For any waiting for a loved one to get legal status, you know there are not enough visas issued per year to accommodate the overwhelming demand. For that reason, the Department of State releases a monthly Visa Bulletin to let applicants know how many visas are available and where they fall in the queue for applicants (click here to learn how to read the Bulletin). On September 9th the Department of State released the Visa Bulletin for October, and released a new Dates for Filing Chart. This chart is based upon the estimation of the number of visas that will be available in the following month. This chart told people when they would be eligible to apply. Once the priority date becomes current, the immigrant can start the visa application process to enter the U.S. with the legal status.
What happened to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin
This September 25, 2015, however the Department of Statue issued a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin. The changes made were not beneficial to immigrants. These changes drastically reduced the amount of immigrants who would be eligible in the month of October. By cutting the number of immigrants who would be able to apply, the Department of State decreased the number of individuals who would achieve legal status in the U.S.
What challenges are there to the change?
The change did not go without protest. Many immigrants had already begun the process of gathering the necessary documentation and legal representation to quickly apply before the end of October. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (to which I belong) filed a letter to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security urging them to reinstate the initial October Visa Bulletin. A class action lawsuit has also been filed against the agencies to force them to do so.
The actions of the Department of State make it abundantly clear the need to modernize the immigration process. Seeing the federal agencies that work on immigration policy take this massive step forwards then turn around and reverse two weeks later brings a great deal of worry to the minds of immigrants everywhere. What we need is real change to the immigration system, not changes that are given then revoked.
Do you need help with immigration? Do you know how to get started? We can help.