Department of States Alters Recently Modified Visa Bulletin
On September 9th the Department of Homeland Security released new updated changes to the visa bulletin. These changes modernized the visa system and moved up priority dates for those applying for adjustment of status. The revisions to the visa bulletin were part of President Obama’s plans to modernize the US immigration system. Obama’s proposed changes to modernize and streamline the immigration system were detailed in a White House report released back in July.
Just two weeks after the updated September 9th visa bulletin was released, the visa bulletin changed again on September 25th pushing back priority dates significantly. Those affected will have to wait years longer to file for adjustment of status than previous indicated by the visa bulletin released on September 9th.
Changes to Visa Bulletin Announced September 25, 2015
The Department of State pushed back the priority dates for those waiting to apply for a green card. Those affected will have to wait several years longer in some cases.
Those affected can be summarized as:
- EB-2 China- Old priority date was May 1, 2014. New priority date January 1, 2013. This is a 1 year, 5 months difference.
- EB-2 India- Old priority date was July 1, 2011. New priority date July 1, 2009. This is a 2 years difference.
- EB-3 Philippines- Old priority date was January 1, 2015. New priority date January 1, 2010. This is a 5 years difference.
- FB-1 Mexico- Old priority date was July 1, 1995. New priority date is April 1, 1995. This is a 3 months difference.
- FB-3 Mexico- Old priority date was October 1, 1996. New priority date is May 1, 1995. This is a 1 year, 5 months difference.
What Does This Mean?
Those eligible to apply for green cards will now have to wait longer than previously projected just 2 weeks ago. Originally the changes to the visa bulletin would have allowed many immigrants to apply for green cards several years earlier. Now in some cases, those eligible will have to wait 5 years longer. Foreign nationals from China and India will face significantly longer waits, 1 years 5 months and 2 years longer respectively.This change will impact thousands of families living in the US, who planned to receive a green card much earlier.
Additionally these actions reflect an unfortunate step backwards for the US immigration system. For several years the visa bulletin needed updating to decrease the backlog of immigrants waiting to file for adjustment of status. Unfortunately when a change finally occurred that would have dramatically decreased the wait time and positively affected many immigrants and their families, the visa bulletin was quickly reverted back to the old system of long wait times.