Visa Bulletin, please click the links to visit these topics on the USCIS website.

Angela M. Lopez

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